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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Maybe John Kasich is not on a fool's errand

Governor John Kasich hardly seems like a radical and one can dismiss his 6 state tour to urge state legislators to call for a article 5 constitutional convention as ploy to curry favor with conservative voters in his quest for his party's nomination but looking past the messenger the message is not that far fetched. If 2016 proves to be an abject rejection of Obama's dismal governance and lamentable disregard for the constitution a convention is probably assured.
Only a few more legislative seats need to drift into the Republican camp and a convention could pass about any measure it desired. The establishment's grip is very tenuous and getting weaker by the year. One more election like the last and there will be 38 states that will ratify a balanced budget amendment if they stop at that. Would they really do that? Damn straight they would. In a heart beat. Keep in mind the states legislatures would appoint the delegates and they would not look like the Washington crowd. State legislators tend to be far more conservative than national politicians. Recently elected Senators Bill Cassidy, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Governor Nikki Haley and Congressman Jim Jordan are all products of the state legislatures.
At present the GOP controls the governor's office and both legislative chambers in 24 states. In 9 more states it controls both legislative chambers. Nebraska has a unicameral, nonpartisan legislature with a pronounced conservative bent. That's a total of 34 states that could call for a convention. It would take 38 states to amend the constitution. If one assumes that vote was along straight party lines the amendment would come up short by 4 states but the 2016 elections could bring drastic change with just the shifting of a very few seats.
In Colorado Republicans have a 1 vote majority in the senate and only need to pick up 4 seats in the house to ratify an amendment. In Iowa the Republicans control the lower chamber but need 3 seats to control the senate. Kentucky needs to flip 8 seats to give the GOP control of its house as it controls the senate. Maine's house is controlled by the Democrats 78 to 68 with 4 independents making it a long shot but a 7 seat swing in New Mexico's senate would put it under Republican control. Deep blue Washington may not be as blue as it once was. Republicans control the senate while the Democrats have a 51 to 47 advantage in the house.
One can see that only a few dozen legislator stand between the status quo and radical reform. One more wave election and the lights on the Potomac will be a lot dimmer.

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