Tag Archives: Salt Lake Tribune

The Benefits of Electing an Independent?

As an Independent American I am concerned at our dysfunctional State legislature. I am concerned about my district (senate Dist. 16) with a 16 year incumbent (Curt Bramble) with a 37 percent conservative ranking from Grassroots Index equaling an  ‘F’ grade for his lifetime voting record.

 

Whether it is Curt Bramble’s four-month abortion bill from the 2016 session, or the SB54 fiasco from 2014 session trying to short circuit the ‘Count My Vote’ movement and the grassroots move to open primaries to more candidates, or his vote for SB296 in 2015 to allow gender neutral showers, locker rooms or bathrooms. Bramble hasn’t met a fee or a tax that he hasn’t liked and voted for in his 16 years. What is a good man suppose to do, if not actively run against such a professional politician.

 

I understand Bramble is a very powerful man with 16 years of power-building under his belt, as well as having held a seat on the National Board of Directors of the American Legislative Exchange Council.  Or his pushing for School Vouchers – which the Utah Voters defeated by 66%. Or the gerrymandering of his District in 2012 for political expediency.

 

But do we want a man so dismissive of the voters wishes, so isolated from the voter’s viewpoints and ‘knowing better’ than the voters, or not trusting the voters as to over-ride multiple referendum issues in the last few years (Count My Vote, Ethics Commission, etc.).

 

I am Jason Christensen running for the Utah State Senate seat for District 16 on the Independent American ticket as a leader with Constitutionally correct principles, because, as Edmond Burke said:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.”

 

You may ask,  “ What good could an Independent American do in the State Senate and transform the Legislature into a functional body once again?”   It is simple, I could reach across the aisle to either Republicans or Democrats to get things done on Constitutionally sound and fiscally conservative issues.  I could reach across the aisle to both party members on Health Freedom issues, on  Privacy concerns, restoring due process of law (4th Amendment) and property right issues, on reforming election law in this state, campaign finance reform, state sovereignty, in restoring our second amendment rights, as well; thereby transforming the dysfunctional body into a more functional and correctly principled body of legislators.  I can bring up concerns of individual citizens such as water issues with the NSA and Facebook server farm outrageous water usage, or state tax reform and serious budget cuts, even zero-based budgeting?  Afterall, zero-based budgeting is good for every Utah household and why not apply it to state agencies and the state legislature?

 

This is the year to elect an Independent American – who is the lone challenger to a 16 year incumbent – instead of voting for a professional politican who has already had 16 years in the job.  As Orrin Hatch said in 1978,  “12 IS ENOUGH!”

 

Utah’s Biggest Tax Hike

TO:  Utah Media Outlets                                                              From:   Jason Christensen’s Campaign

IAP Candidate for Utah Senate, Dist. 16

 

Press Release for IMMEDIATE Release  as of  31 Aug 2016

 

Gas Tax Fiasco to be ‘fixed’ in Special Session

 

Once again the Utah Legislature, in its collective wisdom, has mucked this up!  Last year they raised the gas tax by about a nickel a gallon, for the first time in 19 years  –  according to reports -, promising the cities and counties a “boost in revenue” of about “17.5 percent this year.”  Big surprise, it  didn’t happen!

 

Promising anything and not being able to deliver the promise is essentially a LIE!  And our Legislature is exceptionally adept at continuing to lie to voters and still get re-elected.  This may be the one that catches Wayne Neiderhauser, Johnny Anderson, Greg Hughes and Company, et al.  This time, instead of lying to the students, teachers and parents of the state, to the voters who put them in office, they lied to their fellow elected officials of cities and county governments.   OOPS!

 

Midvale Mayor Joann Seghini is quoted as saying, instead of an increased “boost in revenue” this year, Midvale lost $71,215 (in a Salt Lake Tribune story, August 28, 2016, page B-1, by Lee Davidson).

 

The culprit was HB362, sponsored by retiring Rep. Johnny Anderson (R-Taylorsville) in 2015.  HB362 also allowed cities and counties to vote on Proposition 1`, the referendum which would supposedly “solve long festering” transportation problems and issues with the infrastructure.  Prop 1 failed.

 

Mayor Seghini also said, “My city [residents] voted for it [Prop 1], but Salt Lake County [voters] didn’t because they hate UTA [Utah Transit Authority],” so it failed, she said.  “We would have received $541,000 from it.  The loss of both of those impacted our ability to have a sustainable budget without a property tax increase.”

 

Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) says cities are being shortchanged by $8.5 million because of the legislature’s inept reformulations for the “B&C Road Fund,” the local share of state gasoline taxes.  But ULCT and the Association of Counties both worked on the calculations for the formulas.  “The calculations didn’t come out the way that they had hoped, so we made another adjustment to it in 2016,” Anderson is quoted as saying in the Tribune article.

 

The 2016 ‘legislative adjustment’ was in the form of HB60.  The ‘adjustment’ flipped things so the rural counties, with larger amounts of B&C road miles to maintain to benefit all state residents, “would see increases of about 82 percent” instead of the promised 17.5 percent.  The attorney for ULCT, Cameron Diehl, said the formula cuts the gas tax share of urban cities and towns.

 

“We are just trying to figure out a way to shift some of it back,”  said Lincoln Shurtz, a lobbyist for the Utah Association of Counties.  Both Diehl and Shurtz hope to present final calculations next month, in time for a special session in October to make the needed fixes.  Special Sessions cost taxpayers a minimum of $30,000, a costly ‘fix.’  Anyone wanna take a bet on efficacy of the fix?

 

Both Utah Senator Curt Bramble (R- Provo, District 16) and Rep. Kevin Stratton (R-Orem, District 48) voted for both HB362 and HB60 twice, like they can’t say ‘No’ to a tax increase!  This tax increase averaged an estimated $13 per $1000 out of citizen’s pockets.  The fiscal note to the bill states a business driving 12000 miles a year, with a vehicle making 25 miles per gallon, would pay an additional $24 a year.  A house valued at $250,000 could see an increase of $48 in 2016, due to this bill; because cities can now put additional taxes on either property tax notices or on each and every utility bill.

 

Jason Christensen’s solution to this morass of tax increases and costly additions is to scrap the whole bill and make actual serious cuts to pay for the B&C road maintenance as well as needful things in government. As the only challenger to the 16 year incumbent in Utah Senate District 16 race, and as a candidate on the Independent American Party ticket, Christensen is a proven principled conservative candidate.

Why I am running for House District 64

The reason as to why I am running is out of concern for my country and my country men, and the direction that our nation is heading. I was also concerned at the direction that Utah is heading as well. I thought to myself what was one to do? Well the answer was and still is that we must cleanse the inner vessel if we were ever to save the Republic. After all, to preserve the nation first and foremost starts with the individual, then the local communities, then the States, and lastly the Nation. Like John Adams stated concerning our sacred US Constitution.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

If we look at the State legislature for example, they are a pretty poor example of what a Constitutionally limited government is supposed to look like. In fact I’d argue that our State is quickly moving towards California, in regards to political ideology. With an average of 600 new laws being passed per year, with the proposals of California styled same gender laws, and proposed six million dollar tax incentives being offered to the NSA. My wish is to unite upon common ground and repeal any law that is in conflict with the State and Federal constitutions. To reduce taxation and to balance our own books with in this wonderful sovereign State of Utah. I could speak as to many other issues and or threats with in this State, whether it be Common Core, expansion of Medicaid part D, or any other issue that the Feds are forcing upon our free will at this current time. Which may I add; I am opposed too and have a plan for each important issue. The issues that I would like to speak to you about today is the issues of calling for a modern day constitutional convention and Nullification.

The resolution to call for one ambiguous constitutional convention call, has started right here in Utah since 2010 by representatives Ken Ivory, former representative Brad Daw, current State Senator Wayne Niederhauser, Speaker of the House Becky Lockhart, Governor Gary Herbert and others. All of which are republicans and are a part of the republican establishment in our State. All have been strong arming behind closed doors other elected representatives and senators for this Con Con (Constitutional Convention) agenda. This last year they even blocked and censored public comment on this very subject. Since 2010 they have blocked all attempts to nullify unconstitutional federal laws, such as Obamacare (ACA), and future and past unconstitutional anti-gun laws which are in conflict with the 2nd Amendment, etc. Please see both of my articles on the Con Con and the principle of Nullification on my campaign website at jasonthepatriot.com.

It was, thanks to God the almighty, that we preserved that last thread of the Constitution instead of severing it, with the stopping of the Con Con call (for now). My question to you is Why would the republican establishment work to block nullification on any future anti-gun bills last year? Why would the republican establishment block the nullification of Obamacare last year? Why would they want the feds to dictate to this Great Sovereign State of Utah what is NOT in Utah’s best interest? Why would the republican establishment work repetitively to call for one ambiguous constitutional convention call, while calling it by another name (Article V Convention)? What is their agenda? In this race for the House District 64, before I sought for the council with the Lord, I noticed that we didn’t have a good republican choice that would have a back bone to stand up to the republican establishment in this State, and the feds. The question is why? We need Independent voices on the floor of the State House. We need Honesty and Transparency. We need Traditional Moral Values.

Therefore: I commit to the unraveling of the insidious Common Core standards! I commit to showing a back bone to the Feds and our State leadership! I commit to promote a policy of nullifying unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful Federal laws and acts. I will continue to work tirelessly against any call for a constitutional convention, as well as encourage other States to rescind their calls! I commit to Stand in Defense of all individual God ordained rights, such as the right to defend ones self, property, persons and family! As well as ones right to own and control their own property! I commit to exposing corruption from within! I commit to Stand with our duly elected County Sheriffs in their efforts to stand by and defend our constitutionally recognized God ordained sacred rights! I commit to a policy of repealing any law in conflict with our State and Federal Constitutions! I commit to a policy of voting “Nay” to any law that flies in the face of our State and Federal Constitutions! I commit to being Honest and forthright! I commit to having a clear channel for those that I would represent in contacting me and voicing their concerns and opinions. In closing lets heed to the wise counsel given by the illustrious George Washington (father of these States united) given Nov. 19th 1794.

“Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of nations, to spread his holy protection over these United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our constitution; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition, and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity, which his goodness has already conferred, and to verify the anticipation of this government being a safeguard to human rights.”
I ask for your Prayers, your Support, your Help, and your vote. Please feel free and visit my website at jasonthepatriot.com. As well as my facebook page at facebook.com/jasonchristensenforhouse and or even call me anytime day or night at 801-400-1488. Thank you for your time and support.

Sincerely, Jason Christensen

The Threat to Liberty is another Constitutional Convention.

For the past six years now I, as well as many other Honorable patriots have been fighting this threat. This threat that has started recently by my own State of Utah elected officials! I have written a plethora of articles of warning individuals of this threat, I have even sounded the battle cry to defeat Rep. Brad Daw,  but because of recent circumstances those articles are now gone. So in the interest of time I am posting a opt ed piece,  as  well as a clarion call to all that may read this to take immediate action. Both of which were written by my mentor and closest friend Dr. Scott N. Bradley.

To all who love the United States Constitution and the Blessings of liberty it preserves:

I apologize for the length of this message, but understanding is critically important in this battle to preserve the blessings of liberty which were vouchsafed to us at such great cost.  Please consider this matter as something upon which the liberty of your unborn posterity rests.  Please read this, gather to the cause all who you can influence, and take action.

Thank you!

—Scott N. Bradley

Constitution-Convention Threat Originating in Utah

Tragically, Utah’s Legislature is in the forefront of the effort to call a constitution convention.  Advocates of this effort call it by many names to obfuscate the risk, but a rose by any other name is still a rose.

House Joint Resolution (HJR) 8, sponsored by Republican representative Kraig Powell, is moving through the legislative process and is currently under consideration in the House Government Operations Committee.  HJR 8 is a resolution which, if passed through the Utah Legislature, will result in Utah being added to a growing number of States which have applied to the United States Congress for the call of a convention.

The process by which the United States Constitution may be modified is defined in Article V of the United States Constitution.  To date, all 27 of the amendments to the Constitution have passed through both the U.S. House and Senate using the first and safest method, with 2/3’s margins in both houses, and being ratified by 3/4’s of the States.  The other option of a convention has never been applied since the ratification of the work of the 1787 Constitution Convention.  Certainly, other conventions have been held for many other purposes, but NONE of them have ever claimed the power to originate an amendment to the Constitution.

The un-tried and un-proven second method of modifying the Constitution requires 2/3’s of the States (34 States) to apply to congress for a convention, and then congress is required to call a convention.

Because of the unmeasured risks associated with a convention such as is being sought by HJR 8 and dozens of other similar resolutions currently under consideration throughout the United States, in 2001 the Utah legislature rescinded its previous calls for a convention in a near unanimous vote.

This year the movement to call such a convention has exploded upon the nation as a highly organized, cleverly disguised, powerfully promoted, and extremely well funded movement.  Advocates that have sought for many years to modify the document which has vouchsafed the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity for over 200 hundred years are co-opting good and caring Americans into support of this effort through fear.  Our magnificent Constitution is under assault as never before in our history.

The amendment movement is co-opting “conservative” issues that have developed (such as HUGE budget deficits) because those who hold the reigns of government have abandoned the limits and bounds defined within the plain English words of the United States Constitution.  To be blunt: They are violating the Constitution and have cast off their oath to uphold the Constitution.  The general population of the nation is guilty of continually returning these sycophants to office and are therefore party to these violations of the Constitution and the resulting problems.

In addition, there is a massive “left wing” “Move to Amend” movement which wants to see a convention called so they can manipulate the convention to their desired ends.  (See www.movetoamend.org.)

THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE CONSTITUTION!  WE HAVE SIMPLY STOPPED APPLYING IT.  ALL OF THE CHALLENGES THE NATION FACES WOULD BE RESOLVED IN VERY SHORT ORDER IF THE NATION AND OUR LEADERSHIP WOULD RETURN TO THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF THE CONSTITUTION AS BROUGHT FORTH IN THE BEGINNING.

An amendment, or a series of amendments, are not necessary and will not solve the nation’s challenges.  Those who hold office do not currently follow the Constitution.  We delude ourselves in thinking they will honor a new amendment.  We also delude ourselves in the hope that the delegates who attend the proposed convention if it is called will be made up of any other than the current crop of “leaders” who have crafted the disaster which currently faces the nation, whether they are selected from those who currently hold national office, or those who currently sit in the States and sop up the tasty unconstitutional pork proffered to the States by the national government.

While the advocates of the convention process promote the idea with great and naive hope as to its result, no one can predict and really knows the outcome of a convention (or two, or three or more conventions which will likely follow-on).  Despite flowery and eloquent promotion, it is ALL based upon supposition.  I am not willing to risk the United States Constitution on someone’s hopeful opinion.

We MUST stop the effort to call a convention.  Utah must take the lead in the effort to keep the Constitution from hanging in the balance—by a thread, if you will.

PLEASE contact the members of the House Government Operations Committee and implore them to defeat HJR 8 in the committee. Tell them it is imperative that the resolution NOT be advanced to the floor of the House.  The telephone number of the Utah House is 801-538-1029.  If you call the number, ask the operator to pass a note to the desired representative with your counsel.

In addition, PLEASE keep an eye on the Utah Legislature web site to discover when this committee will take public testimony on this resolution so you can (PLEASE) TAKE THE TIME TO TESTIFY REGARDING YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS RESOLUTION.

Following are the members of the House Government Operations Committee:

Rep. Jack R. Draxler (R), Chair email:  jdraxler@le.utah.gov
Rep. Ken Ivory (R), Vice Chair (Ardent advocate of the convention effort as long as he has been in the legislature.  He will likely seek to manipulate any contact made with him by those against a convention to further his efforts to call a convention.  He is a national advocate and spokesman for a convention and is fully and unequivocally committed to a convention.)
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D)  email:  rchouck@le.utah.gov
Rep. Janice M. Fisher (D)  email:  janicefisher@le.utah.gov
Rep. Keith Grover (R)  email:  keithgrover@le.utah.gov
Rep. John G. Mathis (R)  email: jmathis@le.utah.gov
Rep. Michael E. Noel (R)  email: mnoel@kanab.net
Rep. Lee B. Perry (R)  email: leeperry@le.utah.gov
Rep. Kraig Powell (R) (Sponsor of the resolution to seek a convention—HJR 8)
Brian J. Bean, Policy Analyst

Following are two papers addressing the issue of proposed conventions.

The first is a paper which I recently wrote which addresses the plethora of efforts which are under way to call conventions to change the Constitution.

The second is an excellent paper which Bliss Tew wrote to Val Peterson, a member of the Utah House, and some of the members of the House Government Operations Committee.

Perhaps some of the information found herein will be of value as you contact members of the legislature or seek to educate those you may influence in the matter.

The Epidemic of Calls for a Convention to Modify the United States Constitution
Scott N. Bradley
January 2014

The efforts to call a convention to modify the United States Constitution have reached epidemic proportions.  Numerous organizations have sprung up in favor of such an undertaking.  Virtually all are highly organized, powerfully promoted, and well funded.  They have succeeded in obtaining the endorsement of many in positions of prominence.  They promote a spectrum of approaches to bring about their intention to change the Constitution.  The Declaration of Independence recognizes the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and institute new government when their government does not secure the God-given rights they were instituted to preserve.

The United States Constitution incorporated in Article V of the Constitution a peaceful means by which that self-evident truth may be carried out:
Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Notwithstanding the numerous other methods and nuances promoted by the various proponents fostering their “flavor” of “convention,” Article V of the United States Constitution defines the ONLY constitutional method.  There is no other way to bring a convention about under the Constitution.  There are innumerable other possible ways to alter or abolish the government, but none of them are found under the terms defined within the Constitution.  And Article V of the Constitution is the sum and substance of the matter to date.  Numerous procedures to define the convention process have been proposed over the years, and many are promoted today, but NONE have been codified.  And efforts to create a “bullet-proof” codification of binding rules under which a convention (under any name by which it may be denominated) must be viewed with skepticism.

The truth of the matter is that a convention undertaken to modify the United States Constitution would be an autonomous deliberative body which may (or may not) undertake its proceedings within limited bounds based upon initial instructions it receives upon its calling.  The 1787 Convention was constituted “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation . . .”   The Articles of Confederation was the then-existing constitution of the United States, and the definition of “revising” as noted in the charge of the 1787 Convention is “amending.”  The 1787 Convention clearly understood and recognized their autonomous independence, and the convention set aside the existing constitution and wrote an entirely new one.  While the Articles of Confederation had a requirement that ALL States approve ANY changes to the constitution, without the prior input or approval of the States, the Congress, or the People, the men of the 1787 Convention included in the new constitution a lower standard for ratification.  When that lower standard of nine States, rather than the thirteen States required under the then-existing constitution was reached, the new constitution was considered fully approved and ratified.  Fortunately, the men of the 1787 Convention were good and noble men, well seasoned in the principles of liberty and properly limited government, so the outcome of the convention and ratification led to the United States becoming the greatest, freest, most prosperous, most respected, and most happy nation on earth for many generations.

Even in his day, soon after the Constitution was ratified, James Madison received a suggestion that the nation undertake another convention.  The United States Constitution was ratified during the Summer of 1788, so after that point a convention as defined under Article V (as suggested by some today) would have been the necessary process.  In November of 1788 James Madison responded to the suggestion of another convention as follows:

“If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, it would naturally consider itself as having a greater latitude than the Congress appointed to administer and support as well as to amend the system; it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partisans on both sides; it would probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric. Under all these circumstances it seems scarcely to be presumable that the deliberations of the body could be conducted in harmony, or terminate in the general good. Having witnessed the difficulties and dangers experienced by the first Convention which assembled under every propitious circumstance, I should tremble for the result of a Second, meeting in the present temper of America, and under all the disadvantages I have mentioned.”

Elsewhere I have written:

“Some will argue that Madison’s term “General Convention” means something different than the type of convention which could be called under Article V of the Constitution, that it means a convention called for the specific purpose of creating a new constitution.  However, “general” was often used during the founding era as pertaining to the national government as the general government. If used in that way, the term applies to any national convention to deal with the national constitution.  To examine how the Founding Fathers used the term, we may examine how Founding Father Noah Webster defined the term in his1828 American Dictionary, which defines “general” thus:

“1. Properly, relating to a whole genus or kind; and hence, relating to a whole class or order.  4. Public; common; relating to or comprehending the whole community; as the general interest or safety of a nation.”

“Regardless of the exact way he used the term, Madison expresses his concern about how another convention will overstep its charter, become extremely politicized, and become dangerous to the nation.  If Madison was concerned about the risks in his day, who would be so foolish to suggest that today we are in a political environment that is better suited to bring forth more sound doctrines of liberty and proper government?

“. . . . Where in all the world today may we find even one or two statesmen of the character and understanding exhibited by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, George Mason, James Wilson, James Madison, and the others who, under the inspiration of God, framed our marvelous Charter of Liberty: The United States Constitution?  We will search the world in vain for such individuals.  Who, today, will sit in the seats occupied by those who brought forth the Constitution of 1787?  NONE I would trust!”

The images of conventions today which are put out for public consumption are toothy “grip and grin” photo opportunities.  Cheering, enthusiastic party-faithful crowds are the background fodder for the unity promoted to assure the success of the convention’s effort.  The truth of the matter is that conventions for political undertaking are often slow motion bare knuckle brawls for power as the various factions wrestle for supremacy.  It has been observed that “government is not eloquence, it is not reason, it is force . . .”  Conventions for political purposes often are the embodiment of that axiom!

Hundreds of examples could be cited, but think of the skullduggery carried out in the convention environments in which Marx and Engels were selected to compile the Communist Manifesto in 1847, or the 1903 power struggle in the Second Party Congress between the Bolschevik and Menshevik factions, or the Beer Hall Putschs of the National Socialists during the 1920’s, or the 1952 railroad job done on the Republicans by the Eisenhower machine when Taft was ousted.

Yes, the various proposals for conventions to modify the United States Constitution are well-polished marketing pieces designed to deflect and deny any suggestions of risk, but they are no guarantee of everybody playing nice and above board. The proposals are generally written in a benign style of academic earnest hopefulness, promoting a belief in the hope that the proposed undertaking could possibly take the desired trajectory and have the desired outcome.  They are filled with hopeful terms like “should,” “could,” “might,” “possibly,” “ought,” “probably,” “depending,” “likely,” “reasonable,” “promise,” “nearly,” etc.  These are terms that leave “wiggle room” in the outcome.  All of the supposition and wishful projections are not sufficient justification for the immeasurable risks potentially associated with losing the document that has been the Charter of the Nation and vouchsafed our liberties for 225 years.

The old adage applies to the wishful thinking of the proposals for a convention: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”  All the wishful meandering and pontificating by those promoting a convention will not and cannot be guaranteed.

Regardless of the term by which the constitutional convention undertaking is obfuscated, be it a Constitution Convention, an Article V Convention, an Amendments Convention, a Conference of the States, or whatever, Article V of the United States Constitution says what it says (read it carefully):

“. . . on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, [Congress] shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments . . .”

When 2/3’s of the States apply, Congress SHALL call a convention.  And remember when the 1787 Convention was chartered it was for the purpose of amending the then-existing constitution.

Any variation on what the United States Constitution says in Article V about calling a convention is not constitutional, but may be another way to abolish the government.  Some of the current convention proposals suggest another approach, such as the thought that the States might band together in some kind of prearranged alliance that is intended to bring about changes.  This approach would arguably violate the Article I, Section 10 prohibition of States to enter into treaties, alliances, and confederations.

The bottom line is:  There is nothing wrong with the United States Constitution!  The problem is that the nation has stopped faithfully applying it.  Those who claim to love the Constitution and promote changing it are inconsistent.  If they love it they MUST abide by it.  ALL who hold office take an oath to the United States Constitution.  Those who hold office (and will likely sit in the seats of any convention which might be called) are oath-bound to uphold the Constitution.  Their actions in violation of the Constitution have led to the difficulties under which the nation currently suffers.  All of the challenges currently facing the nation are attributable to violations of the plain English words of the Constitution, and their original application.  Those who hold office ignore their oath, violate the Constitution at will, and are to be trusted to correct the resulting problems in a convention that could possibly eviscerate the Constitution of the limits and bounds which are already inherent in the document???!!!  One might reasonably ask: “Do we need an amendment that says ‘we really mean it this time?’” OF COURSE NOT!  The officers who violate the Charter of the Nation now will continue to violate it, even if modified.

And suppose for a moment a convention is called and it limits its actions to a single issue as some propose, and the issue successfully goes through the ratification process by 3/4’s of the States.  What does that encourage?  ANOTHER CONVENTION, AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER until the United States Constitution is a tattered rag that bears small resemblance to the original noble document, or it is ultimately scrapped altogether.  Either way, We the People lose.  And so do our posterity.

The corrective course is for We the People to become a virtuous people, well-schooled in the limits and bounds of the government bequeathed to us at such great cost in the body of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to educate our fellow-Americans in these principles, to promote them in word and deed, to elect soundly-founded representatives who will abide in their oath of office, and a willingness to correct any variance from the standard by those elected officials (or bureaucrats tasked with the responsibility to faithfully fulfill constitutional laws).

We do not need to “correct” the Constitution.  We and our officials must abide by it.  By so doing we will again become the greatest, freest, most prosperous, most respected, and most happy nation on earth.

—Scott N. Bradley

Bliss Tew’s letter:

Dear Utah State Representative Val Peterson:

Perhaps it has been forgotten that in February 2001 a resolution sponsored by Utah State Representative Fred Fife (D) to rescind Utah’s former applications to the U.S. Congress to call an Article V Convention was passed by both houses of Utah’s Legislature- HJR15.

HJR15 passed in the Utah house 67 to 0 with 8 absent. On February 27, 2001, if my diary is correct, the rescission resolution HJR15 passed the Utah Senate without a single dissenting vote. Those Utah legislators just thirteen years ago rescinded all previous applications to the U.S. Congress for the calling of an Article V Convention, called at the time a Constitutional Convention as it had been long labeled. Even though a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) had been the cause for which Utah had previously applied to Congress for Congress to call a Convention for proposing amendments, nevertheless Utah’s legislature rescinded Utah’s applications.

But now the BBA is revived and a new national promotion of the idea is coming from radio talk show host Mark Levin, from retire professor Robert Natelson’s promotion through ALEC, Nick Dranias, Michael Farris, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck. Surely we can trust these professors and pundits to have researched all the pitfalls, right? Maybe, maybe not. They certainly constitute a corroboratory media for those desiring the Convention call.

Is this question the most important concern Utah’s legislature will consider this year since the Constitution hangs upon the thread of your decision? This 2014 legislature, like the 2001 legislature, has a momentous choice to make- defend the Constitution or amend the Constitution.

HJR008, sponsored by Representative Kraig Powell, seems like a good “quick fix” to many legislators today if they have not yet had time to consider the drawbacks of initiating an Article V Convention for proposing amendments (plural) to our Constitution.  Opening such a Pandora’s Box and thinking that such a Convention can be held to one proposed amendment ignores the language of Article V itself and the fact that the deliberative Convention once called will be an autonomous Convention that will make its own rules. Who can guarantee that no delegates from the other 49 States will propose other Amendments, even harmful amendments to the Constitution at the Convention? Even if it were a misdemeanor to do so (that’s what the bill in Wyoming proposes) would delegates fear a misdemeanor charge when they could shape the Constitution?

Yes, there are lawyers in Utah’s legislature that are championing this process and assuring everyone that somehow the process can be contained and controlled. Perhaps we are supposed to feel assured by the opinions of lawyers, but those opinions are still merely opinions. The fact is that no Article V Convention has ever been called so we have yet to see what will happen at such a convention until it is called. We have in the past seen what happened at the 1787 Convention and perhaps that is the closest model we can look at to see what to expect, though even that Convention was not an Article V Convention since Article V was written at that 1787 Convention. That 1787 Convention actually changed the rules for ratification of its own production.

The Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) being suggested has escape hatches provided in it for Congress to deficit spend in times of crisis or war. When are we not in a crisis and a war, or even more than one war? How will the budget be balanced? Will it be by Congress cutting spending? Nothing in the BBA requires that as the method of balancing the budget does it? Then how about raising taxes to balance the federal budget? Oh that is allowed by a BBA. How about expanding the money supply of paper money through turning up the printing presses? That is not forbidden either. So hyperinflation of the currency could be used to balance the budget as Abraham Lincoln’s government did to some extent during the Civil War when he had “green backs” that were not backed by gold or silver printed to pay for war costs. Money was created out of paper to an unlimited extent and spent by the war department as needed to acquired necessities of war, a type of inflationary hidden tax. Is that what the BBA will bring us?

Is there anything in the BBA that requires Congress to stop its spending upon unconstitutional departments created without regard to the few delegated powers the Constitution actually granted to Congress, or stop its spending undeclared wars and military adventures as a global cop for the UN and NATO, or unconstitutional giveaways like foreign aid? Nope.

Isn’t it true that the Congress has the power today to actually cut spending and balance the budget by a vote of 1 over 50%? Then, why the need for a BBA and an Article V Convention? Will Congress, who ignores the Constitution so often now, obey a new amendment? In what way will they obey it?  Is the BBA really just a handy cause célèbre to excite interest in convening the Article V Convention so that other revisions to the Constitution can be put forth? What special interests and hidden agendas are awaiting the Convention call?

Representative Peterson, Congress itself is a constant Amendments Convention isn’t it? Can’t Congress at any time propose amendments to the Constitution and pass such amendments by a 2/3rds vote on to the State legislatures or to the State Ratifying Conventions? Yes, Congress is empowered by Article V to do that. We have seen 27 amendments passed through Congress to the States, haven’t we? Are they all good amendments? How about the 16h Amendment or the 17th Amendment? Didn’t the States still ratify those arguably bad amendments?  Then, what if dozens of amendments are proposed at an Article V Convention, couldn’t some new amendments pass the States ratification process at the 16th and 17th amendments did and prove to be unwise amendments too? Sure. Proof is seen in historical fact, not just opinions, right? If one amendment emanating from Congress as a proposal is a consuming concern of debate for a legislature, what would happen if many proposed amendments come to the legislature from an Amendments Convention, would each amendment proposal get the deliberative attention it should have?

What about representation at the Article V Convention; who decides how many voting delegates each state will have? Congress decides don’t they, since Congress calls the Convention. We are assured by proponents of the Convention that representation will be based on “one state, one vote” as the model as that has been the case at other conventions, but where in Article V is such an arrangement specified? Oh, it is not specified. Then, what if California’s Congressional delegation wants a proportionality rule for number delegates. After all California has 53 U.S. Representatives, Wyoming has 1, Utah has 4, Montana has 1. Won’t the big states like California and New York desire to see democracy in action through proportionality of representation as is seen in the Electoral College and the U.S. House of Representative? Shouldn’t that be the case at an Article V Convention as well, they will ask. And they will outvote Utah in Congress upon that question won’t they?

Val, I urge you, let our legislature not apply to open the Article V Convention at this juncture, no matter what name the proponents call it by “Convention of the States,” or “Amendments Convention,” etc.,  but rather let us try other ways of addressing the problems we are facing with the U.S. Congress and President. The root of our problems remain an electorate made up of voters largely ignorant of their Constitution and therefore not holding Congress and the President accountable to the Constitution. The Constitution is the solution not the problem.

Please oppose HJR8. Defend the Constitution from the left-leaning coalition of hundreds of organizations just dying to see the Constitution opened to an Article V Convention for proposing amendments: www.movetoamend.org.

Kind Regards,
Mr. Bliss W. Tew- Utah Citizen
909 West 500 North
Orem, UT 84057

P.S. Yes, I am the Regional Field Director of The John Birch Society. Perhaps Rep. Ken Ivory who wants to see an Article V Convention called will make a point of my employment, but the information I’ve supplied is as true as any to consider. Just because The JBS has historically opposed the calling of an Article V Convention doesn’t mean JBS or JBS employees or members are somehow behind the times in our knowledge about Article V; quite the contrary. While I’ve read Mark Levin’s chapter in his book where he promotes an Article V Convention,  read Policy Reports by Robert Natelson on the topic, and even talked with leading-proponents of the Convention, I remain unconvinced by their assurances that they can hold a limited convention.  Instead of the Convention route, if you’d like to discuss ideas of other ways to address our problems with the Federal government I’m at your disposal.

CC: selected members of the House Government Operations Committee: Rep. Jack R. Draxler (R), Chair, HGOC, Rep. Keith Grover (R)  , Rep. John G. Mathis (R)  , Rep. Michael E. Noel (R)

Tale of Two Cities.

Well you might of guessed it, in this article I am going to compare two cites. The city of Detroit and my home town of Provo Utah, which by the way I am a candidate for the Provo City Mayor position. I know what you may be saying “well I do not live in Provo”. Well you can still apply what you learn in this article and this comparison to your own city, because if you look deep enough I am sure that there is a a good majority of other cities out there in the same predicament as Provo and or Detroit.

Before I get started let me first state what the proper role of governance is to protect ones Liberty and to Promote the general happiness. With such areas like police, fire, infrastructure. Infrastructure such as roads, sewage, water, etc. Another proper role that government should be involved with is not only providing a transparent republican form of governance, but one that performs routine audits of all the city programs so that the city is running lean and mean.

Think back to the 1950’s when Detroit was up 2 million in population, 6 auto manufacturers,   an extremely hustle and bustle time for the once great metropolitan cities. Now Detroit is bankrupt, ruined and looking to rebuild. Why and how could such a travesty occur in an American city that fostered such wonderful ideas using the free enterprise system?! America’s heart land?! Well I will tell you briefly. In the fifties politicians started “and had been” wasting money in areas that they had no right to. Areas such as the Fords Theater, Resonance Center, The People Mover, etc. Encouraging this tax and spend scam promoting their version of government ran business and or government ran welfare system. Funding these areas first before they funded the necessities allowing the crime to sky rocket the debt to sky rocket and the roads to waste away. Now they have about 40 billion dollar debt, a 1-2 month response time for the police, etc. Heck from time to time they even had rioting with in the city in the late sixties and seventies.

My home town of Provo Utah has many of the similar situations. Currently we have an Art’s Center with about 500,000 in tax subsidies. A 53 million dollar after interest Recreation Center that we will be paying on for the next 19 years. An 80 million dollar IProvo debt after interest “internet company”, and no Google is not paying a cent of that debt. Two past road bond debts totaling 15 million dollars after interest. A Library that will finally be getting paid off in February. A Golf course that sometimes loses money or breaks even. The city has seen over 240 different fee increases and or creation of new fees. There is talk of creating a separate road fund fee to add to the Utility bill, when the bill is supposed to be used for the power company which the city also owns. The city is still in threat of seeing property tax increase. In the year 2014 there will be discussions to implement a RAP Tax. According to the most recent proposal for the bicycle trail city wide project. The first phase will cost the city 5.5 million, and one can only assume that the other two phases will cost the same per phase totaling an estimate 17 million before interest. Which may I add the city just barely got done with a “truth in taxation” hearing looking for ways to fund the roads and at no time was this bicycle plan was mentioned as being apart of the road reconstruction. Which by the way that bicycle plan also eludes to a CARE Tax. The city has passed a mandatory opt out not in recycling program raising that those fees as well. The city has created a Poverty Fund declaring war on poverty. The city continues to reauthorize the HUD program. Which mandates the city to match any level of private donation to housing projects while keeping the addiction to the federal funds which I like to call crack cocaine. That program also forces the city to stay up on maintenance costs of the projects. In central/west provo in the area where the Boulders Apartment complex resides “federal government housing” crime is through the roof, I suspect it is because of that federal subsidized housing. The city has welcome UTA’s front runner with open arms and continues to do so with UTA’s rapid transit system. The citizens continue to be ignored while the corporations get their way, and over 30% property rights violations with in the city “violations of the Constitution”.   To top it off the Mayor took a 20 thousand pay raise from 100k to 120k per year.

Now if we look at what has gone on nation wide since the fifties, and what is coming down the pipe line. Looking at our currency since we first started going off the gold standard in the thirties and finally off of the gold standard under the Nixon years in the seventies.  We have seen an inflationary rate of our dollar since 1970 of 4.29% annually, and 3.22% annually since the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. We have seen this flawed Boom and Bust cycle thanks to Keynesian economics instituted since the turn of the century. Making the span of the busts between the booms closer and closer together. The last boom that we saw because of this form of Keynesian policy was President Obama’s Stimulus plan in 2009. Which lasted about a year is all.  Right now currently our nation is faced with yes the currency bubble that is expected to burst soon, the student loan bubble to burst soon. The Housing/derivative bubble that we still have not seen the bottom of, and over 100 trillion dollars unaccounted for world wide. Traditionally speaking it only takes one major event to get the ball rolling with all of these bubbles bursting.

What can we do now? Well it is simple get out of debt as a city and as individuals, build ones food storage from an individual level, build that relationship closer with God and his Laws, get involved now at your city and local government levels. Keep them in check! With that in mind we must awaken as a people to take the bare basic step and vote in our local elections. Situations like Provo’s 9% voting participation rate in the primary is not only pitiful and sad. We can do much much better. I know that we can and I have hope that we can.