Wednesday, May 21, 2008
On this day:

The Congressional race: a process of elimination

In the last post, I mentioned that my favorites so far in the Republican race for Fifth District U.S. Representative are Wayne Parker and Cheryl Baswell Guthrie. Let me spend a little time spelling out why I ruled out the other four candidates.

First, there's George Barry. The following is from George Barry's campaign web site:
Al-Quaeda [sic] is not our only enemy. Since 1999, China, North Korea, and Iran have stated publically [sic] that they are willing to wage war with the United States. China and North Korea are nuclear powers with long range missiles. Iran is quickly developing these capabilities ...

We cannot be naive and think that the Iranian president that calls the US "The Great Satan" and denies that the World War II Holocaust ever existed has no intention of anihilating [sic] our country. Nor can we depend on the United Nations to act as an ally when they consistently vote against us and the principles of freedom.
I'm sure that Mr. Barry is a nice guy, but I expect my next Congressman to know how to use either a dictionary or a spell checker. Or at least to know someone who does.

Next is Mark Huff. Mark Huff is a classical musician who performs at weddings. I'm sure that he too is a nice guy, but a quick glance at his web site confirms that he's not quite ready for Congress.

Next is Ray McKee. On his campaign FAQ, he says:

Q. I heard you say you wanted to get a term limit amendment to the U. S. Constitution. How will you get Congress to vote for that?

A. There is a misconception that Constitutional Amendments must begin in Congress. That is not the case. The only thing necessary is to get the Amendment ratified by 38 of the United States. As soon as I get elected, I am going to immediately begin drafting an amendment to take to each of the 50 states for comments. It is my hope to have all 50 states to agree to the wording of the amendment in my first year. As soon as everyone can agree on the wording, the amendment would then go through each state’s procedure for ratification. (3/15/08)

While it's true that the constitutional amendment process need not begin in Congress, it's not true that "the only thing necessary is to get the Amendment ratified by 38 of the United States." Here is Article V of the U.S. Constitution:
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; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
There are two stages to the amendment process: proposal and ratification. From Civics 101: Amendments are proposed either by Congress, via a 2/3 vote in both houses, or by a Constitutional Convention called by Congress upon application by 2/3 of the state legislatures. Once they have been proposed, amendments must be ratified either by 3/4 of the state legislatures or by 3/4 of conventions held in each state, with Congress deciding upon the mode of ratification.

McKee contends that the only requirement for an amendment is for 38 states (or 3/4) to agree to it "through each state’s procedure for ratification." That's just plain wrong.

I expect my next Congressman to check with the actual text of the Constitution before he speaks about what is Constitutional.

On to Dr. Angelo Mancuso. Dr. Mancuso's web site is short on details, but it does contain this little ditty under "The Mancuso Plan for America:"
Work to repeal trade laws that prevents [sic] American businesses from fair global competition.
What does that mean? Does Mancuso intend to repeal NAFTA and/or CAFTA? Does he think that free trade is a bad idea? Ix-nay on Mancuso until he gives some straight answers.

That leaves me with Wayne Parker and Cheryl Baswell Guthrie as my two favorite Republican candidates. Parker has run for Congress before, and he almost defeated retiring Democrat Bud Cramer back in 1994. Guthrie, on the other hand, has faced her likely Democratic opponent, Parker Griffith, before, and didn't fare so well. Here's hoping that tomorrow night's debate will help me sort this one out.