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Viewpoint: My Madison visit

By Scott Thomson, Maiden Rock

Last month, I wrote a piece entitled "The Senator's Surprise" explaining Sen. Vinehout's response to my support for an Article V, Convention of States to end federal overspending, power overreach, and oppressive intrusion into our lives. The states have the means to cause the federal government to follow the rule of law by amending the U.S. Constitution.

Vinehout called a Convention dangerous, and a very bad idea. She is worried that state legislators may send delegates to a Convention and make up their own rules, rewrite the Constitution, and steal individual protections like free speech. Her solution? The Status quo, even though every man, woman, and child now owes over $60,000 as their share of the national debt.

Convention of the States, Wisconsin, read my piece and invited me to come to the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison to speak with our lawmakers. I had the pleasure of being accompanied by another constituent of Vinehout and Rep. Warren Petryk, Matt Olson, from Ellsworth, who is half my age.

As you may remember, it is the young people, including my children, grandchildren and young families like Matt's, that motivate me to stay involved. They are the victims of my generation's inattentive and lackadaisical approach to government. I find hope in visiting with young adults who understand what is being done to undermine our Constitutional Republic.

The Senator was busy with Committee obligations and we met with her aide, a 32-year veteran of the political mechanism. I came prepared with Vinehout's own words, hard copy of a weekly column she wrote in April 2017, and the letter she wrote to me, both vehemently in opposition to a Convention of States to propose amending the Constitution.

Vinehout's aide was extremely adept at interactions with constituency, including eye contact, leaning in while listening, friendly smile, and plenty of personal compliments to play to our ego. Vinehout's aide attempted to "find common ground" with Matt and myself, but common ground was not the reason for our visit, so I had to continually use the senator's own words to return to the issue at hand, the senator's opposition to a Convention of States. At one point, I handed her a copy of Federalist 43, where "The father of the Constitution," James Madison explains why a Convention of States is proper and necessary. She wanted to give more attention to campaign contributions under Citizens United, but that didn't distract us. My expectations were not so inflated that I believed that we could change anyone's mind. All that I expected, was that they would hear our position.

It's what occurred after our visit that made me ask "What is the truth about Sen. Vinehout's position?" I knew that she is afraid of a Convention of States, because she stated so in the letter to me, and in her April column she attempted to put that fear into her constituents.

Then, a Convention of States, Wisconsin volunteer sent me something that both shocked me, and then troubled me, as one who realizes he has been lied to.

Assembly Joint Resolution 121 lists Vinehout as a cosponsor, and calls for a Convention of States!

Does she ... or doesn't she fear a Convention of States? If it serves the senator's purpose, is it not dangerous and a very bad idea? Hypocritical at best, Sen.Vinehout!