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Playing politics: Wisconsin leaders threaten legal action against Secretary of State who won’t file COS Application

Published in Blog on July 08, 2022 by Brianna Kraemer

Wisconsin’s Democrat Secretary of State Doug La Follette has continued to stall filing the Convention of States Application to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., despite the state legislature passing the Resolution calling for a Convention of States in January of this year. 

When a state passes the Resolution calling for a convention, the secretary of state is in charge of filing the proper paperwork and sending it to Congress, who holds each state’s documentation until the 34-state threshold is met.

Both the Wisconsin House and Senate are currently controlled by Republicans, with the governor and secretary of state seats held by Democrats. As described by the COS Wisconsin team, Secretary of State Doug La Follette is playing politics. 

During a press conference on Thursday, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Dan Knodl, called it a "dereliction of duty" and described what steps will be taken if the secretary continues delaying filing the Application. 

“He has had time to sign 10 executive orders and yet he will not answer repeated contacts about this particular matter. Secretary of State, time to step up and perform your task that you took an oath to do so,” said Knodl.

Watch the press conference here.

Co-sponsor Senator Kathy Bernier said she is sending one final letter to La Follette, and if nothing happens, they will pursue legal action to force the secretary to do the job Wisconsin residents pay him to do. 

“The secretary of state in the state of Wisconsin has no authority to say whether he likes or dislikes something and to shirk his duties,” said Bernier. “I’m deeply disappointed in the secretary of state in his inaction in fulfilling his legal obligations.”

See the timeline of actions taken and letters sent to La Follette here.  

“He’s got until August 1 to get his job done, then we’ll start legal action against him,” said Sen. Bernier.

Convention of States seeks to rein in the out of control federal government by implementing term limits to kick out career politicians, budget requirements to end the wasteful spending, and an overall limitation to the federal government’s size and power.

Sign the petition below to show your support for the Wisconsin legislature passing the COS Resolution. 

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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 to proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington DC.

I support Convention of States; a national movement 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 an 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:

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