JBS Bulletin: September 2023

Birching 101

Rescinding Con-Con Applications

by Michael Sawyer, Field Coordinator for Oklahoma and Arkansas

Question: How do we work with legislators to rescind Con-Con applications?

Answer: Oklahoma rescinded all previous calls for an Article V constitutional convention in 2009. The rescission was accomplished through the work of a small number of Birchers and took well over a decade. Years later, Convention of States (COS) entered the picture, and Oklahoma was a prime target. In 2016, our state voted for the COS resolution, coupled with a Balanced Budget Amendment application. This happened just as we were getting familiar with the tactics of COS — lies, intimidation, threats of primary opponents against legislators, fake lists of supposed constituents, and more. We immediately began to focus on rescission.

Rescission is more time consuming and requires a different focus than the battle to keep a legislature from passing a Con-Con resolution to begin with. In Oklahoma, we had seasoned legislators who had been able to stop COS for years, but when it passed, the general feeling of the Legislature was one of not wanting to revisit the issue. It had been such a drawn-out battle that lawmakers simply wanted to move on. We had to regroup and reassess. Another issue in Oklahoma is that we have term limits (a two-edged sword), so our seasoned legislators were terming out, and new ones were coming in. The key legislators who had worked with COS to push the resolution are still in the Legislature and will term out within a couple of years. This fact is important, because we now have a whole group of freshmen and sophomore legislators who have never heard of COS, and need to be educated on the issue.

Through the experience and work of our great members and leaders, an ad hoc committee has been formed. We are in the process of scheduling visits with legislators during the off season. We have select, experienced members carrying out these visits with educational materials and qualifying which legislators will be sympathetic to rescission and willing to carry or cosponsor a resolution to rescind. This is a time-consuming project that takes patience. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. As we build awareness and support, we will begin the process of showing support for rescission by having our members contact legislators in increasing numbers.

Fortunately, we have two factors working on our favor. First, the dirty tactics and outright lies of COS have been catching up with them. We now have testimony of state legislators across the country explaining how they have been deceived or intimidated ( Second, our great members are fighting to stop COS at the front door, while the Birchers in the 19 states that have passed this resolution are working the back door to rescind. COS is now in the unenviable position of having to guard the states they thought were “in the bag” while running into the brick wall of their dismal reputation, presented at every available opportunity through the mounting oral testimony and written evidence of the JBS and our friends in this fight.

Thank you to each faithful member. Don’t quit. We can win this.