Convention of States Project writing own rules for a “convention”

By Rasputin

Well well well. The Convention of States Project had a busy week.

Not only have they made it clear they think they are “in charge” through denigration of critics and legislators, ad hominem attacks on detractors, and allowing people on their FB page to get away with threatening those who disagree; now they think they have made it clear they are totally in charge of any “convention” and are writing the rules for said convention, and expecting all state legislators in the country to go along with them. Those who don’t believe in their project and “rules” be damned.

Rasputin got wind of this from CoS Project Facebook page. Convention of States Project Launches Legislator Caucus.  Screen shot of their presser below:

Convention of States caucus announcement

The first order of business—and something that hasn’t been accomplished by other Article V groups, the COS Caucus will be discussing and finalizing a set of rules for a Convention of States, the first draft of which will be announced on Thursday, July 23rd, at an evening reception during the upcoming American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting in San Diego, California.

“There have been concerns about what a Convention of States will look like – what the rules will be and how the Convention will proceed,” said Michael Farris, Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies and co-founder of the Convention of States Project. “The rules we’re proposing, once agreed upon by a majority of state representatives, will answer those concerns.”

Oh really? One FBer had this reaction to their announcement:

CoS FB commenter on caucus

Rasputin couldn’t have said it any better. And three out of the four, whom are part of the Convention of States “team,” say will write said “rules” which will be beholding to all of the 7,383 state legislators in the country.

Rasputin is normally pretty dour, especially when I’m counseling Czarina Alexandra, but now I’m LMBO. Farris and Meckler’s audacity and chutzpah are at the point where they are laughable.

They claim this was all hammered out at a meeting in San Diego July 23 and 24 this year, just two days ago, in conjunction with ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council. This group purports to give input to other states’ legislatures about the kinds of experiences they have had and how to make states better.

Here is the page where state legislators can give “input” into Meckler’s and Farris’ “rules”:

CoS caucus welcomes state legislators

ALEC says speakers at their caucus, among others, were Ted Cruz and Scott Walker.

ALEC speakers at 2015 San Diego meeting

Looking up Cruz’s schedule tells us on the 23rd he was in DC at a protest rally of the Iran deal. And on the 24th most of us heard the shouting even all the way to Alaska when he was in the Senate chambers calling Sen. Mitch McConnell “a liar.”

And as far as Walker goes, he has been on a 1,000 mile campaign tour with his boys. Way… far from San Diego.

Could either or both have grabbed a plane for a quick trip to San Diego? Possibly, but not likely. As far as Rasputin is concerned it’s up to ALEC to prove they were there.

And finally, one cannot leave a post on Mssrs. Meckler, Farris and their cabal without a salient tweet. This from @BearlyThere in response to CoS supporter Sen. Jason Rapert:

CoS twit comment did you book closet or bathroom



Great research journalism, Rasputin. You should be working for CBS so they can fire you like they did Sharyl Atkisson. By now Meckler & Co knows there's pros over here, and will quit sending pissants to yip and yap at our heels. This is isn't a big site in volume, but the quality of commentary is remarkably high, and I'm told the quality of readership is even higher and growing every week. And slowly, even for the thumb-suckers on Meckler's team, it's becoming apparent what this site is all about, not the Constitution but meanness, hubris, and demagoguery. With the Republican Party abandoning any semblance of high standards, we may be the last sentinels standing.


I think these COS leaders are delusional if they believe they can write rules which BIND delegates to an Article V convention.  Or do the COS leaders think that America's State legislators are so ignorant and unthinking that they can be manipulated into believing that Rules written by COS leaders will BIND Delegates to a Convention?  

One of the first things the delegates to the federal convention of 1787 did [prepare yourself for a shock] was TO WRITE THE RULES FOR THE PROCEEDINGS.  One of the rules they made was to make their proceeding secret.  Don't take my word for it!  See for yourself from Madison's Journal of the Convention:

What if delegates to a convention today decide to do the same thing?  Write their own rules and make their proceedings secret?  And behind closed doors, write a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification?

It is impossible to control delegates to an Article V convention.


But supporters in my state said our legislators would represent us, not Meckler et al. That's not true?

How much do Meckler et al stand to make under the guise of saving the country?


I've been trying to find their "rules" but apparently the peons aren't allowed to see them. I think a lot of these legislators ARE that ignorant they just will follow along like lemmings. The key is getting what they say can do to them. Just another way to string this thing along and get more donations.


Maggie, I wish I knew how much they are making with their perpetual "donate" button. I would spread it hither and yon. But I'm sure it's a ton via the "HerbalLife" model Meckler set up. Along with Jenny Beth. Who I'm sure is taking a cut since TPP is "all in" with changing our constitution.

We just need to change the peeps in the 3 branches of government. Not our beloved Constitution.


@LadyImpactOhio1 Actually, we *do* need to change the Constitution. Well, amend it. There is no balance of power any more; it's completely out of whack.

First, the states have no representation in the federal government. As it stands now, US Senators represent the people who elected them; they do not represent the states. We need to revoke the amendment that made Senators popularly elected and restore the power to appoint them to the governments of the several states.

We need to set term limits for all three branches. First, we must limit the executive and legislative branches to two terms each. Second, we must limit supreme court justices to a single 18 year term and stagger the terms; every two years a judge is replaced.

We need an amendment that prohibits anyone who has occupied a sworn office in the federal government (appointed or elected) from working with the federal government in any capacity--other than as a private citizen--for a period of 14 years after leaving that office.

We need an amendment that allows only private citizens representing themselves may interact with their congressmen in the US capitol. All others may interact with congressmen only at their home offices; this includes political parties which are, in fact, special interests.

We should have an amendment that (1) clearly states that every law can mean only what it meant when it was enacted and (2) makes it treason to redefine our language in order to change the original meaning and/or intent of any law. Of course, most law other than the Constitution can be changed through the legislative process; this doesn't change that. (Aside, now that I've had time to think on it, I believe the French were right to protect their language.)

Basically, we need to get rid of the career politicians and their enablers. We need to get rid of the unaccountable people who control and corrupt those we send to Washington to balance the interests of the several states against those of the people.

Rasputin1869 moderator

Neal, that's quite a laundry list you have going there. Might as well rewrite the entire document, which Obama would love to do.

But apparently you haven't read our tab at the top, "why we are here." We are not here to debate whether or not an Article V Convention is good or bad. We are here to draw attention to the antics of Mssrs. Meckler and Farris and their cabal and the lemmings who blindly follow them.

Even if we were in favor of an Artivle V, it's the height of hubris for these two men and a handful of state legislators to "write the rules." There are other Article V groups out there. What if they decide to write their own rules? It's like me writing the rules for the NBA and telling them they stick.

I have a sneaking suspicion Farris and Meckler are getting desperate and decided they needed to pull a new rabbit out of their hat. With only 4 states in 2 1/2 years, and 34 needed, the natives may be getting restless and they are afraid their gravy train will dry up so they've come up with a new gimmick and therefore the "donate" button can still stay.


@LadyImpactOhio1 Yes, and what's really frustrating are the number of people who will support a shyster like Meckler, give him $$$ and "trust" him to make the rules. Yet you can't get those same people to spend a few hours at a local GOP meeting or donating to and working on a campaign to elect more conservatives to help those who are already there. There are no short cuts or silver bullets.


@NealMurphy @LadyImpactOhio1 Who exactly is the "we" you speak of? Frankly, I think the framers of the Constitution did a nice job, but if "we" were going to amend it, I don't want Meckler or his buddy Lessig the leftist anywhere near it. That said, not everybody agrees with your laundry list. For example, we already have term limits. It's called elections. Why on earth should I have to give up the conservative I worked to elect just because you and your buddies can't get out the vote and do the same? If you aren't happy with your congressman, then find a conservative to run and work for him.

By the way, the executive branch is already limited to two terms. As for the Supremes, perhaps you missed the downside of term limits. We would lose Thomas, Scalia and Alito, and there's no guarantee you'd get anywhere near the scholars they are. You want better justices? Get involved at the local level, get to know your local judges, and make sure the judges who are elected and/or appointed are conservative. Those are the judges who make their way up the ladder.

Finally, I remain surprised that on one hand COS supporters constantly bash Republicans, yet on the other claim that we need not worry about the rules or the amendments to be put forth because that will be done by state legislatures* that are controlled by a "Republican" majority, only to hear another round of bashing of those state legislators who won't repeal Common Core, balance their state budgets, require CCW's, etc.  

*only maybe not if left up to Meckler, et al.


@NealMurphy @LadyImpactOhio1 I'm curious, Neal, what you think about the alignment between Meckler and ALEC.

"ALEC, the acronym by which the group is known, promotes model legislation for state lawmakers on business-friendly issues, including "right-to-work" measures to prohibit companies and unions from requiring employees to be union members.

Opponents have pressured companies to break ties with ALEC over the group's positions on the environment, criminal justice and other matters, and ALEC has suffered high-profile defections.

Bill Meierling, a group spokesman, said the "vast majority" of corporate departures occurred after Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman while walking home in Florida in 2012. Less than two months after the killing, ALEC ended its support of stand-your-ground self-defense laws, he said.

About 2,000 predominantly Republican state lawmakers belong to ALEC, along with about 300 corporations, policy advocates and others, Meierling said."

It appears that ALEC put the interests of its corporate members before those of individuals with regard to the stand your ground self-defense laws. Why would I trust any group that does that?

Lizzie B
Lizzie B

It will be interesting to see the reaction of these 7,000 state legislators when they find out 2 lawyers they don't even know are making "rules" for a non-existent "convention."