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Letter to the Editor: COS volunteer expertly responds to anti-Article V misinformation

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention of States Project

If you ever see fear and misinformation being spread in your local newspaper, write a letter to the editor! Writing a letter to the editor is a great way to educate your community about Article V and correct any false or misleading information. The following is a great example, written by one of our volunteers in Nebraska.

Two recent metro newspaper items, "The Constitution doesn't need surgery" by Dee Austin on March 29, and "Limited agenda could go off the rails" by Tom Tilden on April 1, provide a good opportunity to clarify the Convention of States initiative and to dismiss some of the false accusations being thrown against it.

The Convention of States is a Constitutional solution to a serious problem. The serious problem is that Washington D.C. is broken. Federal spending and overreach are out of control. Article V of the Constitution gives the states a path to help correct the situation, since Congress has not, and appears it will not, take steps to restore both sanity and liberty.

Austin called this a "Constitutional Convention." It is not. It is a "Convention of States," and the difference matters. The first is a convention to rewrite the Constitution and the second is a convention to propose amendments. Our great nation has so far proposed 33 amendments to the Constitution and the states have ratified 27 of them. The Convention of States is absolutely no different in the scope (constitutional amendments) or the approval (three-fourths of the states must ratify). The important difference is how the amendments are proposed. That's it. Instead of Congress proposing amendments, the states propose amendments.

Contrary to what Tilden would have you believe, we have held conventions before. Many times. We have long-standing convention rules and precedent supported by Supreme Court rulings. For good reason, our Founding Fathers set the bar very high when it comes to amending the Constitution. A Convention of States proposal process does not bypass any Constitutional requirements.

Opponents of a Convention of States primarily use fear and misdirection to try and shape the discussion. The sad irony is that we know that Washington is broken and that the course we are on will not leave a better country for our children, and yet opponents try to paint the solution with anxiety and alarm. We are better than that, and as Americans become reeducated with the Constitution they will come to realize that there is nothing to fear from a Convention of States.

Right now, our voice in Nebraska to fix Washington is in LR6, the call for a Convention of States to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” I am fully behind LR6 and urge all Nebraskans to help get their state senators on board with a phone call, email, or letter.

Steve Riese

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