This proposal calls for a convention with the broad purpose of limiting the powers of the federal government, imposing fiscal restraints on federal spending, and applying term limits for Members of Congress. Embedded within the legislation of this resolution is vague language lawmakers have intentionally placed – thus illustrating the very real possibility of a runaway convention.
This particular campaign has major resources behind it, including at least $500,000 from the Mercer family (known for their support of President Trump and Republican candidates) and large contributions from the Koch-connected Donors Trust.
The well funded campaign led by Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler, Texas mega donor Tim Dunn, and former U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC).
Mark Meckler in particular has been very open about his ideas for what an Article V convention could do. He recently told conservative commentator Mark Levin (a fellow supporter) in an interview on Fox News that the Convention of State’s goal is “to reverse 115 years of progressivism.” A Constitution amended according to their vision would radically change our system of federalism, and not in a good way.
The Convention of States campaign has gathered major endorsements from leading conservative media personalities, elected officials, and special interest groups, including Senator Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Senator Rand Paul, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sean Hannity, Pete Hegseth, Allen West, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and others.
Not only are they well funded, but they are preparing for a win. In September of 2016, the Convention of States held a mock convention to come up with proposed amendments to the Constitution. Over 120 state legislators from all over the country convened to pretend to overhaul the U.S. Constitution.
Since the mock convention, the Center for Public Integrity has found that legislators in at least 27 states have proposed bills calling for a real convention. This convention was funded by secret money – Meckler and his two groups, Citizens for Self-Governance and Convention of States Action, paid at least $130,000 combined for 81 lawmakers to attend the mock convention.
In total, the mock convention was attended by 137 people, including more than a dozen academics, former legislators and businesspeople, according to Convention of States Action.
The results show they plan to use a convention to implement an extreme agenda into the Constitution and how a convention cannot be limited. The changes they proposed would forever alter the federal government and put civil rights and needed programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at risk.
This is not an issue that affects only one party if implemented. It would affect all members of all parties and the constituents they represent.
An editorial by Tulsa World put it best by saying, “A runaway convention, and that is very possible, could be a threat to the Bill of Rights. Liberal states might try to alter the Second Amendment. Conservatives might want to change the First Amendment making Christianity the official religion of the country. There are no limits or restrictions on what such a convention could address.”
The fundamentals on which our current political parties stand are at risk with an Article V convention – the rights that every American holds dear, regardless of political affiliation – will be at risk.
In the last five years, the Convention of States resolution has passed in 15 states: Georgia, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah, and Mississippi.