Mark Meckler, president of Convention of States Project (COSP), sidesteps the arguments of his conservative opposition. That's most likely because Meckler's responses aren't logical, and his adversaries' arguments ring true to Republican state legislators whose votes Meckler needs on his Article V convention applications.1
Instead, Meckler deceives Republicans by playing the victim to leftist, globalist billionaire George Soros. Since April 2017, COSP operatives have spread the false narrative that Soros has declared war on them. But in fact, backers of COSP are on the same side as Soros in their quest to rewrite our Constitution at an Article V convention AKA "constitutional convention," "con-con," or "convention of states."2What seems to have triggered the "George Soros is against us" fabrication was a letter signed by over 200 national, state and local leftist organizations released by Common Cause on Good Friday 2017. The letter urged state legislators to oppose efforts by convention proponents asking Congress to call an Article V convention, and to rescind all previously passed Article V convention applications from their states.
After the Good Friday letter was released, Meckler sprang into action. He accused Soros of being behind the effort against him, implying the left-leaning groups were receiving Soros money for the purpose of defeating COSP. No one pushed back. So convention operatives became more and more brazen with their false claim. By July 2017, former US Senator Jim DeMint, who is on Meckler's payroll, declared with conviction on Red-eye Radio3 that "George Soros and all of the liberal groups" had signed the Good Friday letter. Not true, but COSP's purpose was served. Who would bother to verify it?
In fact, in addition to Soros, there are hundreds of progressive groups that didn't sign the letter. The Left, as well as the Right, is split on this issue; and Soros money is widely distributed among leftist organizations. Conspicuously missing as a cosigner of the Good Friday letter is Wolf-PAC, the radical group that is leading the national charge from the Left in promoting an Article V convention. Move to Amend (MTA) is a coalition of hundreds of radical leftist groups formed to promote an amendment to the US Constitution to overturn the Citizens United decision. Most MTA-affiliated groups don't oppose the convention method 4 of amending the Constitution and, therefore, didn't sign the Good Friday letter.
Like Meckler's globalist backers from the phony Right, Soros is linked to promoting Article V convention applications all over the country from the radical Left, with his money on Wolf-PAC and its media arm, Young Turks. HERE Soros is given credit for Wolf-PAC's 2014 success in Vermont, the first state to ask Congress to call an Article V convention, ostensibly to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and to limit political speech. And that effort continues today.5 Wolf-PAC and Young Turks were both founded by Cenk Uygur; Young Turks has been identified as part of Soros's Media Consortium.
At times COSP adds other progressive bugaboos to the mix, including Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and anyone else that might elicit a knee-jerk reaction of revulsion in diehard Republicans. HERE COSP ally and talk show host, Mark Levin, dissects a Hillary Clinton recording. First, Levin announces that Clinton is worried about a "convention of states." He then cuts to 20 seconds of Clinton alluding to a "constitutional convention." Ironically, COSP operatives also claim to be opposed to a "constitutional convention" which they falsely claim is different than a "convention of states." Levin had to put words in Clinton's mouth and defy his own twisted logic in order to set up Clinton as an archenemy of COSP to "prove" to Hillary-loathing Republicans that Levin is on the side of goodness and truth.
Meckler has added the "Soros-is-against-us" mantra to his repertoire, appearing to believe it himself. Meckler often invokes George Soros rather than answering hard-hitting objections to an Article V convention. For example, when cornered on Fox News' Steve Hilton show by conservative pundits Jason Chaffetz and Tomi Lahren on July 29, 2018 (at 5:24), Meckler goes for the jugular with an emotional, albeit false assertion: "I would ask Jason and Tomi if they understand who they're standing with. Every single radical leftist Marxist communist group in America has stood against us. Soros, Hillary Clinton personally has spoken out against us..." Meanwhile COSP claims they have a "non-partisan solution to a bi-partisan problem." Go figure.
In this deceptive video, amid ominous background music, COSP contends that Soros-funded organizations have been "caught on camera" lobbying legislators to oppose Article V convention applications. Laughably, COSP's "proof" of a supposed conspiracy against them is two individual presenters from two liberal organizations in two states; each of whom used similar language testifying against COSP legislation. That's likely because COSP has been introducing largely identically-worded applications6 in almost every state for the past five years! You can be sure that in those states where hearings were held, testimony supporting COSP applications would sound like an echo chamber if spliced together as well.Committee hearings are often recorded and archived online by legislatures. This promotes public access and transparency in government. It is ludicrous to associate public testimony with the phrase "caught on camera," which is reminiscent of treachery and hot mics.
At the same time, COSP claims that all conservatives support an Article V convention. On the same Fox/Hilton show (at 6:04), Meckler falsely stated, "every major conservative figure in America – scholar or television personality – has spoken out [for an Article V convention]." But Meckler fails to mention his impressive conservative opposition: Campaign for Liberty, Eagle Forum, Freedom First Society, John Birch Society, Gun Owners of America, National Association of Gun Rights, Oath Keepers, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, and more. He also fails to mention eminent jurists and scholars and the brilliant men who framed our Constitution, including four U.S. Supreme Court Justices.
COSP hasn't been able to win their arguments with truth and logic. But they've managed to convince dozens of well-known politicians, pundits, and public figures to endorse their cause. The endorsements are then used to induce the rest of us to jump on the bandwagon. The endorsers generally know little to nothing about our Constitution. And we don't know if their endorsements are a result of the bandwagon effect, paid advertising, money in their pocket, or something else. COSP bankrolled former US Senator Tom Coburn for $240,000 in 2016 alone. Tens of millions of dollars from undisclosed sources have flowed into the coffers of the convention lobby from globalists pushing a convention where our Constitution is at risk. We need to educate ourselves on the issue so as not to be fooled by paid endorsers echoing the party line. Their views don't hold a candle to those of our Framers.
In order give the impression of widespread citizen support, COSP has been collecting signatures on petitions for years through its pricey computer software. Two Idaho legislators have called attention to petitions they've received, digitally "signed" by some constituents who, when contacted, said they never signed. Representative Priscilla Giddings called this practice "hi-tech fraud." Representative Dorothy Moon called it "dirty tricks." COSP apparently accumulates signatures for life (or longer): in 2016, a South Dakota state senator received a petition from his dead neighbor! Meckler claims to have an "army of 3.7 million." By way of comparison, China's army is 2.7 million, and China has four times our population! Where are all the dedicated COSP soldiers? It isn't difficult to join Meckler's army, as some grassroots opponents have found after being inadvertently added to COSP's mailing list; their email addresses may have been harvested as they explored the COSP website doing opposition research.
With great fanfare, COSP rolled out the results of Moore Information's 2018 "public opinion" polls to "prove" that an overwhelming majority of statewide voters7 favor COSP's application.Two-thirds-plus respondents, depending upon the state polled, said they favored a "convention of states," a term the poll failed to define. In Iowa, the result jumped 36.7% in favor of a convention in just the few minutes between the first and fourth questions! COSP wasn't shy about disseminating survey results in speeches, interviews, and well-placed articles disguised as news items in states debating COSP legislation.
Published polls, paid for by clients with agendas, generally yield the results the client wants. Otherwise, the polls, owned by the client, wouldn't see the light of day. Poll results are determined by the questions asked, among other factors. Garbage in, garbage out.
Respondents to the COSP-commissioned poll were first asked their opinion (favor/oppose) on whether their state should join other states in calling for a "convention to propose constitutional amendments that limit federal power." Next, they were asked their opinion of a "constitutional amendment to limit federal spending." Then they were asked their opinion about "placing term limits on members of Congress and/or federal judges." Finally, respondents were asked their opinion of their state "calling for a convention of states to propose constitutional amendments that limit federal spending, limit federal power, and establish term limits for members of Congress and/or federal judges." 8 (Emphasis mine).But these are trick questions!
The poll questions conceal the fact that Delegates to an Article V convention can't be limited or bound by subject. Delegates to a convention will have more power than state legislatures, Congress or the President.9 They can write their own rules. And they'll be able to propose (or not propose) any amendments they like; or rewrite or replace our Constitution, if they so choose. So, respondents were surveyed using irrelevant questions akin to a magician's trick of drawing audience attention to one thing (the subject of the amendments) while distracting it from another (the dangers of a convention). In addition to omitting the risks of a convention, the questions omit that our problems arise from long-standing violations of our Constitution – and that we can't fix violations of our Constitution by amending our Constitution. Poll results most certainly would have been flipped had these caveats been incorporated into the questions.How can a few short, flawed multiple-choice questions fed to random voters measure informed opinion and ardent support for a complicated, relatively unknown issue like an Article V convention? Are those who responded favorably part of Meckler's "army" too?
Clearly COSP's poll was intended to influence public policy by swaying legislators' votes and public opinion, rather than to measure where voters stand on this important issue. COSP's treating the results as authentic is misleading at best.
Those who can't defend their stance on its merits resort to smear tactics when desperate. On April 26, 2016, at a California legislative hearing, Meckler vilified the John Birch Society (JBS): "...decades ago [JBS] was chased from reasonable discourse for issues of racism and antisemitism. So, I think (their) arguments are long discredited." 10
Meckler said on Mark Levin's show and archived here during March, 2018, that the conservative Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, which opposes a convention, has "...lost their way. They're sending out these horrible, dishonest emails slandering the movement, repeating the lies of the left." 11Until 2014, Meckler attempted to disparage Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly in her later years by implying she was senile; he also claimed that Schlafly had no support from "legitimate scholars" for her opposition to an Article V convention. Meckler, whose credentials are no match for Schlafly's, later changed his tune, apparently after conservative pushback. Today Meckler showers Schlafly with praise and claims her view on the con-con was her only mistake.
Meckler and his operatives repeatedly pressure those hosting conservative events to cancel national speaker and Article V convention expert Joanna Martin J.D.,12 possibly COSP's most formidable living conservative opponent. COSP defames Martin's character by falsely claiming she is a white supremacist affiliated with the Aryan Nation. On Sept. 29, 2018, three Texas Convention of States co-directors emailed an urgent call to action for COSP lemmings to bombard the First Baptist Church in Dallas with calls demanding that Martin's next-day event be cancelled.13 In another instance, Ms. Martin, who had been invited to debate COSP at the prestigious South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Conference held January 20, 2018, was cancelled after Meckler refused to debate her, demanded that Martin not be allowed to speak, and insisted that he be allowed to appear on the stage alone, without Martin.COSP engages in "Ritual Defamation" of their opponents in order to prevent the public from hearing the truth about COSP's false claims. The purpose of ritual defamation is to bully opponents into silence, intimate others from associating with opponents, and to shut down open public discussion of issues. If they can stop the debate, they won't have to win the debate.
All the while, Meckler has befriended progressive activist and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig since 2011 when they co-chaired the Conference on the Constitutional Convention (ConConCon) at Harvard. The intended purpose of the two-day event was to bring the Right and Left together in asking Congress to call a constitutional convention. Lessig was identified by Breitbart as having served on Soros-financed boards.
It is worth noting that George Soros is bankrolling the Constitution 2020 movement,14 and that Eric Holder is associated with pushing for the same "progressive" Constitution. Holder sat on the board of the American Constitution Society, a Soros-funded group and the main organization behind the movement to ensure a more progressive constitution.15 Soros needs a convention to propose a Marxist Constitution with a "new and improved" Bill of Rights. Convention of States Project, on the other hand, is backed by globalist billionaires Charles and David Koch whose aim may be to get a convention in order to propose a new Constitution compatible with moving the United States into the North American Union. Short of a takeover by a foreign power, the easiest way to impose a new Constitution is through an Article V convention.
If critical thinking and the Constitution were still taught in our public schools and colleges, COSP would have been awarded "four Pinocchios" for the past several years for their whoppers16 and stopped in their tracks long ago.A "convention of states," AKA "constitutional convention," poses a very real threat to our Republic. Sadly, it's an obscure, complicated issue that few ordinary citizens understand. And too many state legislators, who should know better, have accepted COSP's myths at face value, sponsored their legislation, and voted accordingly.
Just about every political issue conservative Americans care about depends upon our keeping the Constitution we have and not risking it at a convention. Instead of sponsoring COSP applications, state legislators need to reject all Article V convention applications from their states and rescind those that have passed previously. Given COSP's trail of deception, how can we possibly trust them with our Constitution?
There is enough documentation linked to this article and endnotes to educate you and your state legislator on the dangers of an Article V convention. The more people learn about it, the more they oppose it. All they need is an open mind. Read, learn, and share. Fool me once!
1 When 2/3 of the States (34) pass applications (resolutions) asking Congress to call an Article V convention, Congress is to call a convention.
2 Since nothing in the Constitution places subject limitations on a convention or its Delegates, any convention called by Congress would be one convention for all.
4 There are 2 ways to amend the US Constitution per Article V: 1) Congress proposes Amendments and sends them to the States for ratification; or 2) When 2/3 of the States (34) apply for it, Congress is to call a convention to propose Amendments that are then sent to the states for ratification. The second method has never been used.
5 Wolf-PAC applications for a convention were pending and rejected in at least 17 states in 2018 alone: CO, HI, IA, LA, MA, MD, ME, MO, NE, NM, NY, OK, PA, SC, WA, WI, & WV.
6 The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) wrote the model legislation from which COSP's state applications are derived, hence the similarities. ALEC is heavily financed by corporations and consists of corporate and legislative members who meet in secret to shape public policy in state legislatures nationwide.
8 The final question reflects the language of COSP's Article V convention applications.
9 Delegates to an Article V convention, as sovereign representatives of The People, have the inherent right "to alter or to abolish" their "Form of Government," as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, paragraph 2.
12 Retired litigation attorney Joanna Martin writes and speaks nationally under the nom de guerre Publius Huldah.
13 Texas Convention of States co-directors Tamara Colbert, Shelby Williams, and Paul Hodson falsely claimed in an email blast that Huldah [Martin] "has a background [with ties to the Aryan Nations and anti-government groups] that could jeopardize Pastor Jeffress and the positive reputation of the church." The event was cancelled, but not before Ms. Martin had traveled long hours to be there.
16 Here are a few whoppers: a) we have two Constitutions (one being a compilation of Supreme Court decisions). b) a "constitutional convention" is different than a "convention of states." c) The framers added the convention method to Art. V after George Mason asked the question, "Are we so naïve that we believe a govt that becomes a tyranny will propose the right kind of amendments to restrain its own tyranny?" More COSP-generated myths are HERE (See pg. 2) and HERE.© Judi Caler
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.