From Scott Bradley PhD
Included below are the Utah Senators and their contact information. Please make it a priority to IMMEDIATELY contact the Senators and implore them to defeat this resolution, HJR007 Substitute. Freedom is not free. It takes effort to preserve it. This small effort NOW will possibly prevent the necessity of a more arduous effort later. Do this for yourself AND your posterity.
Your friend in the cause of liberty,
—Scott N. Bradley
Here is the list of Utah State Senators to reach out to in order to ask them to oppose HJR7, now known as HJR007S01.
1 Escamilla, Luz (D) firstname.lastname@example.org Salt Lake
2 Dabakis, Jim (D) email@example.com Salt Lake
3 Davis, Gene (D) firstname.lastname@example.org Salt Lake
4 Iwamoto, Jani (D) email@example.com Salt Lake
5 Mayne, Karen (D) firstname.lastname@example.org Salt Lake
6 Harper, Wayne A. (R) email@example.com Salt Lake
7 Henderson, Deidre M. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Utah
8 Shiozawa, Brian E. (R) email@example.com Salt Lake
9 Niederhauser, Wayne L. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Salt Lake
10 Osmond, Aaron (R) email@example.com Salt Lake
11 Stephenson, Howard A. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Salt Lake, Utah
12 Thatcher, Daniel W. (R) email@example.com Salt Lake, Tooele
13 Madsen, Mark B. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Salt Lake, Utah
14 Jackson, Alvin B. (R) email@example.com Utah
15 Dayton, Margaret (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Utah
16 Bramble, Curtis S. (R) email@example.com Utah, Wasatch
17 Knudson, Peter C. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Box Elder, Cache, Tooele
18 Millner, Ann (R) email@example.com Davis, Morgan, Weber
19 Christensen, Allen M. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Morgan, Summit, Weber
20 Jenkins, Scott K. (R) email@example.com Davis, Weber
21 Stevenson, Jerry W. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Davis
22 Adams, J. Stuart (R) email@example.com Davis
23 Weiler, Todd (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Davis, Salt Lake
24 Okerlund, Ralph (R) email@example.com Beaver, Garfield, Juab, Kane, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, Utah, Wayne
25 Hillyard, Lyle W. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Cache, Rich
26 Van Tassell, Kevin T. (R) email@example.com Daggett, Duchesne, Summit, Uintah, Wasatch
27 Hinkins, David P. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan, Utah, Wasatch
28 Vickers, Evan J. (R) email@example.com Beaver, Iron, Washington
29 Urquhart, Stephen H. (R) firstname.lastname@example.org Washington
Please Reject the Proposed HJR007 Substitute
An Open Letter to Members of the Utah Senate:
The Utah Senate is considering HJR007 Substitute, which was passed by the Utah House. HJR7 Substitute proposes a convention be called by the United States Congress to consider changes to the United States Constitution. It passed the House when a meaningless change was made to the original resolution. The change purports to reserve to the Utah Legislature the option to rescind our call for a convention if, after the United States Congress calls a convention based, in part, on Utah’s application for a convention, that convention begins to consider any proposals that are not limited to the supposed bounds established by this resolution. There is no justification for the supposition that this “safeguard” will prevent a convention that may exceed the hopes of a Utah Legislature which passes this resolution, or later recalls Utah’s call for a convention and our delegation to that convention.
Once the critical number of 2/3’s of the states (34) apply to the U. S. Congress for a convention, the Constitution requires the calling of a convention. There is no legal or historical precedent which would justify the assumption that the convention would disintegrate or dissolve if (after the call is issued and the convention has commenced) a state rescinds its call and/or recalls its delegation. Quite to the contrary, the 1787 Constitution Convention continued to its end without a full contingent of delegates which originally constituted the convention.
If this resolution passes, and a convention is called, and Utah later rescinds its call and/or recalls its delegation, the convention will continue without Utah, or our voice. Foolish, and dangerous! The missile will have been launched.
In recent years the Utah Legislature has faced numerous similar resolutions and has wisely rejected them. After deliberate and extensive discussion, in 2001, in a virtually unanimous vote, the Utah Legislature rescinded Utah’s call for ANY type of Constitution Convention (regardless of the obfuscating terminology by which it has been denominated). The reasons for so doing have not changed, and have probably become more urgent due to the increasingly depraved political environment that threatens the foundation of the nation.
Perhaps, in many instances, those offering these calls for a convention are well meaning, but the expectation of an improvement on our current Constitution are at best naive. I have delivered many dozens of presentations against constitution conventions all across the nation; to general public audiences, as well as state legislators, and I have heard hours of rhetoric intended to justify such a convention. When all of the supposed justifications are stripped to their most fundamental level, they boil down to a single argument: “They are violating the Constitution, so we must modify it.” And, as a follow-up of this justification, the cry: “We must do something!” Such a position violates all logic, reason, and intelligence. Modifying what is already there and which currently prohibits the egregious behavior will not correct the behavior. Other, safer, constitutional means exist to correct violations and restore the nation’s foundational principles.
The current Constitution established a limited government whose powers are few and well defined, with checks and balances intended to prevent abuses we currently suffer. No constitutional power exists to allow the profligate spending which the proposed resolution purports to correct. While HJR7 Substitute is written in extremely general and non specific terms in regards to balancing the federal budget, I have personally reviewed every balanced budget amendment which has been proposed in the last several years, and every one of them is fatally flawed and will not balance the federal budget. Every one of them has easily achieved loopholes that would allow deficit spending to continue unabated. Moreover, most of them would “constitutionalize” behavior that is currently unconstitutional and has currently led to the morass we labor in.
Most of the proposed balanced budget amendments allow spending up to revenue limits (with many loophole allowances), or tied to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) percentages, with no consideration for the limits and bounds already constitutionally placed upon the national government to keep actions (and expenditures) within the few and defined delegated powers. Under the current Constitution, expenditures are ONLY to occur in fulfillment of delegated powers. The power to spend money has nothing to do with the redefined processes suggested in the proposed amendments.
There is a very real danger that any of the balanced budget amendments which are proposed would result in a (constitutional) expansion of the power of the federal government to spend money for whatever it chooses to spend it on, without regard to the enumerated powers that are supposed to keep the national government within the bounds currently established in the existing Constitution, and which are currently being ignored by those who took a sacred oath to abide by the Constitution.
And we must remember that any constitution convention will certainly be made up of delegates who have held (or currently hold) elected office, and who are largely responsible for the decisions to violate the Constitution which have led to the challenges we currently face as a nation. I trust no one in the nation’s current political cadre to understand and uphold the magnificent Americanist principles brought forth as this nation was established. Where in the entire nation today can we find even one or two statesmen of the caliber of George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Edmund Randolph, George Mason, James Wilson, and the host of others who established this nation? We deceive ourselves if we think such people as the American founders will be called to act as delegates to ANY convention we could call today! The political wranglings and efforts of special interests groups anxious to pull the levers of government in favor of their agenda will pollute any outcome of a convention.
The efforts to call a convention to modify the United States Constitution have reached epidemic proportions. Numerous organizations have sprung up in favor of such an undertaking. Virtually all are highly organized, powerfully promoted, and well funded. They have succeeded in obtaining the endorsement of many in positions of prominence. They promote a spectrum of approaches to bring about their intention to change the Constitution.
The various proposals for conventions to modify the United States Constitution are well-polished marketing pieces designed to deflect and deny any suggestions of risk, but they are no guarantee of everybody playing nice and above board. The proposals (including this one) are generally written in a benign style of academic earnest hopefulness, promoting a belief in the hope that the proposed undertaking could possibly take the desired trajectory and have the desired outcome. They are filled with hopeful terms like “should,” “could,” “might,” “possibly,” “ought,” “probably,” “depending,” “likely,” “reasonable,” “promise,” “nearly,” etc. These are terms that leave “wiggle room” in the outcome. All of the supposition and wishful projections are not sufficient justification for the immeasurable risks potentially associated with losing the document that has been the Charter of the Nation and vouchsafed our liberties for the 226 years since the new government under the Constitution was formed.
The bottom line is: There is nothing wrong with the United States Constitution! The problem is that the nation has stopped faithfully applying it. Those who claim to love the Constitution and promote changing it are inconsistent. If they love it they MUST abide by it. Changing the Constitution does not honor it! ALL who hold office take an oath to the United States Constitution. Those who hold office (and will likely sit in the seats of any convention which might be called) are oath-bound to uphold the Constitution. Their actions in violation of the Constitution have led to the difficulties under which the nation currently suffers. All of the challenges currently facing the nation are attributable to violations of the plain English words of the Constitution, and their original application. Those who hold office ignore their oath, violate the Constitution at will, and are to be trusted to correct the resulting problems in a convention that could possibly eviscerate the Constitution of the limits and bounds which are already inherent in the document???!!! One might reasonably ask: “Do we need an amendment that says ‘we really mean it this time?’” OF COURSE NOT! The officers who violate the Charter of the Nation now will continue to violate it, even if modified.
And suppose for a moment a convention is called and it limits its actions to a single issue as some propose, and the issue successfully goes through the ratification process by 3/4’s of the States. What does that encourage? ANOTHER CONVENTION, AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER until the United States Constitution is a tattered rag that bears small resemblance to the original noble document, or it is ultimately scrapped altogether. Either way, We the People lose. And so do our posterity.
The corrective course is for We the People to become a virtuous people, well-schooled in the limits and bounds of the government bequeathed to us at such great cost in the body of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to educate our fellow-Americans in these principles, to promote them in word and deed, to elect soundly-founded representatives who will abide in their oath of office, and a willingness to correct any variance from the standard by those elected officials (or bureaucrats tasked with the responsibility to faithfully fulfill constitutional laws).
We do not need to “correct” the Constitution. We and our officials must abide by it. By so doing we will again become the greatest, freest, most prosperous, most respected, and most happy nation on earth.
Please soundly defeat this resolution (and every other effort) to modify our magnificent Constitution.
—Scott N. Bradley
North Logan, Utah