Philip Blumel: Happy Term Limits Day February 27th. It’s coming. Hi, I’m Philip Blumel. Welcome to No Uncertain Terms official podcast of The Term Limits movement for the week of February 13th, 2023.
Stacey Selleck: Your Sanctuary from Partisan Politics.
Philip Blumel: And we have a lot of news and even fun this week in this episode. But I need to begin by putting you on the spot. What have you chosen to do to show public support for Term Limits on Term Limits Day February 27th? We have a looming vote in the US house and we have Term Limits convention bills dropped in a dozen states. The politicians, their staffs, the media, your neighbors, everybody need to be put on notice. Yeah, 80 something percent of Americans tell pollsters that we like Term Limits, but more important to that, we’re watching, we’re active, we’re a movement, we’re here, we’re everywhere. Yeah, it seems like a small thing. It’s certainly easy, but when Term Limits becomes the number one issue in America, as enough states pass the Term Limits convention resolution, we want this annual tradition to be firmly in place already. Let’s be part of it.
Philip Blumel: If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re right now part of the inner circle of the Term Limits movement. It behooves you more than anyone else to take the simple step this month. So what can we do again? Wear your Term Limits t-shirt, wear your Term Limits state lapel pin, put your Term Limit Congress sign in your yard, put your Term Limit congress magnet sign on your car, put a bumper sticker on your car. Oh, you don’t have any of these things? Go Termlimits.com/store. We’ll send you one. Whatever you do, no matter how simple, take a picture with your phone and post it on your favorite social media with the message, Happy Term Limits Day February 27th. On all social media posts. Remember to add #termlimitsday and we’ll repost your photos on the US Term Limits social media pages. So that’s #termlimitsday.
Philip Blumel: Okay, let’s get to it. In the last episode of No Uncertain Terms, we talked about how Massachusetts representative Lori Trahan signed the US Term Limits pledge during the election campaign, bragged about it and then after winning is so far at least declining to live up to her promise and has indicated she might not. As a result, billboards are now running in her district exposing her apparent treachery. Well, we have 130 representatives and senators who have signed the US Term Limits pledge and most are living up to their word. Just to remind you, the pledge says that if I’m elected or re-elected, that I will co-sponsor and vote for the US Term Limits Congressional Amendment of six years in the house and 12 years in the Senate and no longer limit, representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina and his team are knocking on doors in Congress and getting all the pledgers to sign on as co-sponsors.
Philip Blumel: And so far about 71 of the 102 signers in the house have done that and most, well, it takes a little time, for get this done. So 71 is actually a good number, but the looming vote on the US Term Limits’ amendment is exposing some scofflaws. People that now that they’re elected, and having signed the pledge, are indicating they’re not going to fulfill their simple pledge to co-sponsor the bill and vote for it. So a billboard now has gone up in Iowa’s first congressional district where US Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks is indicating she might renege on her promise to voters. If you wanna see it, it’s 2301 second Street in Coralville. Also, a billboard has gone up in California’s 22nd congressional district where representative, David Valadao is dragging his feet to live up to his promise. Now the game isn’t over and these folks might change their mind, but they’ve indicated they’re not gonna sign.
Philip Blumel: If they do, we’re gonna take down the billboard and we’ll all be friends again. However, if they don’t, there will be further repercussions. And believe me, these politicians hate these billboards and they hate the ads we run in radio and they hate the postcards that start showing up in people’s mailboxes because whether or not you support Term Limits, and of course over 80% of Americans do, but whether or not you support Term Limits, no one approves a politician making an explicit pledge about something as simple as this and then reneging immediately upon becoming elected. Now, while Trahan in Massachusetts is a Democrat, Valadao in California, and Miller-Meeks in Iowa are Republicans, so as in everything else, the US Term Limits is always, always nonpartisan. We know that if we’re going to pass a congressional Term Limits amendment, it’s going to be only because both Democrats and Republicans support it. Just as we can fully expect that career politicians in both the Democratic and Republican parties will oppose it, playing partisan games is not gonna get us over the finish line.
Philip Blumel: Next, with all the momentum we have today, it’s worth reflecting that it was seven years ago when US Term Limits launched the Term Limits convention project. This was the game changer in the Term Limits movement. This is the plan to bypass Congress with an amendment proposing convention under Article V of the US Constitution limited to the subject of congressional Term Limits. Now, in that year, 2016, a small handful of us, tested the resolution in Florida where Nick Tomboulides, the executive director of US Term Limits and I live, Florida’s the third largest state in the country and the legislature approved it on our first try, we took this as proof of concept and started ramping up the US Term Limits staff and resources to bring this resolution to other states.
Philip Blumel: So far, five have passed the standalone Term Limits resolution. That’s Florida, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Alabama, and Missouri, Wisconsin joined the list just in 2022, and I think I said that there were four states on board in the last episode of No Uncertain Terms. I’m sorry, number’s five, five at least. Remember we have five states that have approved the Term Limits convention resolution in particular, but 14 states have passed congressional Term Limits specific language as part of a multi-subject application. Can these applications be aggregated together? I mean, we have some that calls for only Term Limits and we have some that call for Term Limits and other things. Can the Term Limits aspect of all these applications be aggregated? There’s logical reason why they would be, right? If you have X number of states that call it for Term Limits itself, X number of states are called for Term Limits and other things. You have X plus X states that have made a call for a Term Limits convention.
Philip Blumel: Hmm, maybe, we’ll find out, because when the time comes, we’ll definitely press that. However, we’re not banking on it. We’re making this as simple and as clean as possible, and we do not want to have the success of our movement banking on some kind of break in a court case. So we are pushing the Term Limits Convention bill single subject in order to eliminate any such uncertainties. And now, our own Holly Robichaud with this week’s breaking news on Term Limits. This is a weekly, at least, show that Holly posts on YouTube. Go to youtube.com/USTermlimits for past episodes. But here’s an excerpt from this week’s excellent show.
Holly Robichaud: Hi, it’s Holly Robichaud with Breaking News on Term Limits. We have the first national poll of the new year in, it was done by McLaughlin Associates. It showed 82%. That’s right, 82% of voters overwhelmingly support Term Limits only 8.6 opposed Term Limits. I don’t know of any other issue that gets polling numbers like that, do you? When broken down by political party, it showed that 80% of Democrats and Republicans supported Term Limits and 83% of independents supported Term Limits. These are impressive numbers. We also did some polling in states. In South Carolina we showed 72% support, in Texas, 71%, Utah, 77, and North Carolina 74, Georgia 72, Ohio 71. And in the home state of Mitch McConnell, 74% of the voters support Term Limits. That’s right, Mitch McConnell’s home state supports Term Limits. US Term Limits is running a commercial with one of our biggest supporters Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urging people to support Term Limits. Check it out.
Ron DeSantis: When I got elected to Congress many years ago, people told me, just wait in line. Well, I rejected that then and I reject it now. That’s why Term Limits are the only way to drain the swamp in Washington. That’s why we need states to step up and take action, to pass a resolution calling for an Article V Term Limits convention. You will not only be doing the business of the people of Idaho, but you’ll be doing a great thing for the vast majority of the American people.
Holly Robichaud: Idaho’s not the only state we’re very active in, in Tennessee, Arizona, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Indiana, legislation has been filed. In Ohio, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Maine, and Pennsylvania, legislation’s getting ready to drop. If you live in any of these states, we urge you to contact your legislators and ask them to support our resolution.
Philip Blumel: To send that message to your reps, both national and state, if the Term Limits convention resolution has been introduced in your state, go to TermLimits.com/takeaction. Okay, now time for some fun. Kenn Quinn is the Northern Regional Director of US Term Limits. We’ve had him on the podcast before. Quinn is a tireless Term Limits hero and I communicated with him on Friday when he was in New Hampshire testifying and lobbying in favor of the Term Limits convention bill, in that state. Quinn is an expert, and this is no exaggeration about the Article V convention process and the history surrounding the Constitutional Convention in 1787 which created the US Constitution. Now, these two things are of course, very different. Article V is a process defined and confined within the constitutional rules. It is after all the article of the Constitution. While the Constitutional convention of 1787 was a meeting of states that had retained an enormous amount of sovereignty, meeting outside the constitutional process, the Constitution having not yet been created, in order to revamp the articles of Confederation and create a new constitutional system.
Philip Blumel: Now, foes of Term Limits often conflate these two things, on purpose. They try to suggest, absurdly, that an Article V convention to amend the Constitution, now remember article V is a provision of the Constitution itself, can somehow overthrow the entire Constitution and that groups like US Term Limits are part of a conspiracy to do just that. That is so silly that it is embarrassing to even say it out loud, but that’s what we’re up against a lot of times when we’re advocating the Term Limits convention in state capitals. The John Birch Society is one organization that has taken up this line of argument, under previous leadership in the heyday of this organization back in the 60s and 70s, the John Birch Society advocated constitutional amendments via the congressional route, the traditional route, and also via an Article V convention, most notably the Liberty Amendment to repeal the federal income tax, but not today.
Philip Blumel: The modern rump version of the John Birch Society today promotes the idea that utilizing Article V is a con con or a convention conspiracy. One John Birch Society staffer Robert Brown, as part of the revisionist history, contends that our founding fathers delegates representing the states in the constitutional convention of 1787, acted outside of their legitimate authority and knew they were doing so. Well, let’s hear Robert Brown say it in his own words and his offer of $10,000 to prove him wrong.
Robert Brown: Can you find for me any delegate in the 1787 convention who stood and said, yes, we do have the authority in our state commissions. None of them did that. And I challenge you to prove me wrong on that.
Kenn Quinn: I’m your Huckleberry. Well, Robert Brown looks like somebody’s gonna expose your lies. I’ll claim that $10,000 bounty mighty obliged. I reckon you got a Venmo account.
Philip Blumel: Oh boy, Robert Brown should never take on Kenn Quinn. Now, as you heard Cowboy Quinn right there in that YouTube video, he has come to collect his $10,000. In a series of YouTube videos, Kenn Quinn plays the Brown challenge over and over. I mean Brown keeps repeating it, every time he speaks. And then Quinn answers with not just one, but five so far, videos quoting founding fathers explicit recognition that they recognized they had the authority that Brown denies them and that they, according to Robert Brown, never even claimed they had.
Philip Blumel: In the first video, Kenn Quinn points to James Wilson on June 16th, 1787. In the second video, James Madison and Federalist Number 40, next Charles Pickney on March 29th, 1787. Rufuss King on August 8th, 1787. Alexander Hamilton in 1787, I don’t have a date on that, but anyway, you gotta watch these short videos. They’re devastating and they’re funny. They’re funny. A little more serious, lot more serious, Kenn testified in January before a New Hampshire committee in support of a convention of states and in his testimony he countered the fear mongering about the Article V Process pushed by groups like the John Birch Society. And it’s worth listening to its entirety, but also here it’s worth listening to because he also calls out Robert Brown once again and asks him in public for immediate payment. Let’s hear it.
Kenn Quinn: I used to hand out this DVD produced by the John Birch Society that says, beware of Article V. They want you to be scared about the Constitution. Initially, I was, until I did my own research, it didn’t take me very long to realize, wow, the framers were geniuses. I never knew why they put the convention mode in Article V until I actually read why. Funny what happens when you start doing some reading on your own? I immediately realized, wow, this is the mechanism that we need to use. And I called up the Convention of estate at that time and I apologized for opposing them. In fact, I handed out that DVD to the legislators in my state and I had to apologize for them because once I realized that the information contained in that DVD was nothing but lies, I felt ashamed of myself for spreading them.
Kenn Quinn: And I’ll like to share something with you and I want to bring back the spirit of George Washington, because this is nothing new. This is a quote from the father of our country during the ratification of our constitution, referring to the tactics used by the anti-Federalists who were opposing the ratification of the US Constitution. Listen to our Father, The opponents I expected would endeavor to give it an unfavorable complexion, with a view to bias the public mind. This evidently is the case with the writers in opposition for their objections are better calculated to alarm the fears than to convince the judgment of their readers. They build them upon principles which do not exist in the Constitution, which the known and literal sense of it does not support them in. And this too, after being flatly told that they are treading on untenable ground and after an appeal has been made to the letter and spirit thereof for proof and then as if the doctrine was incontrovertible, draw such consequences as are necessary to rouse the apprehensions of the ignorance and unthinking. It is not in the interest of the major part of these characters to be convinced.
Kenn Quinn: I say to you today that this tactic is exactly what is being used against this process. They stand on no constitutional ground. This myth of a runaway convention is nothing but a fear tactic. It is you cannot read Article V. You cannot look at our history and believe that stuff. I heard one of your previous testifiers say that James Madison trembled at the thought of this article V convention. The very letter they get that quote from, he describes the two types of conventions, a constitutional convention, which we talked about earlier, which requires unanimous consent to call and which is what the anti-Federalists were seeking at that time. They wanted a redo. He was not referring… That’s what he was referring to, that convention, not the two-thirds needed to propose an amendment convention that he supported. All throughout his life he was a strong advocate for an Article V convention. In fact, one of your own here at How Shirt Lift, I noticed he left, he wrote this in an article on the Wes Times July 22nd, 2021. He says, “James Madison, who strongly opposed an Article V convention. I can spend hours sharing with you quotes by Madison strongly advocating for an Article V convention.” He believed in it and this guy runs something called Camp Constitution. It’s unbelievable how they dishonor their framers.
Kenn Quinn: All we have to do is read the debates during the convention when they drafted Article V. It’s clear, it’s a limited convention. It’s limited to what two-thirds of the states apply for. They voted against giving Article V the powers of a constitutional convention. The very first Article V application submitted in 1789 by Virginia was for the Bill of Rights, in the debates in Congress. Now, this is very powerful. Over 50 members of the first Congress were either framers of our constitution or they were delegates to the state ratifying conventions, that ratified the Constitution. They well understood Article V and when you read the debate in Congress, every single person that spoke on the Virginia application knew we can’t do anything until two thirds apply for the same subject. And then it’s out of our hands. And it’s out of their hands because they knew Congress has no authority in this matter.
Kenn Quinn: They don’t choose the delegates, they don’t make the rules. It all falls under the states. That is why they gave us the Article V convention, the very day on September 15th when they were voting on it. And that’s where George Mason stood up and I’m glad he did. The way it was drafted, still allowed Congress to propose the amendments that was applied for by the States. And he said, “No, we want them to have no authority whatsoever in this process. The convention is the institutional rival against Congress. Why in the world would the state legislatures want to give them any?” It makes absolutely no sense. So this idea that we’ve heard, in fact the previous testifier… Oh, back to Madison. I highly encourage you to read Federalist 38 ’cause James Madison talks about that second convention that he trembled over and it’s clear he’s talking about a constitutional convention that the anti-Federalists wanted.
Kenn Quinn: It was a complete redo. That’s what he’s referring to. But a gentleman previously also mentioned a John Birch Society Scholar. I laugh at that, by the name of Robert Brown. He goes, and I think you have his testimony. In fact, I think, Mr. Matthew Rhodes handed in his testimony, he looked very familiar to me in that testimony. And what Mr. Brown does is goes around the country, he’s offered a $10,000 challenge. And this is his challenge. Find for me one delegate of the federal Convention, 1787 that stood up and believed they had the authority to propose a new system of government. And he says it doesn’t exist. It’s on your sheet there. You’ll see this. I’ve answered that challenge over five times. He owes me $10,000. I highly recommend, I’ve got a YouTube channel just for that $10,000. It’s called All Things Article V. I encourage you, please watch my five episodes so far requesting the $10,000 payment because I overwhelmingly destroy his lie.
Kenn Quinn: It’s fear. I’m tired of the fear. This has been mentioned. Why hasn’t this continued to get stopped here on this committee? I don’t know. All I ask is we stop being fearful. I encourage this committee in closing, that we stop being afraid of what cannot happen, cannot happen. And be excited about what can happen. Imagine being able to partake and participate in the historic event where you get to propose an amendment that has been the desire of the American people for decades and an amendment that everybody wants except those in power, TERMIS Congress. Simple. 82% of the American people want that.
Kenn Quinn: This is federalism. This is the authority the framers gave to you. Now I just found this quote I’m gonna read. I’m gonna close with this ’cause I was studying about this process back in the 90s. TERMIS is all the rage. This is an article from 1994. “If Congress is truly a representative body which is responsive to the people, then it should propose an amendment to the Constitution limiting congressional terms and present it to the people for ratification. Congress’s refusal to do so is the best evidence that it is not the representative body that the framers of the Constitution envisioned.” Thus giving credence to the argument that the framers would support today’s state imposed congressional term limitation. It is a sad fact that if the states are not allowed to impose congressional Term Limits, Congress never will in spite of the will of the people, the supposed ultimate source of power.
Kenn Quinn: Members of the committee, this process is because, the reason we’re here today is because Congress is unresponsive to the American people. These reforms are not going to come from Congress. We’re up to what 17 amendments already in three weeks in this session in Congress. And some of these are really good amendments, but they’re not gonna see the light of day unless you step up and put pressure. And once you do, they’ll start getting in line because they don’t want you to do this. They fear you. They fear your power. And that is why we are seeking your support, all of you. I would love to see unanimous consent here. Vote ought to pass on HCR one. Please. The American people, the people of New Hampshire and New Hampshire in my previous testimony should be leading the charge because you have the experience here at New Hampshire. You sent delegates in 2017 to draft the rules for an Article V convention. You have had the most conventions for proposing amendments to your state constitution proposing over 200 amendments to your own constitution, and you participate annually in an official convention of states known as the Uniform Law Commission. You are doing it well. You are well versed in this process. Do not let the fear mongers influence your decision on this. I close, but I just want to thank you for allowing so much time today and I want to thank everyone that showed up and I wanna thank you for seriously considering this resolution. Thank you.
Speaker 7: Thank you, Kenn.
Philip Blumel: Check mate. Check out Kenn Quinn’s video battle with Robert Brown on YouTube by searching out all things Article V. Use the Roman V for five. Surely the 10k check is in the mail after that one. This just in, no joke. As I was recording this segment that you just heard on Friday, the word came over the horn. The Term Limit’s Convention bill passed its first committee vote in the New Hampshire House with an 11 to six victory. Kenn Quinn was right there on the scene. Term Limits is on the move. And with fighters like Kenn Quinn on the team, we will win. Happy Term Limits Day, February 27th.
Stacey Selleck: Like the show? You can help by subscribing and leaving a five star review on both Apple and Spotify. It’s free.
Philip Blumel: Thanks for joining us for another episode of No Uncertain Terms. The Term Limits convention bills are moving through the state legislatures. This could be a breakthrough year for the Term Limits movement. To check on the status of the Term Limits convention resolution, your state, go to termlimits.com/takeaction. There, you will see if it has been introduced and where it stands in the committee process on its way to the floor vote.
Philip Blumel: If there’s action to take, you’ll see a take action button by your state. Click it. This will give you the opportunity to send a message to the most relevant legislators, urging them to support the legislation, they have to know you are watching. That’s Termlimits.com/takeaction. If your state has already passed the Term Limits, convention resolution, or the bill’s not been introduced in your state, you can still help. Please consider making a contribution to US Term Limits. It is our aim to hit the reset button on the US Congress and you can help. Go to TermLimits.com/donate, Termlimits.com/donate. Thanks. We’ll be back next week.
Stacey Selleck: Find us on most social media at US Term Limits, like us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and now TikTok.
Speaker 7: USTL.