Dan Marks proof one citizen can make a difference in how government works
HILO – Thanks to Hilo resident Dan Marks, the United States may be on its way to a Constitutional Convention.
The states have been asking to convene one for years. And as Marks found out, all he had to do was ask the right person to start counting.
We spoke to Marks last week outside the County Building in Hilo.
If we can have such a dramatic effect from our little town so far away and isolated, you know there’s really no stopping us.”Dan Marks
Marks spent years of trying to figure out how to effect positive change in Congress – things like getting the money out of politics, for example. Article V of the United States Constitution provides that if two thirds of the states call for a Convention for proposing Amendments, Congress must comply.
Our system is broken. It doesn’t represent the people. It seems to represent the highest bidder. Basically, we’ve got a coin operated government. Our people are getting walked on, spit on, probed and and sprayed like bugs. So just, enough is enough.” Dan Marks
According to the non-partisan association Friends Of the Article V Convention, there have been 750 or more Article V applications from the state legislatures of 49 of all 50 states. But the applications have been ignored. That’s where Marks enters the story.
I looked at the record – the collection of records of these applications in the congressional record – and it didn’t make sense. It looked like there was a couple times where they should’ve called a convention where they’d had to over two-thirds of the states apply. So I looked into it, and tried to get an official count from Congress. And so I called them, called the clerk’s office in the House Representatives and asked them for an official count. They wouldn’t give me one. After months of bothering them about it, I finally went to the parliamentarian at the house, Tom Wickham. Asked him about how to solve this dilemma. He created a process for me that didn’t exist in Congress.”Dan Marks
Marks even appears in the Congressional record for his work.
We’ve ask for it an official tabulation and verification of the applications from all the different states and I also turned in 42 States with standing legal applications and I asked them to verify those.”Dan Marks
There is a website where the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives is publicly posting the ongoing tabulation. Supporters of the process are confident that they will meet the two thirds threshhold of 34 states.
Interestingly, Hawaii is the only state whose legislature that has not made such a request. That could change this session with House Concurrent Resolution 53. The measure has been offered, requesting the u.s. congress call a constitutional convention to take on corporate campaign spending laws.