If you have been following this push for a convention, one can't help but notice it is a well-organized, well-funded effort taking place in many states, simultaneously. There also is strikingly similar language in many of the proposed bills in multiple states. Similar tactics are also being used to attract support such as the enticement of a balanced budget amendment and term limits.
The proponents claim that the delegates will somehow be the good people in your state legislatures and will be able to control the process from ever becoming a runaway convention. So what type of delegate selection process are the proponents proposing? Well, if we take a look at one of the latest bills regarding how these delegates could be selected, it can only be described as worse than your worst fears.
Thankfully, this latest bill concerning the delegate selection process died in committee in the Kansas state legislature but it gives us a window into how dangerous a convention could be if a similar bill eventually gets passed in state legislatures across our country.
In your state, just how much do you really trust your current Governor, Speaker of the House/Assembly and President of your state Senate? Are not these people usually the enforcers of "the establishment" and its agenda which is very often at odds with the will of the people? In Kansas bill SB431, these are the three specific people that would basically become the "Super Delegates" and it would be their exclusive responsibility to hand pick the other delegates. Their appointed delegates could also be replaced at any time during the process.
So there you go. This is what is being considered in at least one state as a possible or probable method of choosing delegates and who those delegates could actually be. The proponents have argued that there is no need to worry, for it supposedly would be a "controlled" and "limited" convention specifically dedicated to the tinkering of our constitution. Are you getting scared now?
On March 20, 2014, Kansas' constitutional Attorney Richard D. Fry of Defend,Not Amend testified before the Senate Standing Committee on Federal and State Affairs on SB431. In part, he pointed out the following:
The root problem with the Republic is that "We the people" are not holding our public servants, general or state, accountable. Until we do that, no change to the Constitution will matter. Once we do that, no change to the Constitution will be necessary.
In analyzing SB431 specifically, Mr. Fry also points to other concerns in addition to the obviously dangerous plan for selecting the delegates:
Under SB431, the delegates are limited by ever more vague and uncertain parameters as to what discussions they can participate in and issues they can vote on, and how to vote at the Convention. First, they are limited to the legislative "application" for the Article V, then the actual "call," which could be broader than the Kansas application, and finally, the "legislative instructions" which could be even broader and could be changed at any time, before or during the Convention.
Even if a new call for a convention has not been passed in your state, just as in Kansas, your legislature could be trying to pass a bill similar to this one to set-up a process for delegate selection using the excuse that it needs to pass one just in case a new call is eventually passed. Why put the cart before the horse unless there is in fact, every intention, to convene an Article V Convention in the not so distant future?
If your state legislature is still in session, be on guard for a bill coming forward that could be quite similar to the one that was proposed by this committee in Kansas. The text of SB431 can be found here. There was not enough time to get it through this session in KS but there may be plenty of time left for your state legislature to do so.