What is a Convention of States? Here is the definition from www.conventionofstates.com:
“A convention of states is a convention called by the state legislatures for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. They are given power to do this under Article V of the Constitution. It is not a constitutional convention. It cannot throw out the Constitution because its authority is derived from the Constitution.”
We asked Joliet resident Anthony Anderson why he has signed on to head-up the Illinois chapter of the Convention of States Project: “My participation with the Convention of States effort is because I want to do something – and this is something that can produce results. I want Illinois to be a part of the call for change in this country.”
The Convention of States Project? Many think it began with the publication of Mark Levin’s book, The Liberty Amendments – which opens with this:
“I undertook this project not because I believe the Constitution, as originally structured, is outdated and outmoded, thereby requiring modernization through amendments, but because of the opposite—that is, the necessity and urgency of restoring constitutional republicanism and preserving the civil society from the growing authoritarianism of a federal Leviathan.”
In his epilogue, titled “The Time for Action,” Levin writes that his “Liberty Amendments” and the call for a convention of states will be “assaulted by the government masterminds and their disciples” as extreme and heretical. In fact, however, it is the defenders of the status quo “who distort the Constitution’s text and trespass its purpose by actively pursuing its nullification and abandonment.”
Anthony Anderson agrees that this is an ambitious national effort – which some critics doubt is possible to pull off.
“What motivates me and drives me forward on a daily basis is the knowledge that there are many like-minded individuals who want to act,” says Anderson, “they’re not going to wait around for change to come – they’re willing to work to bring it about.”
Q: So Illinoisans are responding to the Convention of States idea?
A: “I’m receiving 20-25 unique emails per hour – people wanting to sign the petition, or help out in other ways.”
That’s a lot of people. Anderson has been a Republican Precinct Committeeman and has served on the “outreach committee” for the Illinois Republican Party. That “committee” never met.
Anthony on the IL GOP:
“You would think that the Illinois Republican Party would have our best interest at stake. My twenty years of being involved with the GOP here is that the Republicans don’t seem to be interested in changing things.”
Anderson is convinced that the high level of interest being expressed by Illinoisans in the Convention of States Project has much to do with the condition of things here in Illinois. According to Anderson, 10,000 Illinoisans have expressed either support, or at least interest, since the launch of the project.
“In Illinois, we were told that the election of Bruce Rauner as governor would bring change. So far, there’s a lot of fumbling going on. And a guy who makes $8,000 an hour seems like the wrong spokesperson to speak against raising the minimum wage.”
“Republicans told us nationally that we’d see change if we gave them control of the U.S. House. Nothing changed. ‘Just give us control of the U.S. Senate.’ Nada. We’re still not seeing much opposition from the opposition party..”
The Convention of States website describes the problem: “The Federal government has overreached its constitutionally-established boundaries and has its hands in almost every area of our lives.”
Illinois House Joint Resolution 61 has been introduced and currently has bi-partisan support. The Resolution “Makes application to Congress under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”
“My job is to manage it and organize the state,” Anderson said. “The grassroots level goal of the Convention of States effort is to appoint district captains in as many of the 118 districts as possible – with 80 percent coverage as the minimum. Each captain seeks to get at least 100 people to sign the petition and commit to calling their state legislators when it comes time to make an effort to get the Resolution adopted and signed by the governor.”
As with all legislation, Anderson says, “One of the best ways to get the attention of elected officials is to flood the Capitol switchboards at crunch time.”
While Anderson is no longer an elected Republican Precinct Committeeman, he is running as a Donald Trump delegate. Why Trump?
“When you believe in something you’ve got to act – and the reason I support an outsider like Trump is the same reason so many other people do. We’ve been sold a bill of goods from the Republican insiders, and that includes the conservatives.”
“Look at the Conservative Review Scorecard for our Illinois Republican delegation. Think about our past leaders in the IL GOP – and how they make headlines. Denny Hastert. Aaron Schock. Dan Rutherford. And now Adam Kinzinger who ran as a Tea Party candidate yet now scores an ‘F’ on the CR scorecard.”
“The federal government is so big – it would seem the average person couldn’t do anything about it. But they can by getting involved with the Convention of States – help us get petition signatures and then be ready to phone the General Assembly when the Resolution is called for a vote.”
To learn more visit www.ConventionOfStates.com.