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September 29th, 2021 | 5:25 am | Updated
Rallying for a Convention of States
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — The United States of America is losing the sovereignty of its states, and it’s only going to get worse as liberals in power push expansive federalization.
“If we are going to stay a United States of America, the states have to be in the lead, and take back the lead — the states that created the federal government,” said state Rep. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown) at Tuesday’s “Fill the Hill Rally” in the state Capitol Rotunda.
The event was organized to urge the state Senate to pass Joint Resolution 8, which would add Wisconsin to the 15 other states that have applied to Congress for a Convention of States under Article V of the constitution. Supporters, like Knodl, who helped lead the Assembly’s version of the resolution to passage, want to call a convention of states to propose three specific amendments that would; limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government; impose fiscal restraint (balanced budget amendment) on congress; and place term limits on federal officials and members of congress.
The Republican-led Assembly passed the resolution in early May, the second time the lower house moved the measure. But the Republican-led Senate has lagged behind, in large part over fears — shared by many on the left — that a convention of states would open the door to mischief in amendment-making.
State Sen. Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) says such arguments are steeped in “unfounded fear of the unknown.” She pointed to the 27 amendments to the U.S. constitution over the storied history of the United States. Those came by congress. Now it’s time for the states to lead again, Bernier said.
“We have individual liberties and states rights we can utilize if the federal government becomes unhinged. They are unhinged and we need to take our constitution back,” the senator said to ringing applause.
Mark Meckler, president of the grassroots-led Convention of States that has led the growing triple-amendment movement for years, said Wisconsin is close to making history and advancing the cause of restraining the ever-expanding power of the federal government.
He introduced the rally’s featured speaker, former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a man who “never bent his principles” during his long history in public service.
Santorum said he got involved in the Convention of States movement because it is literally now or never.
“If we don’t get this federal government under control and stop this march toward socialism,” will the generations that have spent the past few decades indoctrinated in leftist thought in public schools fight for the constitution? he asked.
Then, speaking directly to lawmakers, Santorum asked, What’s the problem with having constitutional amendments that stop the federal government from telling state lawmakers how to do their job?
“Don’t you want to do your job? Or do you really need Washington to tell you how to be a senator or a house member?” he said. “I don’t understand how Republicans who say they believe in freedom do not support this.”
It’s up to the Senate now to decide whether Wisconsin joins the ranks of the Convention of States. Far left Gov. Tony Evers doesn’t have any power over the resolutions, so he can’t veto them as he has so often done to conservative bills. But the Senate resolution has been available for scheduling a floor vote since April.
Knodl rallied the troops, urging them to contact their senators to tell them to take up and vote for the resolution.
“We’re going to get this done,” the lawmaker said. “It’s time to finish this deal.”