HJM 2: Contact Your Oregon Legislators

June 9, 2015

As a Move to Amend supporter we need your help persuading House Speaker Tina Kotek to allow HJM 2 to move forward. Here's the background.

There are two ways to propose an amendment according to Article V of the US Constitution:

Two-thirds of Congress can vote to propose an amendment; or
A convention will be called to propose an amendment to the Constitution when at least two-thirds of the states apply for it.
Either way it’s proposed, three-quarters of the states must ratify any proposed amendment for it to be added to the US Constitution.

Along with numerous other states, Oregon already asked its congressional delegation for an amendment that would say corporations are not people and money is not speech by passing HJM 6 in 2013. With the exception of Minnesota's Nolan and Ellison introducing HJR 48 in this session of Congress, our congressional delegations are apparently unwilling or incapable of introducing such an amendment. So, now it’s time to escalate our demands to the second stage.

An application for an Article V Constitutional convention was introduced by Wolf PAC into the legislative session as HJM 2 and amended at the legislature's request to include MTA language. As amended, HJM 2 now calls for an amendment convention to address both corporate constitutional rights and allowing money spent in the political process to be regulated by Congress and the states.

When this measure passes, Oregon will have exercised both options described in the U.S Constitution to rescue our American Democracy and will join with a growing number of other states that have done both.

Our Action:
Unfortunately opponents of this reform have been parroting the talking points of The John Birch Society and creating unsubstantiated fear about an amendments convention to undermine support for HJM 2.  As a result, this resolution is being held hostage by Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, who apparently has decided to kill the bill, despite the fact that a clear majority support our resolution in the House.

The goal of this lobbying campaign is to persuade Speaker of the House, Tina Kotek to allow a vote on HJM 2 in the House Rules committee.

Arguments you could use are:

Countering the "runaway" convention concerns that Representative Kotek and other Democratic leaders appear to have:

The Department of Justice, the American Bar Association, and the Congressional Research Service all agree you can hold a limited single issue convention.  The amendments convention called for in HJM 2 would only address corporate rights and the regulation of political spending.
Irrational, unsupported fear of an uncontrolled, run-away Article V Convention has been used by opponents of many issues since the 19th century to thwart progress.
Any radical amendments that may come out of the convention would have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.
Appealing to partisan concerns:

If you are a Democrat, remind her that an amendment with the two MTA pillars has been the first or second Legislative Action Item of the last two Democratic platforms.  Is she a good Democrat?
If your legislator is a Republican remind him/her that the revised HJM 2 takes Constitutional rights away from "artificial entities" that include unions, not just corporations!
Steps for Action:
Please do one or both of the following:

1.  Contact Tina Kotek directly, especially if you are in her district 44. (leaving your message is OK!)
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1200    District Phone: 503-286-0558
Email: Rep.TinaKotek [at] state.or.us (link sends e-mail)

2.  Contact your representative AND senator and ask them to urge Tina Kotek to let HJM 2 have an up or down vote in the House Rules committee.
You can find who your representative AND senator is at this link:
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html

Thank you for your help.  Onward!

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