The following article was written by Bob Bakken and published in the DeSoto Times-Tribune.
At a time when it seems a growing number of Americans are frustrated with the seeming inaction of the federal government, a groundswell is developing to tackle the issue head-on.
The effort goes under the name of Convention of States (COS) and representatives from the organization met with some of the future state legislators from DeSoto County Wednesday to educate them and enlist their support.
Mississippi State Director Jo Cox of Meridian, local District Captain Marc Thompson of Hernando and other area supporters discussed their idea with state Sen.-elect Kevin Blackwell and state Rep.-elect Jeff Hale and Dana Criswell.
“We need their support,” Cox said. “We need to have them on board with us so we can get the resolution passed to call the convention. We had the legislators here because we want to educate them about what was going to happen and how we wanted to get this resolution passed. We came here to get their support.”
The basis for their drive is Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which mandates, once 34 states make a successful application, a Convention of States to meet and propose constitutional amendments.
None of the future legislators were pressed to say they were supportive, but Criswell, about to take office as District 6 state Representative in January, did say it was an idea worth considering.
“It’s time to make some changes,” Criswell said. “I’m hoping that through citizens standing up like this we can demand that our states take back the power that belongs to the states. I want our federal government to get the hint that we’re tired of the runaway budgets and the constant regulations that keep pushing the states down.”
[Four] states have already passed an application for an Article V Convention. The only input Congress would have in the process would be to say where and when the convention would take place.
The Convention of States wants that gathering to be held to write amendment proposals to limit executive orders, federal spending and taxation, and limit terms of office for members of Congress and the Supreme Court.
Anything passed by the Convention of States would then be sent to the individual states for ratification and would become part of the Constitution if it is passed by 38 of the 50 United States.
The movement has received the support of conservative notables, such as talk show hosts Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, former Vice Presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Presidential candidate and former Ark. Governor Mike Huckabee.
Wednesday’s gathering was held because Mississippi has not enacted an application for a Convention of States, something the activists hope to have accomplished in the upcoming legislative session.
Cox said the resolution was passed in the state legislature last session, but timing and inaction by Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn kept it from moving forward.
“We had the resolution passed last year, but it sat on Phillip Gunn’s desk and it didn’t go any further,” Cox said. “It was at the end of the session but they were given ample time. Now, we’re going to go in full force and we have a lot of people in place to join other states and get this passed.”