Michael Farris’ Convention of States Unmasked

“If God had not intended them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep.” –The bandit Calvera, “The Magnificent Seven”

This story is about the Republican grass roots, the common man, the tea parties, and how they really fit into the Convention of States’ Article V plans.

Remember in 2014 when Eric Cantor, and his henchman Ray Allen tried to stampede the Virginia Republican Party? This occurred because the GOP grassroots had nominated Ken Cuccinelli for governor in 2013 by direct convention rather that the easier-manipulated primary system favored by the GOP establishment. Classic establishment versus grassroots contretemps….only the grass roots won.

Of course we all know Cantor lost his seat in the primary, in a big way ($3m-$168K)….but not before he had sent (loaned?) Boyd Marcus, another of his key advisors and designers of the Republican Young Guns (see below), to Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton Democrat, who would win the governorship against Ken Cuccinelli by a squeaker, also with the help of a faux-libertarian, sponsored by a Democrat-WAPO-George Will combine. Will apparently defines his politics with religion, in this case helping the Democrat defeat the Christian.

This article from Bearing Drift, Virginia’s premier political blog, was published just after Dave Brat’s historic win over Cantor in the June 9th Virginia primary, laying out how the GOP establishment was attempting to steamroll district party offices. It’s a damning indictment of the GOP establishment’s willingness to work with Democrats (and the Left) to gain control of the party apparatus.

The trick, designed by Allen and Marcus and their Young Guns, was called “slating” in which a large number of Republicans and Democrats would stand together and nominate a slate of Republican officers, then call for a vote, without any prior notice that a vote was to take place. It was tried all over the state, highlighted by the illegal sneak-attack election in Virginia’s 2nd District (Virginia Beach), which was quickly appealed and overturned. Our friend, LadyPenguin, (who helped in the preparation of this report), is a precinct chairman and was in attendance. The members appealed, and the election was overturned, and the state committee affirmed this ruling. With a heads-up, another attempt failed in Virginia’s rich and powerful Henrico County, near Richmond.

Fast forward to the Convention of States connection.

So, now, The Convention of States and Michael Farris (of Loudon County, VA), have hired Scott Russell of next door Farquier County, as it’s new Executive Director. Russell apparently was on of those Young Guns, for he tried the same across-the-aisle stampede with Democrats to be voted in as District Chairman, using the same slating tactic that had failed elsewhere in Virginia. Russell was promptly deposed by an appeal by the majority of the members, and that too was upheld by the state committee.

But Scott Russell (and two others, probably part of the “slate”) have sued the Republican Party of Virginia to rescind his forced abdication. (That suit has gone nowhere since October, so there’s no way to tell if it is still being prosecuted.)

But the question remains: What’s the Convention of States doing, worse, what’s it telling its legislators and donor base, by hiring a “Sla8er” and working both sides of the tea party street?

Recently, Sen Dick Black, Virginia state senator whose district covers parts of both Farris’ and Russell’s home counties, has called his Convention of States Project out for being supported by left wing causes. While Farris has denied Black’s allegations as far as they concern the likes of George Soros and other high profile left wing groups he has not mentioned other leftwing notables such as Lawrence Lessig and other long-time Art V proponents.

And now this…working hand in glove with Democrats specifically to stem grass roots tea party voter power across Virginia, while on the other hand patronizing grass roots Tea Party power to push their Article V project forward, and, oh yes, send money.

No one says it better than a man named Greg L, of northern Virginia, who encapsulates this hypocrisy:

… if the Convention of States Project is successful in obtaining precisely the outcome they say they want from a Constitutional Convention, one of the effects would be to nullify the very same decision of the courts that their own Executive Director sued for while he was employed by the Convention of States Project.

If Scott Russell actually believes that what he is trying to do to the Republican Party of Virginia is right, one really has to wonder if the objective of the Convention of States Project has anything to do at all with protecting our liberties, or whether it’s really an effort to allow government to encroach even further on our Constitutionally-protected liberties.  It’s not as if Michael Farris could possibly be unaware of what’s going on – I’ve been told several individuals have already contacted him about this only to get strangely legalistic dismissals of their concerns.  Farris cannot also claim to be ignorant of the issue this lawsuit rears, as he’s arguably one of the best Constitutional lawyers in the country and it cannot conceivably escape his notice that the basic premise of this lawsuit of which his Executive Director is a plaintiff is utterly and entirely at odds with the publicly stated goals and intentions of the Convention of States Project.  Farris is aware of the issue at hand, has considered the implications, and through his inaction has sent a very clear message to anyone who values the liberties so important to the foundation of our country that they were the first mentioned in the Bill of Rights that they can pound sand.

If this is the group that intends to shepherd us through the perilous process of re-writing our Constitution and their professional staff, with the assent of their leader, is brazenly attacking the very liberties it claims to value so highly, have we any reason to be terrified of the notion of a Convention of States?

One final note: Jenny Beth Martin and Todd Cefaratti, call your office. The hounds are loose.

(Additional thanks to LadyImpactOhio for her assistance in the preparation of this article.)

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