Skip to comments.The Inside Story of How Oklahoma Beat the Constitutional Convention
Posted on 03/16/2014 5:13:58 PM PDT by VitacoreVision
Oklahomans committed to liberty united to defeat the the money spent by con-con supporters.The Inside Story of How Oklahomans Beat the Con-Con
Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to rights.
Thomas Jefferson to David Humphreys, 1789
As we reported last week, the Oklahoma State House of Representatives decided not to vote to apply for a constitutional convention (con-con) under the authority of Article V of the Constitution. Put simply, the votes needed to approve the con-con application were not there, and the project is now dead in Oklahoma, at least until next year's legislative session.
This is a crucial victory in the struggle to protect the Constitution and the fundamental liberties it protects from the possible ravages that could result from a second constitutional convention, or, as its supporters call it, a "convention of states."
Dr. Mike Ritze, a key member of the constitutionally minded bloc of the Oklahoma House of Representatives who successfully derailed the con-con locomotive in the Sooner State, told The New American that the fight was close and the hour was late, but in the end a majority of his colleagues decided they did not want to open the Pandoras box of a con-con. Ritze supports state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws as the far safer approach for reining in the federal government.
While Ritze was one of the leaders of the victorious battle against the con-con, there were many devoted constitutionalists fighting with him and the full story of their successful campaign against the con-con deserves to be told.
In January, State Representative Gary Banz filed a resolution (HJR 1083) with the Oklahoma State Legislature asking the state to apply for an Article V convention.
Immediately after filing his call for a con-con, Banz scheduled several events in Oklahoma featuring appearances by several of the leading spokesmen of the Convention of the States (COS) movement. The goal of the meetings was to give the COS presenters time to convince audiences that an Article V Convention is the only hope for saving the Republic (see my article here for a refutation of that claim).
Not only were COS luminaries brought in from out of state to get the con-con resolution passed, but several key members of the delegation of state legislators who attended the recent Mt. Vernon Conference to lay the groundwork for a COS were also working to get Oklahoma on-board. (Information on the purpose of the Mt. Vernon Conference and the power behind it can be found here.)
As legislators, COS leaders, and influential members of the Mt. Vernon meeting traveled the state making their ultimately futile case, Oklahomans aware of the significant and potentially fatal threat to the Constitution posed by a con-con got busy exposing this fact to their fellow citizens.
Members of The John Birch Society, the Eagle Forum, and other constitutionalist organizations attended one of the COS presentations on January 26 at the American Legion Hall in Del City, Oklahoma. The incorrect information they were provided gave them the ammunition they needed to go on the offensive.
On February 4 and again on February 11, about 30 citizen activists descended on the state capitol in Oklahoma City, informing legislators of the risks associated with calling for an Article V convention of the states, including giving legislators historical examples of how such a convention could quickly exceed its mandate and cause irreparable harm to the Constitution. They also reminded their elected representatives of the undeniable fact that Congress doesn't recognize current restrictions on their power and would be unlikely to change their ways if new amendments were added.
Next, on February 18, the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee met to vote on the con-con resolution. The measure passed narrowly, 8 to 7. The forces of liberty were starting to see the opposition weaken.
How were constituitonalists able to so successfully convince legislators to not call for an Article V convention, especially in light of so much money that was spent by the COS and their legislative allies? The inside story as told by a volunteer leader of the John Birch Society in Oklahoma who was instrumental in the victory:
For the next several weeks thousands of emails and calls from members of the John Birch Society in Oklahoma and like-minded friends went to Oklahoma State Representatives giving reasons why they should oppose HJR 1083. I even took a copy of the minutes from the 1787 Philadelphia Convention over to the house of the co-author of HJR 1083, Representative Lewis Moore, and showed him the recorded comments and votes surrounding the development of Article VII of our current constitution and the lengths they were willing to go even at the expense of what was previously committed to by the states. Representative Moore responded by removing his name as a co-author of HJR 1083 and agreed to vote against it.That is truly an inspiring story and one that energize constitutionalists in other states currently embroiled in their own fight against an Article V convention!
As for Oklahoma, on March 11, after taking an informal poll of members of the state House of Representatives to measure the support for the con-con resolution, the Speaker of the House, Representative Jeff Hickman, informed Dr. Ritz that HJR 1083 would not be brought to the floor of the House for a vote.
Although the news out of Oklahoma (and other states where the con-con is being defeated) is encouraging, the fight isn't over. As Thomas Jefferson also said, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance."
Let's all be ready and willing to pay that price by working to stop a con-con, and by insisting that our elected officeholders enforce the Constitution as opposed to changing it. In the case of state legislators, enforcing the Constitution against unconstitutional federal power grabs means nullification, the approach recommended by Oklahoma state Representative Mike Ritze among others.
John Birch Society?
Our Constitution is fine the way it is. Problems arise only when it’s ignored.
When the new congress is sworn in, Jan. 2015, the first order of busines should be to impeach the low life mongrel who is acting as POTUS.
That Impeachment process should have been started a long time ago.
I’m praying that our Military stand in Honor of their Oath and go “Eqyptian” on Obama, ASAP.
Since the product of a "convention of states" is not a ratified amendment to the Constitution, but a proposed amendment which the states can later choose to ignore, I don't buy the ravages aspect of a con-con. So can anybody clue me in on why people who should know better are saying such things?
For the record, although I would like to see the 16th & 17th Amendments repealed along with some new amendments added, before we amend the Constitution patriots need to elect patriots to Congress who will work to clean up all three branches of the corrupt federal government. Impeachments are long overdue.
I’m nooone to happy about this. Con-Con? Really? Nullification? Even worse.......won’t work.
I had a call back from (D)Rep. Sherrer, my rep, the morning of the vote in Committie, he was unsure when he called, but by the time we were finished he said he would vote for it and he did. I like to think it was the deciding vote. Anyway, when I talked to Rep Banz about why it was just limited to a Balanced Budget Amd., he expressed concern of all of this disinformation about a run away Con-Con, he was right.
It’s not dead, we might be able to resurect it next year, but we’re running out of time. (My state sen. had never heard of Art. V, she got a lot of info on it to say the least)
To sum up....`Just Dang’
People should know better but obviously they do not. These Oklahomans were hornswaggled. Hopefully they will learn the truth and reconsider.
Mark Levin makes a very convincing argument in favor. As in any constitutional amendment process, anything emerging would require ratification by 38 state legislatures. The upside is that it cuts the Washington politicians and their cronyism out of the process. So it restores power to the state legislatures and is the ultimate check on central government power.
The JBS ( I can’t bear to even spell its name)remains a group of loud, incompetent, obstructionist fools. They have a first grader’s understanding of the extreme danger this country is in and have no ideas to remedy the problems other than to attack those who would use the peaceful remedy provided by Article V of our Constitution.
The John Birch Society is convinced that nullification is the way to go.
Their idea hasnt gained any traction, so they attack
the Article V advocates out of spite and jealousy.
Last year the democrats circulated petitions to authorize the county charter initiative for the ballot in the hopes that they could go waaaaay to the left with an environmental bill of rights guaranteeing that tree would have legal representation and fracking would be prohibited. Oddly enough, trees control the politics in this county that is 97% government and national forest land.
Well, the petitioners gathered enough votes and the issue hit the ballot along with the required number of freeholder candidates running for positions in the convention. As the election drew near it began to look as though there was growing support for common sense candidates and libertarians and the democrats whole control the county turned against their own initiative and defeated it.
The outcome was no surprise, but the show was fun to watch.
No, they blocked the shit.
These Birchers are traitors. They might as well work for Valerie Jarrett.
Off your meds again, eh!
>> “ Local commies often propagandize themselves on political discussion boards as conservatives but are at least as bad as the federal commies.” <<
That is the supply line for Federal commies!
Are OK lawmakers as constitutionally-impaired as the voters who elected them evidently are? Or do state lawmakers probably know better about con-con and created con-con gossip as dog-and-pony show to exploit low-information voters?
Apparently so. This is made obvious by their use of the dumbed-down and intentionally misleading term “con-con”. A dead giveaway disinformation by libs and lib fellow-travelers.
Sounds like what happened here in Kitsap in 1999-2000. I worked hard collecting signatures to turn Kitsap into a Charter County and then I was the Vice Chair of the committee that formed after we passed the Freeholder or the first part of the process to encourage voting for the Charter.
The D’s were on board until the 11th hour when the majority conservative Freeholder’s would not insert language authorizing a County Ombudsman and would increase the commissioner districts into 5 council districts elected by an at-large vote of the entire county. The conservatives wanted the council members elect by district.
The Dims knew this would destroy their dependable 20,000+ liberal voting advantage they enjoy from Bainbridge Island...so the Charter died on election night.
We are still considering making a move towards a Charter as we do every 20 years or so or until peoples collective memory of the last attempt fades. This time, we are looking to do it via the commissioners...we just have to elect a “balance” of representation on the county commission first. Ed Wolfe is hopefully the first step in that direction. You know Ed don’t you?
No you don’t. That is a knee jerk reactionary statement and I know you can do better.
You can start by not using the vulgar slang “con-con” to describe the initiative.
I didn’t, they did. I know it’s not a con-con......
The source of this piece of idiocy is out of his mind.
Article V ping.
These yobs are NOT constitutionalists. They are scum who are willing to allow DC to run ruff shod over the states and individuals. The Constitution actually lays out for us what we can do and these yahoos decided they didn’t like it so they tanked it. Great too bad you will never be able to brag to your grandchildren
It is our very Constitution that gives the states and the citizens the right to call for an Article V convention..
DC IGNORES the Constitution and the legislative group is spineless. The One is a dictator. It is time to take our country back and this is a way to do it.
What is wrong with you?
Conservatives aren't the only people who have a wish list of constitutional amendments and changes.
It might not be a smart thing to open up a constitutional convention in a country where the majority of voters elected Barack Obama twice. and where voters elect and re-elect people like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schuumer, Dick Durbin, Charlie Rangel and Sheila Jackson-Lee.
It’s always nice to hear from ANOTHER constitutional scholar here on FR... PLEASE take 5 minutes and read ARTICLE V of the constitution. It’s an alternate method of proposing amendments to the Constitution controlled by state legislatures...
In a nutshell, ANY proposed amendments out of an Article V convention would have to have 38 states to ratify just like amendments proposed from Congress...
As always, if ANYONE here has ANY really good suggestions on curtailing what DC is doing, we are all ears...
Read #31, another reply to me and then ask yourself, “what’s wrong with me”.
Careful what you ask for.
Your tagline is fantastic... I guess you are choosing to live that mantra...
Please, enlighten us with your wisdom... You’ve been here since 1998...
I for one think that we need a convention unless someone has a plan that will restore the federal government to its rightful relationship with the States and the People without holding on.
Its always interesting to hear those that are batting goose eggs criticizing an org that is batting 1000 since 1958.
And then you want credit for wisecracks.
So, you are a Bircher, eh?
No, I’m not, but I have plenty of respect for their very enviable record of perfect prediction of where we are.
So you think the founding fathers were wrong, eh?
What evidence do you have in hiding that shows any indication whatsoever that a convention would do anything but play into the hands of those that would eliminate all of our rights?
No, you think they were wrong.
I want to keep the constitution they gave us; you don’t.
So you think the founding fathers deliberately put Article V in the constitution but for no apparent reason, eh?
Play your childish strawman game with someone that has the same straw filled head as you.
“... play your childish straw-man game with someone else...”
I figure about as much from people like you.
You have no argument; you are all about the bluff and the bluster.
If you seriously believe there are 38 states in this Union that
would vote to accept a proposed amendment to the constitution
that would doom “whatever it is that you think they would doom”,
then you are far beyond the hope of the John Birch advocates,
or any of the state’s nullification advocates,
or any of the Article V Convention advocates,
or anything else, for that matter,
and you might as well just go bury your head in the sand.
I’ve had my eyes wide open for most of my life, Apparently you believe in dreams.
It’s your head that is in the sand.
So, what is your solution, or great and wise one?
Read comment at 32. If you won’t read Levins book then answer your phone. You are keeping Alex waiting
Don't know Ed Wolfe.
Research links on the Article V process and the Liberty Amendments:
Convention of States - Alabama Way to go Alabama! A good introduction.
'Convention of states' to rein in government? Another great summary explanation.
The Case for an Article V. Convention. Fantastic explanation of Article V convention to the Mass State Legislature.
I would recommend watching the above three videos first and then:
Convention of States Lots of information here.
A Summary of Mark Levins Proposed Amendments by Jacquerie
Ulysses at the Mast: Democracy, Federalism, and the Sirens' Song of the Seventeenth Amendmentby Jay Bybee. Repeal the 17th!
Article V Convention: Path of Least Resistance By Robert Berry
State Legislators Article V Caucus State Legislators, Join up at this site!
Send this list of links to your State Representatives and Senators here: Contact your State Legislators.
Excellent Article V Letter to a State Assemblyman by Jacquerie
Lets all work together to get this going.
The Federal Government is broken. We owe it to The Founders and ourselves to attempt a rational Article V amendment process. If it doesn't work, or is hijacked, then fine, it's on to what we're all expecting anyway, revolution. It's your call America.
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