Friday, January 23, 2015

The COS Project Needs You

Dear COS Project Supporters,

I use that address guardedly because I know some people who strongly oppose the COS Project have signed our petition saying they support it, apparently only to be kept informed of how the Project is doing.  We're doing quite well, thank you.

In any case, allow me to introduce myself:  I'm Gary Porter, a volunteer worker with the Project here in York County.  On Wednesday of this week I went to Richmond to help Rita Dunaway and others contact Delegates and Senators to try to gain their support for HJR 497, the COS Project-compliant resolution currently being considered by the Virginia Assembly.  We really need it to pass this year.

A little more than a year ago, I was also in Richmond, joining a small group arguing against the idea of a Convention of the States.  As someone who teaches the Constitution, I thought I had studied the issue reasonably well, but a week after Lobby Day I returned to Richmond to hear Mike Farris discuss the COS Project plan.  Mike's presentation, particularly his statement that Congress does obey the Constitution (at least the one created for them by 200+ years of Supreme Court rulings) caused me to return home and do more research.  Eventually I concluded I had been wrong. 

As many do, I had lumped all COS ideas together and concluded there was no way to conduct such an event safely.  But once I studied the COS Project plan in detail, I concluded this was not only something I could support, it was something I had to support.  My weekly column in the Yorktown Crier newspaper (Constitutional Corner) made a screeching 180-degree turn and I began doing all I could to explain that the fears of a "runaway convention" were not only unfounded, but that a COS was the only way we will ever effect certain changes in our out-of-control federal government.  Congress is never going to repeal the 17th Amendment or reduce their power by returning the Commerce Clause to the Founder's understanding.  Nullification, as effective as it can be in some circumstances, has its limits.

Next Tuesday, January 27th, a group of COS Project supporters are gathering in Richmond at 10:00am to hear Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (who sponsored HJR 497) and Mike Farris give us an update on where things stand in the Assembly.  While it would be great to have all 3000+ people who have signed the COS Project petition show up, I know many, perhaps most of you have to work that day.  I understand.

But many of the Delegates and Senators who are still undecided on this bill are wondering whether there is real support for this among their constituents.  We need to show them there is.  If you can't join us Tuesday (10:00 am at the Bell Tower), how about urging your friends or other family members to sign the COS Project Petition before then?

I find parking in Richmond rather daunting, but this week I parked in the Sun Trust building lot and the brief walk to the Assembly building was a breeze, even for these old knees  (the Sun Trust building address is 919 E. Main, but you enter their lot off Cary St.).  Please come join us and show the Assembly that now is the time to move this initiative forward.  If you definitely can join us Tuesday, please let me know.

Gary Porter
Yorktown, VA
p.s. if you need more information or want to discuss in detail the arguments that turned me into a supporter of this project, please feel free to ask. 
p.p.s if you are interested in learning more about the U.S. Constitution, contact me at

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