Ex-senator calls on candidates to support Convention of States

In a recent op-ed published in the Ripon Forum magazine (http://www.riponsociety.org/article/what-every-candidate-should-be-asked-in-2016/), Tom Coburn, organizer of www.ConventionOfStates.com and a former Republican congressman (1995-2001) and senator (2002-2014) from Oklahoma, discussed his support for the Convention of States.

The Convention of States is a provision within Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which he said may be the way for Americans to hit the reset button on the federal government and return the leadership back to the simplistic way it was originally intended by the founding fathers.

“The federal government has long overreached its constitutionally established boundaries. It’s corrupt, too big, inept and even has started politically motivated harassment of its own citizens,” Coburn said. “I saw from the inside that Washington, D.C., was never going to fix itself. Instead of remaining in the bureaucratic morass that is the federal government, I thought it was important to work on something that could actually save the republic. Something that could work.”

“Every candidate in 2016 will have to answer this question (during the presidential debates): ‘Do you support the Convention of States?’” Coburn said.

Coburn said Article V allows American citizens – by working through their state legislators – to call a Convention of States, which would return the country to its original vision of a limited federal government. Coburn also said the concept has gained popularity and national momentum. Three states (Georgia, Florida and Alaska), already have passed the application for a Convention of States, and 36 other states have introduced resolutions for review in the 2015 session.

“So here we are, at the precipice of what might be the last great hope to put America back on track,” Coburn said.

“The founders gave the people a way to engage in a way that could actually change things,” Coburn said. “Keen observers of human behavior, the founders knew the day would come when the government would become so bloated and drunk with power that they wouldn’t restrict themselves. That’s why they slipped something into Article V that would give Americans the opportunity to rein in federal spending and stifle federal power grabs in a way that bypasses Congress and the president. That’s why I’ve dedicated my post-Senate life to this cause.”
Many of the 2016 presidential candidates, including Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, have identified with states’ rights and the possibility of a Convention of States – though all have not publicly endorsed a convention, Coburn said.

“Regardless of a candidate’s position just yet, every serious politician will need to make a statement on the Convention of States,” he continued. “Never has our nation needed it more. Unless citizens act, the federal government will continue to bankrupt this nation, undermine the legitimate authority of the states and steal the liberty of the people. Without an intervention, future generations will be burdened with reckless debt, unable to enjoy the benefits of liberty.”

“As Americans, we have a profound opportunity – I would say ‘duty’ – to do more than watch the spectacle that plays out on the political stage,” Coburn said. “In presidential debates, we’ve seen the posturing, the snide remarks, the good one-liners and the spin. Now we need to see change. The Convention of States gives citizens the power to demand it.”