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In the News: Grassroots effort to hold a Convention of States

Published in Blog on October 08, 2019 by Convention Of States

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The following was written by Matthew Stolle and originally published on Minnesota's Post Bulletin newspaper.

Fearful of what it regards as a bloated and overreaching federal government, a grassroots movement has been building to trigger a Convention of States in order to amend the constitution and tame the leviathan.

Earlier this year, Arkansas, Utah and Mississippi became the 13th, 14th and 15th states to pass a resolution calling for a convention of states. Nineteen more states are needed to reach the two-thirds threshold that would trigger a convention. 
 
If it comes to pass, it will be the first of its kind. Although there have been previous efforts to hold a convention of states, past supporters have never reached the two-thirds threshold to bring it about. All amendments to the Constitution have been brought about through a process initiated by Congress and then ratified by three-fourths of the states. 

But with a movement now 3.5 million strong, fueled by what advocates say is frustration with government's entanglements in people's lives, the COS project is seen as growing in momentum, Fuhrman said. 

"What we're really trying to build is a grassroots movement, to demand from our legislators to call for the convention," Fuhrman said.

Fuhrman said the Founders created an alternative to Congress-initiated amendments so that the people could initiate and propose amendments. It was also viewed by the Founders as a way of getting around a tyrannical and unresponsive Congress. 

Fuhrman said a convention of states would focus on three objectives: Limiting the scope and power of the federal government; fiscal restraint; and term limits for all elected and appointed officeholders, including those on the Supreme Court. 

Although the objectives sought by the COS movement are more in line with conservative and libertarian thinking, Fuhrman said he doesn't see the matter as a left-right issue. 

With the deficit growing to $1 trillion a year in a time of prosperity, concerns over out-of-control spending is not a partisan issue. 

"One of the points I will make at the presentation (in Rochester) is that it doesn't matter who is in office. They just keep spending more and more money and putting us deeper in debt," Fuhrman said. "This is a federal versus the states problem, as opposed to right versus left."

Could a convention of states, should one happen, be hijacked and used to eliminate, say, Second Amendment rights? Fuhrman said it's a concern that's been expressed in the past. He says it couldn't happen because of the safeguards in place in the COS process.

For one, if anything were introduced outside of the three proposed areas, it would be gaveled out of order. And any amendment proposals to could out of a convention would have to be approved by three-fourths of the states. 
 
"One house in 13 states can say no, and it won't pass. So it's a really high bar," Fuhrman said. 

The Minnesota team is getting noticed, and you can join the team in your state by signing the Convention of States Petition below!

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Petition your state legislator

Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here: https://conventionofstates.com/handbook_pdf

I ask that you support the Convention of States Project and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the resolution. Please respond to my request by informing the national COS team of your position, or sending them any questions you may have:

info@conventionofstates.com or (540) 441-7227.

Thank you so much for your service to the people of our district.

Respectfully, [Your Name]

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