To the Editor:
While the members of the General Assembly mull over whether or not we should have a Constitutional Convention, one has to ask: what are the naysayers and opponents of the process afraid of?
The answer is simple – it is the possible loss of their power.
The General Assembly is a strange aristocracy of the unionized, the connected, and the interdependent legal community. Historically, legislation has become law and new regulation has been enacted in order to provide public sector patronage positions that politicians can dispense to supporters like candy from a Pez dispenser. As a result, taxpayers are levied with ever escalating taxes, and excessive burdensome regulation. This discounting of the peoples’ best interest in favor of accommodating special interests has been apparent since the “Bloodless Revolution” of the 1930s. Since then, lobbyists have become the puppet masters of many stringed representatives who have traded the forthrightness of their oaths for re-election support.
A Constitutional Convention could possibly reduce the over-stratification of our costly government. It could strengthen the executive branch of government by providing the governor with the line item veto. It could eliminate the current waste of the Lt. Governor’s office by combining the figurehead title with the working Secretary of State position, thus insuring succession in the event of a calamity. Consequently, the combining of those positions would eliminate over $1 million in unneeded expense.
The soldiers for the status quo, the so-called “Citizens for Responsible Government,” are actually a thinly veiled union activists organization who are fretful about losing their legislative control. They have engaged a strategy of raising hot button social issues that cannot remotely be affected by this convention in order to quell the people’s cry for it to convene.
Since any recommendations from the delegates at a convention must be balloted before the electorate, one must ask what are they truly afraid of? The answer is pathetically obvious it is the loss of their power and control of Rhode Island’s lawmakers.