Is The Heartland Institute Smoke and Mirrors?

This is a reply to the Heartland Institute’s Kyle Maichle’s July 6, 2016 Letter to the Editor posting “Not so, sir” which is in response to my My Turn column titled ‘The Unrelenting Con-Con Con’ published June 21st in the Coeur d’Alene Press.

Allegation #1. The ASL (Assembly of State Legislatures) killed a proposal for an Electoral College style system of delegate apportionment:

Paraphrasing Christian Gomez of The New American magazine (TNA) in his article ‘Republicans and Democrats Working Together:’ “On June 12-13, 2014, the Indiana State Legislature hosted a meeting of state legislators, composed of both Republicans and progressive Democrats, to prepare for a future Article V “convention of the states. Formerly known as the Mount Vernon Assembly and renamed at the June meeting, ASL appears to be the brainchild of Republican State Representative Chris Kapenga of Wisconsin.

…. Further quoting Mr. Gomez: “Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 Congress is granted the power to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution” Article V’s constitutional mandate that Congress, “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments.” Constitutionally, Congress has and will execute all the powers it deems necessary for calling a convention. This would likely include choosing the location and date of the convention, allocation of delegates from the states (whether proportional by population, congressional district, one per state, etc.), the method of ratification for any proposed amendments to the Constitution, and all other preliminary rules associated with the convention.”

Christ Troupis Book

…. “Put simply, the power to establish such rules resides exclusively with Congress. It is not a state-led process as Kapenga and others in the pro-Article V camp maintain.”

Allegation #2. The Idaho Legislature also has authority to codify in their state statutes additional mechanisms to control the conduct of delegates and limit special interest influence:

Mr. Gomez again, “Of course, once an Article V convention actually convenes, it would then be free to create its own agenda, including possibly even coming up with a new ratification process, as was the case with the Constitutional Convention of 1787. But this historical fact underscores even more the fact that the states cannot bind the work of the convention.”

…. “Despite Kapenga’s denial that a “Convention of the States” and a “constitutional convention” are the same thing, the text of this Article V application, cosponsored and introduced by a leading ASL delegate, demonstrates otherwise.”

Allegation #3. Mr. Loudenback also misleads Idahoans by citing a false statement by Joe Wolverton of The John Birch Society. Wolverton claims that conservatives are working together with progressives to re-write the Constitution of the United States. This is false:

Continuing with Mr. Gomez, “Despite the inclusion of pro-Wolf-PAC supporters such as Democratic State Representative Raymond Dehn of Minnesota in the ASL’s ranks, Representative Chris Kapenga and Senator Jason Holsman are eager to invite even more Democrats to further change the future makeup of the room. Why such a bipartisan eagerness to invite the Left to help make changes to the nation’s Constitution? The answer might lie in an e-mail from Michael Farris’ Convention of States, a project of Mark Meckler’s Citizens for Self-Governance (CSG).

“In an e-mail from Eric Burk, the Grassroots Coordinator for CSG’s Convention of States Project, Burk expressly states: “The plain and simple truth is that unless we can get both support from Republicans and Democrats, we cannot hope to get our application passed in 34 states.

“If the Right is making such bipartisan concessions now, before an actual Article V convention has convened, imagine how much further they would be willing to compromise at a second constitutional convention. What exactly would the results of a new, modern-day, “great compromise” be?

“Those who love the Constitution should be wary of Article V convention advocates who all too easily give false assurances as to the safety of such a convention. The Constitution need not be amended, but rather should be defended by upholding it. Changing the Constitution will not correct man’s failure to properly interpret or willingly obey it. Only through an informed electorate and the educational efforts of grassroots constitutionalist organizations dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution will this latest bipartisan assault on the Constitution be thwarted, assuring the continued blessings of liberty for America’s posterity.”

Allegation #4. They are not collaborating with Wolf-PAC which is a progressive group vying for a separate convention for campaign finance reform.

Mr. Maichle, I did not specifically identify Wolf-Pac as a collaborator. However, if you went to my version of this at which included links including the one to Joe Wolverton’s article “Socialists and Soros Fight for Article V Convention” via the linked words, “socialist and progressive collaborators,” Joe Wolverton stated that: “Wolf-Pac is one of the groups that this reporter suspects many Levin listeners would be surprised to know is their compatriot in a call for a con-con.

Read ‘Republicans and Democrats Working Together’ by going to my original article at and click on the linked words state legislators being in control of the process.

In this article, TNA’s Christian Gomez stated: “Mr. Dehn, who not only cosponsored SF 17, the Minnesota Senate version of the Wolf-PAC application, but also was the lead sponsor of the House version, HB 276. On the first day of ASL’s Indianapolis meeting, Dehn introduced himself as the “most left” leaning legislator present.”

Now my question. Is the Heartland Institute on the right side of the Climate Change fight merely to draw conservatives into their lair for exposure to their mantra that only a Con-Con can save us from the problems stemming from not following the Constitution, budgets, and enforcing laws? And again, who in their right mind could believe in the first place that the limited amendments they claim to want to create would be followed any more than current law.

The answers to righting America lies in adherence to law, law enforcement and nullification by responsible patriotic representatives elected by engaged citizens who are educated and informing others to also rid our system of ruinous leftists and neocons.

A quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: “A constitutional convention is a horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a constitution.

“Although COS would have one believe that a constitutional convention is a “different creature entirely” from an Article V convention or “convention of the states,” as they call it, this is simply not true.”

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