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Constitutional Conservatives Welcome Back Legislature

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, March 3, The Alabama Constitutional Conservatives held an informational meeting in the “Star Wars” room on the 8th floor of the Alabama Capital Building.

Leeds political organizer Deanna Frankowski said, “Government and politicians have gotten away from the Constitution as it is written.” Frankowski said that they are a new group that is trying to engage other people in the Constitution, especially young people. = It is hard to talk to people that don’t understand and certain words turn off young people.  The term “tea party” has negative connotations to many, which is why we don’t use that language.

Frankowski said that a term limit bill has been filed that would limit members of the legislature to just three terms.  Frankowski said, “It is a start.”

Former State Senator Scott Beason (R from Gardendale) addressed the group. Beason is now the senior policy analyst for the Free Market Alliance.

Sen. Beason said that when he travels to speak to different conservative center right groups that numbers are down. “People are losing hope.”  Apathy is at an all-time high. We campaign for people we elect people, and then we are disappointed.  We are in that situation now with the Governor (Bentley) on taxes, on homosexual marriage. Being less active is a mistake.  “The progressive and liberal side never stop.  They work day and night.  A great example is homosexual marriage.”

They are constantly in the courts, they are constantly writing letters and op-eds.

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Beason said that we have a Republic not a Democracy, but warned that we are moving toward a oligarchy where a few make all the decisions. Benjamin Franklin said that the founders gave us a Republic if you can keep it. Most people think it is a Democracy. The word democracy does not appear in the Constitution. It has become increasingly difficult for a practicing Christian to hold a job in government and cited the example of the recent firing of the fire chief in Atlanta.  We are going to live under somebody’s set of rules. Even the most corrupt society that has ever been had rules. Personally I think we should live under the rules passed down to us from our forefather based on the principles in the Bible.

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We are seeing the federal court system decide they are an oligarchy. What our libertarian friends call liberty is actually licentious. Where does liberty end and licentious start? Homosexual marriage is on the licentious side. It contradicts natural law and especially divine law, but libertarians don’t want to even hear about that.

Sen. Beason said, “Who are Supreme Court Justices?  Before they become judges they were well connected political lawyers. Somewhere along the way they have decided they are demigods…What they say constitutional means is not what you or I think it is.  Lawyers today think that constitutional is what the last judge ruled – precedent. We need to get back to what this (the Constitution) says.”

Beason said that Justice Ginsburg says the country is now ready for gay marriage. I don’t believe that is how you run the rule book.  Do the people of the states have the right to say no?

Beason said, “I would like to see some sort of an American spring…We (the people of Alabama) have a right to chart our own path…We have been moving in this direction for over 200 years. The Federalists started us down this path. Alexander Hamilton wanted a king appointed for life but knew he could not get it.”

Nebraska got slammed down yesterday. Even California voted to ban gay marriage and their own judges ruled it down.

“We have to decide as a people what is worth taking a stand and what is not?”  Are we going to be a people that do exactly what we are told or are we going to stand on the 9th and 10th amendments and say no?

Sen. Beason said that “Eventually there comes a time where the state has to say you are wrong.” Texas was building a coal fired power plant that would have created 3,000 to 6,000 jobs and the EPA said no you can not. 

I am not for following Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of this country. Two of those Supreme Court justices presided over gay marriages and they will not recuse themselves.  Beason predicted that the Supremes will rule against traditional marriage.

Stephen Siao spoke about the Heritage Foundation’s Sentinel program.

Mr. Siao said, “How many of you think that Washington is broken. I am here to convince you that it is not.”  Washington works as a finely tuned machine for those who have money.  It is working fine for lobbyists.  For them the bigger the government the more complicated it is the more big corporations have to hire them to navigate DC.

Siao said that Heritage action alerts is how conservatives can influence policy in Washington. We don’t give money, we don’t do campaigns we don’t give money. They don’t fear us, it is their constituents they fear.  We really need y’all to join us. We are empowering activists with the right information and the right tactics.

Siao said that Heritage is pursuing a full repeal of Obamacare in the House and the Senate.  The Tea Party is not dead. GOP Candidates who won in 2014 ran on a strong pro-life platform. Congress members would rather have their picture taken with Rand Paul or Ted Cruz than campaign on how much pork they brought back to the district. They are saying the right things now we need to hold their feet to the fire.

Go to Heritageactionscorecard.com to see how your Congress members are doing. In Alabama, Mo Brooks and Jeff Sessions are doing great.  The rest of them need some encouragement.

Terry Richmond is one of the legislative captains for the Convention Of States Project in Alabama.

Richmond said that the American Revolution was fought by about 20 percent of the population. Richmond said, we have two Constitutions one we know and one interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Many conservatives believe that the federal government is too large, is out of control, and has exceeded the mandate that it received from the authors of the U.S. Constitution.  Conservatives are however divided on exactly how to do that.

The Convention of States Project looks to the US Constitution and are proposing that states call an Article V convention to rein in the excesses of the federal government.

Delegates to the convention would be tasked with limiting the power, jurisdiction, and scope of the federal government; consider term limits; and to impose fiscal accountability on the federal government.

The COS effort is supported by former Alaska Governor Sara Palin, conservative talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Mark Levin, as well as many other conservative leaders.

Critics believe that there is a danger of a runaway convention doing major damage to the Constitution.

Proponents say the first level of protection is the commissions of the delegates. If they go outside their commissions the state legislatures could recall or replace their delegates.  The second protection is the convention itself. While some delegates might propose a new constitution it would have to actually pass the convention.  The states’ delegations would necessarily limit any radical departure from the commissions of the delegates.  Finally whatever amendments are proposed at the convention would still have to be ratified by the states.

It takes 34 states to call a national conventions (2/3); but it takes 38 to actually ratify any amendments (3/4). All it takes to block ratification would be one house in 13 states. Each state can send as many delegates as they want; but each delegation gets just one vote at the convention.

Alaska, Georgia, and Florida have already passed COS resolutions and expressed confidence that they would be able to get 34 by the end of 2015. 

Alabama almost became the first state to pass COS in the 2014 legislative session. It passed the Alabama House of Representatives and was on the calendar to come up in the Alabama Senate but timed out on the last day of the session.

Terry Richmond is working full time during the legislative session to lobby for COS in Alabama.

Frankowski said that the next event for the group will be the Birmingham Brew Party at the Avondale Brewing Company on April 15 at 5:30 pm. “Come out and have fun.”

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