Republicans gain power yet demonstrate known failures

The dramatic election victories of Republican candidates in 2014, which gave them control of the West Virginia Legislature and the first opportunity in a lifetime to show their stuff, resulted in a predictable disappointment with half-measures and compromises as the order of the day. This was no surprise for members of the Constitution Party. Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael set the tone by declaring, “We are running an economic agenda.”

The Constitutional Carry bill, S.B. 347, would have allowed gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without having to ask their local sheriff for a permit and paying a “coat tax” fee. While the bill easily passed the Legislature, two GOP House leaders opposed the bill. At the public hearing, held during a snowy day during a declared state of emergency, a cadre of lawless lawmen traveled from around the State to oppose the 2nd Amendment rights of West Virginians. In uniform and armed, they were in violation of Chapter 61, Article 7, Section 11a (g) of the W.Va. Code carrying weapons on Statehouse property – a misdemeanor. No arrests were made however but the Capitol Police were keeping a close eye on supporters of the bill as we entered the House chamber for the hearing. After the hearing, Republican Judiciary Chair John Shott lectured those in the audience that even though supporters had asked for no amendments, amendments were inevitable. Later, House Majority Whip Daryl Cowles, another Republican opponent, offered a killer amendment which failed. Under Mr. Carmichael’s “economic agenda,” this bill was passed late enough into the session to allow the Governor to veto it without fear of any legislative time left for an override.

Also under this same agenda, there was no room for the repeal of Common Core standards which were shoved down the throats of West Virginians by the unelected State Board of Education. The House passed the bill 75-19, but it was gutted in the Senate on an unrecorded 18-16 floor vote and replaced with a bill that calls for a study. State Board of Education Superintendent Michael Martirano threatened the Legislature with a preposterous $128 million cost to repeal the standards, but when the Board passed Common Core several years ago, costs were not an impediment. According to an article in, six Senate Republicans contributed to the defeat.

And the “economic agenda” struck us again when the practice of forced vaccination of school students was allowed to continue. Health-Nazis succeeded in gutting the Medical and Religious Exemption bill for vaccinations (S.B. 286) in the Senate Health and Human Resources committee. The religious exemption was removed and a provision that is supposed to prevent delays in the approval of medical exemptions retained. GOP Senators Mike Hall, Mike Maynard, and Chris Walters chickened out and dropped their sponsorship of the bill shortly after introduction while the Health-Nazis were having a fit over vaccination exemptions during an out-of-state measles outbreak. Had enough, yet?

On a positive note, the session marked the rise of the Liberty Caucus, a group of delegates who are committed to limited government and Constitutional fidelity Their influence was felt in the defeat of the Forced Pooling bill which was supported by almost all of the rest of the Republicans and so we commend these statesmen for their courage to put principle over politics—the motto of our Party.


Keep your eyes and ears open, folks, and your brains in gear! We are hearing more and more about an Article V constitutional convention (Con-Con) with several groups advocating for it, for several different reasons – from balancing the budget, to term limits, to campaign finance reform and limiting “constitutional rights” of corporations. Many of the groups work together, including sharing board members and belonging to a coalition named Call A Convention.

Call A Convention, whose goal is “a truly open and constructive” (i.e. unlimited) Article V convention, was formed in 2013 by Lawrence Lessig, a leftist, a blasphemer and friend and associate of both George Soros and Barack Obama. Lessig is also on the boards of Compact For America (CFA), ConventionUSA, and Rootstrikers and works closely with leftist Wolf-Pac as well as Mark Meckler’s Convention of States (COS). In West Virginia, it is mostly COS that has been wooing our legislators but recently CFA has been actively seeking supporters.

The COS website has a petition that calls for “an Article V convention to propose only amendments that would impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.” Such a convention could easily become the “runaway” convention that sensible people fear would either radically alter our Constitution or even replace it with one of the socialist constitutions already written and waiting in the wings.

Compact for America calls for the creation of a compact of 38 states to petition Congress to call an Article V convention for proposing a balanced budget amendment (BBA) only. The application contains all the rules for governing the convention AND a pre-written BBA that would be “pre-ratified” within the initial applications. This appears to be the completely safe answer to all the fears previously expressed by critics.
But, please don’t believe in fairy tales. Not only is this Con-Con vulnerable to becoming a “runaway,” constitutional scholar Publius Huldah warns that it is “actually a tricky device for imposing a national sales tax or value added tax on the American People – on top of the income tax – and does nothing to limit federal spending.” Publius Huldah has also explained that – unlike the states, which require budgets – the federal government is limited by the Constitution to spending only for the few enumerated powers and obligations that it authorizes. A BBA would substitute a “budget” for the enumerated powers and authorize the national government to spend money on whatever it puts in the budget. “To add insult to injury,” Huldah alleges, “while all versions of a BBA pretend to limit spending, they actually permit increases in spending
and increases in debt whenever a majority votes to do so.”

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