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Business Plan


To preserve our freedom by limiting the power of Congress with process amendments to the Constitution, originated and ratified by the States without the discretionary participation of Congress, which will encourage the election of leaders who have the virtue and courage to be statesmen.


1. Purpose

The purpose of Campaign Constitution (CC) is to effectuate process amendments to the United States Constitution. Process amendments are amendments that relate to procedures and methods by which decision makers are selected, serve, and make decisions and are thereby only indirectly related to public policies that affect our country on a day-to-day basis. More importantly, people who will differ greatly on public policy issues can nonetheless agree on process amendments. That process amendments transcend political affiliation and those other touchstones that divide our citizenry on most material issues is confirmed by many political scientists. Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek said:


…while agreement is not possible on most of the particular ends which will not be known except to those who pursue them…agreement on means can to a great extent be achieved precisely because it is not known which particular ends they will serve.


For the foregoing reasons, by effectuating process amendments, we receive different decision makers with different values who we hope will be better decision makers and give us both meaningful and desirable changes and thereby better public policy and increased respect for our system of government.


2. Need for Process Amendments

If one thing is clear in the commentary on American politics, it is that most citizens on the subject of the performance of the United States Congress have a negative opinion.


Whether we like it or not, our federal government has evolved from early traditions of setting standards and providing for the common defense to promoting welfare through policies of redistribution. Apart from the many risks associated with the planning behind redistribution programs, the growth of regulations needed to manage these policies portends major risks to our freedoms, rule of law, and respect for our institutions.


The growth of laws and regulations has substantially destroyed the principle of legality, which has been the cornerstone of our political and economic freedom. The uncertainty generated by a growing mass of laws and regulations ever increasing in their conflict with each other has caused us to drift to a country ruled by men and not by law. It is not surprising that, as this phenomenon develops, individual members of Congress and important federal servants become necessary to the accomplishment of progress. This in turn explains the growth of lobbyists and vested interests that seek favors from public servants in the particular distribution process in which they are interested.


That this state of affairs should not be so is illustrated by the history that precedes the fall of all civilizations. While we may not be able to insulate ourselves from the certain fate of decay that befalls civilizations, at one time or another, we can do our best to delay that day of reckoning, to continue the ideals that have made this country strong and free and, to the extent possible, to restore principle and integrity to national policy in the hope that wise judges and good congressmen can re-engage the rule of law that has been the hallmark of our country. Not less important than rule of law is the need for leaders who have the discipline and courage to resist the temptations of short-term demands in exchange for a proper balance between the competing demands of short-term and long-term objectives.


We believe CC, if properly funded, organized, and managed, can be effective in amending the United States Constitution in a manner that will improve our government and meet the goals set forth above.


3. Structure

CC is a Colorado nonprofit corporation seeking qualification under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code because its purpose is promoting the general welfare of the people. Initially, it is managed by John M. Cogswell, who will seek advice from an Advisory Committee. As time progresses, the Advisory Committee will expand to fifteen (15) persons selected on a nonpartisan basis for their interest in and understanding of the Constitution and its history.


4. Policies

The policies of CC shall be established by Mr. Cogswell after advice from the Advisory Committee.


5. Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Article V of the U.S. Constitution states:


The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress.…


This article permits amendments to the U.S. Constitution in two ways:


The first and more traditional method is for Congress, by two-thirds of both houses, to propose amendments and then to specify the manner by which they shall be ratified by the states, that is either by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states or by conventions of three-fourths of the states.


The second method is for two-thirds of the legislatures of the states to apply to the Congress for the calling of a convention for proposing amendments. The amendments resulting from such convention must thereupon be approved by three-fourths of the state legislatures or three-fourths of the conventions convened by the state legislatures as may be proposed by Congress. While States have the initiative to propose amendments under this method, Congress continues to have some ability to influence the process through the two decisions it must make, namely the calling of a convention and the specifying of the mode of ratification. With respect to these two decisions, Congress’s obligation to call a convention is mandatory as evidenced by the use of the word “shall,” though its decision as to the mode of ratification (approval of three-fourths of the states or approval at a convention) is probably discretionary as evidenced by the use of the words “may be proposed.” Congress has traditionally selected state ratification, and a convention has never been called.


CC intends to achieve its process amendments by the second method and to facilitate their enactment by coordinating with all of the state legislatures for the purpose of developing proposed amendments that are identical in form and that specify as a part thereof the procedures to be utilized at the constitutional convention. One will recall that balance-the-budget amendments have periodically failed in part because of media and other public hysteria, raising fears that a constitutional convention would open the door to wholesale changes to all provisions of the Constitution. In order to avert this type of hysteria, CC intends to include as part of the rules of the convention a germaneness provision limiting the power of the convention to the subjects approved by the states.


6. Selection of Process Amendments

CC’s Articles of Incorporation provide that CC will support only those process amendments approved by its Advisory Committee and supported by a substantial number of all Americans as evidenced by appropriate polling activities. CC’s goal is to support amendments that most any American would agree with and support.


7. Process Amendments

Mr. Cogswell has prepared and submitted forty-four proposed amendments. He has no expectation that there will be general bipartisan agreement on all of these and anticipates that revisions, deletions, and additions will occur based on activities of CC and its Advisory Committee. These forty-four proposed amendments are set forth in a proposed Constitutional Convention Resolution. Mr. Cogswell has written a separate commentary on each proposal, in addition to twelve essays on subjects believed by him to be important to understanding of his values.


8. Action Plan

CC’s action plan will be divided into four phases as follows:


Phase 1: Pre-Funding Phase

(1) Select one or more of the finest constitutional scholars available to guide it in its amendment drafting process.

(2) Obtain funds sufficient to host and operate a website and publish a book including the information therein. All rights to the book will be assigned to CC to help fund its activities.

(3) Identify and appoint all members of the Advisory Committee.

(4) Adopt a detailed budget and management plan for organizing each state to support adoption of the proposed amendments.


Phase 2: Post-Funding and Mock Constitutional Convention

(1) CC will hire necessary personnel initially consisting of a business manager, a public relations consultant, a fundraising specialist, a financial consultant, and field representatives.

(2) The fifty States will be divided into separate areas and allocated to field representatives who will thereupon identify the key political representatives of both parties in their respective states. These persons are expected to be the leaders of both Houses and any others identified as influential and persuasive with respect to legislative action in the state.

(3) The proposed amendments, as modified by the advice of the Advisory Committee, shall be tested in the polls and filtered by the bipartisan standards established by CC.

(4) The amendments selected for initial action will be drafted and circulated for comment to the legislative representatives selected in the states.

(5) The amendments will be revised following the comment period as appropriate.

(6) A meeting (“Mock Convention”) of the legislative representatives will be hosted by CC at a central location.

(7) The Mock Convention shall (i) debate the amendments and vote upon them and (ii) outline the general strategy for obtaining approval by the respective state legislatures. At this time, an action plan shall be adopted, including dates for bill submissions, sponsors, and community action.

(8) CC shall search out and identify a parliamentarian of impeccable credentials who has studied and is familiar with both the procedures employed at the original Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the rules of the Houses of Congress and such person shall be retained to write the rules for the anticipated Constitutional Convention.

(9) The resolution to be submitted to each state legislature for approval shall condition that legislature’s support of the process amendments on adherence to specified parliamentary rules, which will be set forth in the amendment which rules shall contain a provision on germaneness designed to preclude consideration of any aspect of the Constitution not germane to the specific process amendments recommended.

(10) Efforts will be taken to cause at least two-thirds of the state legislators to approve an application to Congress containing the amendments and seeking a Constitutional Convention.

(11) Research and support will be provided to the States with respect to their state law procedures for electing delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

(12) Changes to CC’s website shall be made as necessary to support the foregoing activities.


Phase 3: Constitutional Convention

(1) When two-thirds of the state legislatures approve the application to Congress with the approved amendments, a Constitutional Convention convened by order of the Congress shall be held and the convention procedures established.

(2) The Constitutional Convention will be held and report the amendments adopted to Congress.

(3) Congress has a duty to refer the amendments to the legislatures of the States or to conventions of the states for approval by three-fourths of the states or conventions.


Phase 4: Post Constitutional Convention

(1) CC will support efforts to ratify the amendments by the States by their legislatures or convention, as Congress specifies, through public appearances, seminars, and electronic communications.


9. Scheduling

A schedule shall be established to satisfy CC’s objectives as quickly as possible.


10. Future Process Amendments

CC, having achieved its initial goal in amending the Constitution, will continually explore recommendations to improve our system of government by process changes to the United States Constitution satisfying applicable standards and support them in the future in a manner similar to that set forth above. It is anticipated that CC could become a major force in American politics by organizing states in a manner that can make them effective as a counter deterrent to the current practices of the United States Congress, which are almost universally condemned by all responsible citizens. The overall effect would be to make Congress more responsible by electing more responsible congressmen and senators and reminding them continually that the United States is a confederation of states and their citizens, with the people having the greatest power and wisdom to guide the direction of our country.