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Article V Convention

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Salon: “Closer than most people realize”: Alarm over GOP plot to “drastically change the Constitution”

On Sunday, Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn told MSNBC that in the hands of Republicans, a second constitutional convention could "put all of our constitutional rights up for grabs."

Insider: Cenk Uygur Is Pushing for Constitutional Convention. It Isn't Going Well

Nonprofit government watchdog group Common Cause has been one of Wolf PAC's leading opponents, successfully lobbying behind the scenes to convince state lawmakers that any constitutional convention — no matter its stated purpose — lead to chaos and unintended consequences. Common Cause also opposes a conservative-led effort to call for a constitutional convention that aims to significantly limit the size of the federal government and advance other conservative priorities. "If you think the Constitution is bad now, how do you feel when Lauren [Boebert] and Marjorie [Taylor Greene] and Ted [Cruz] rewrite it? It would just be so much worse," Viki Harrison, director of constitutional convention and protecting dissent programs at Common Cause, told Insider. "It really hasn't gained much traction, but I'm getting a little nervous about it, quite frankly."

Insider: There's a 50-50 chance states will call for a constitutional convention within 5 years: conservative legal scholar

"What we're seeing now, that we haven't really seen before, is people putting money into it. The Mark Mecklers of the world are putting money into it," Viki Harrison, director of Constitutional Convention and Protecting Dissent Programs at Common Cause, told Insider.  Meckler's groups, Convention of States Action and Citizens for Self Governance, have received millions of dollars from groups including the Koch-connected DonorsTrust, the Mercer Family Foundation, and groups connected to powerful conservative lawyer Leonard Leo, tax filings obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy show. "It's the first time any of these applications have had this much movement in quite some time," said Harrison, who lobbies against the convention movement in statehouses across the country. 

Insider: Republicans' next big play is to 'scare the hell out of Washington' by rewriting the Constitution. And they're willing to play the long game to win.

"It's the first time any of these applications have had this much movement in quite some time," Viki Harrison, director of Constitutional Convention and Protecting Dissent Programs at Common Cause, told Insider. She called the passage of four new convention calls in states including South Carolina "a brutal loss."  The prospect of a free-for-all convention has scared lawmakers away from other historic efforts to rewrite the nation's Constitution, fearing that a debate on imposing term limits or a balanced budget could quickly morph into a full-fledged redesigning of gun, abortion, religious, or free speech rights. "In states where you would have expected this to pass because they have Republican leadership, they're firmly on our side because they're scared about losing guns," Harrison said. 

Public News Service: Ohio Lawmakers Push to Join Convention of States

Viki Harrison, director of state operations for Common Cause, said fringe groups from both sides of the aisle have called for a convention of states over the years, but her organization is opposed, noting the gathering could easily be influenced by powerful special interests. "Who's going to choose who goes to the convention?" Harrison wondered. "We already see how outside special-interest groups, big-money donors, have so much influence in elections, so why would we think this would be any different?" Supporters argued Article Five was written by the founding fathers as an option for states to respond should the federal government overstep its powers. Harrison countered they failed to create guardrails, leaving the Constitution open to unpredictable changes. "Anything that we hold dear, whether you care about education, or environmental rights or gun rights, no matter what you care about in the Constitution, if we called an Article V convention, it's up for grabs," Harrison cautioned.

The Hill: Conservatives prepare new push for constitutional convention

“What we’re seeing is they’re kind of putting all these applications into one basket,” said Rebecca Timmons, a communications coordinator at Common Cause, which opposes the Article V convention. “There are no guardrails.”

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