TPPF Statement on Indiana Passage

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         CONTACT CAROLINE ESPINOSA

March 6, 2016                                                                     P: 512-472-2700

                                                           E: cespinosa@texaspolicy.com

TPPF Statement on Indiana Passage
of Article V Convention Call

The Sixth State to Call for a Convention of States

AUSTIN, TX—Texas Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Brooke Rollins and Director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Action Dr. Thomas Lindsay issued the following statements on the Indiana Senate and House passing legislation calling this week for a convention of states to propose amendments under Article V of the United States Constitution:

“The action taken this week by Indiana’s legislature reflects the fast-growing momentum to restore the Constitutional liberty our nation was founded upon,” said Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ‘Texas Plan’ sparked a national movement for an Article V convention, and the steadfast efforts of the Convention of States project have been instrumental in this week’s victory in Indiana.”

“Indiana’s successful resolution to call for an Article V Convention of States is heartwarming to all Americans who fear the growth of our out-of-control federal government,” said Lindsay. “Indiana joins Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, and Tennessee in calling for a Convention. Indiana’s resolution would ‘impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.’ When the current president leaves office, our national debt will be roughly $20 trillion. Our profligate federal government is crippling economic opportunity, not only for the current generation, but for our children and grandchildren as well. Fortunately, the Constitution’s Article V provides a mechanism by which the states can restore the individual liberty and economic freedom denied us by the federal government. Let the friends of liberty hope that this movement prevails.”

At the Texas Public Policy Foundation 14th Annual Policy Orientation, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for an Article V Convention of States to amend the Constitution for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.

***

Brooke Rollins is president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Dr. Tom Lindsay is director of the Centers for 10th Amendment Action and Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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One response

  1. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    “We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”
    – Rod Serling

    Such a high-sounding name for a group – ” Texas Public Policy Foundation “. But some of the cast of characters therein are about as loathsome and dirty as they come, none moreso than Chairman of the Board of Directors of this front group- Dr Wendy Lee Gramm, disgraced wife of disgraced former Texas Senator, Phil Gramm.

    snip-

    In fact, it was in that position that we have the first glimpse of the future Wendy Gramm. As a Washington Post article revealed back in 2010, one of two administrative law judges presiding over investor complaints at the CFTC, George H. Painter, claimed that Judge Bruce Levine, longtime colleague, had a secret agreement with a Dr. Wendy Gramm, chairwoman of the agency, to stand in the way of investors filing complaints with the agency.

    On Judge Levine’s first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant’s favor,” Painter wrote. “A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow,” Painter wrote.Painter continued: “Judge Levine, in the cynical guise of enforcing the rules, forces pro se complainants to run a hostile procedural gauntlet until they lose hope, and either withdraw their complaint or settle for a pittance, regardless of the merits of the case.”The CFTC oversees trading of the nation’s most important commodities, including oil, gold and cotton. The agency’s administrative law judges handle cases in which investors allege that trading professionals or financial firms violated the rules.

    Was this the kind of “unfettered market” that Wendy Gramm sought? If her later record is any indication, the answer is quite clear. Anything it takes to get the prize is enough justification for Wendy.

    However, this is an obvious case of Obstruction of Congressional or Administrative Proceedings (18 U.S.C. 1505) could have conceivably ended Wendy Gramm’s career early on. The effect on the system was to prevent a necessary oversight which might well have helped to prevent many clear cases of fraud in the whole sub-prime disaster.

    After all, the stated mission of the CFTC is to protect market users and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to the sale of commodity and financial futures and options, and to foster open, competitive, and financially sound futures and option markets. Under Gramm’s supervisor, the exact opposite was achieved.
    When Wendy Gramm left the CFTC in 1993, she began to explore the private sector by accepting directorships on the boards of several corporations, Invesco Funds, State Farm Insurance Companies.
    An PBS Frontline investigation uncovered this excellent bit of foreshadowing, which occurred around the time Phil Gramm made his unsuccessful bid in the 1996 presidential election.

    Another board Wendy Gramm sits on is that of Iowa Beef Processors (IBP), a large meat processing company. Based in Dakota City, Nebraska, IBP is a powerful corporation next door to a key election- year state, Iowa. Support for Senator Gramm at IBP came in handy last August at the Iowa straw poll in Ames. IBP sent a memo to its management level employees encouraging them to attend the straw poll, which is not restricted to Iowa residents, and informing them that $25 tickets and bus transportation would be provided by the Phil Gramm-for-President campaign. Gramm campaign buses picked up the IBP employees at eight separate locations in the states of Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois and transported them to the straw poll, where their votes helped Gramm tie front-runner Bob Dole and gave the Gramm campaign an important boost.

    In a written statement to FRONTLINE, an IBP spokesman said, “Many of the campaigns provided tickets and bus transportation to the event, some bringing in people from as far away as Kansas. While the Gramm campaign paid the way for the IBP employees who attended, our people were not told to vote for Senator Gramm or any other candidate.” FRONTLINE learned that the request for IBP’s help in the straw poll came from the late Alec Courtelis, the former finance chair of the Gramm-for-President campaign. .. Courtelis also sat on IBP’s board of directors and was responsible for bringing Wendy Gramm onto IBP’s board.While no one has accused Mrs. Gramm or anyone else of breaking any laws, the IBP case nonetheless shows how questions can arise when a candidate’s spouse is appointed to a well-paying corporate directorship and when that company helps promote the husband’s candidacy.

    Small potatoes. There was another corporation where Wendy Gramm sat as a director. And its name was Enron.

    Lessons of the Past and for the Future
    On the one occasion that Phil Gramm and wife, Wendy paired up, the scale of the damage that followed was absolutely stunning, especially for the investors who lost more than $60 billion in the spectacular collapse of Enron.
    The Village Voice, citing a report by a non-profit research organization, Public Citizen, explains the dubious Gramm involvement in the Enron affair.

    In an apparent response to a 1992 plea from Enron, Dr. Wendy Gramm, then chair of the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission, moved to exempt the company’s energy-swap operation from government oversight. By then, the Houston-based Enron was a major contributor to Senator Gramm’s campaign.

    This decision also came about after intense lobbying by Koch Industries, several oil companies and Wall street speculators. This group has formed a coalition called “The Energy Group” which pressed the CFTC to allow oil derivatives to be traded outside of government regulation. As Think Progress notes:

    On the final day of the [George H.W.] Bush administration, January 21, 1993, [CFTC chairwoman] Wendy Gramm … approved the rule exempting key energy futures contracts from government regulation and returned a great chunk of the energy market to the grand old days of unregulated futures trading,” writes author Antonia Juhasz in the book Tyranny of Oil. The move mirrored the demands made by Koch’s lobbying coalition, The Energy Group.

    One might think that Wendy Gramm would have wanted to take a break from all that scheming. One would be wrong. The audacity of Phil Gramm is second only to his wife.

    A few days after she got the ball rolling on the exemption, Wendy Gramm resigned from the commission. Enron soon appointed her to its board of directors, where she served on the audit committee, which oversees the inner financial workings of the corporation. For this, the company paid her between $915,000 and $1.85 million in stocks and dividends, as much as $50,000 in annual salary, and $176,000 in attendance fees, according to a report by Public Citizen, a group that has relentlessly tracked Enron, which in turn has called the report unfair.

    Meanwhile Enron had become Phil Gramm’s largest corporate contributor—and according to Public Citizen, the largest across-the board donor in its industry. Between 1989 and 2001, the company tossed Gramm just under $100,000. In 1998, Wendy Gramm cashed in her Enron stock for $276,912. There’s nothing unusual about a Washington regulator quitting the government and going to work for a private company she was regulating. And people often get rich in the process. Wendy Gramm, whose office didn’t return Voice calls, has told reporters she sold the stock expressly to avoid any hint of a conflict of interest.

    So, to recap: wearing her hat as a regulator, she gives one company an exemption, and then quits her job and becomes a director in that company. That company then delivers a contribution to her husband and then she quits before the whole she-bang collapses, with a tidy profit from her stock sell-out. Is that how this pretty little scheme worked?

    By cashing out at this time- using the alibi of conflicts of interest, Gramm was able to profit just before Enron collapsed.
    As Salon reports:

    When Enron went over the cliff, the Gramms even portrayed themselves as victims: Wendy’s stand on her imaginary moral high ground led her to sell before Enron’s price peaked, they whined, so she forfeited some potential profits. Enron employees lacking Gramm’s finely tuned ethics, and the rest of the investing public lacking her inside knowledge of the company’s twisted finances, were left holding worthless paper.

    Astounding, isn’t it? But the Voice article has even more:

    But that’s not the end of the story. In June 2000, Senator Gramm co-sponsored the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, a measure aimed at deregulating certain kinds of futures trading, but not energy futures. That bill never made it to the floor, and thus quietly died.

    Six months later, on December 15, Gramm curiously turned up as co-sponsor of a bill with the same name, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which did deregulate energy futures and which, without undergoing the usual committee hearings and preliminary votes, was immediately attached as a rider to an 11,000-page appropriations bill. It passed and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton six days later. Few lawmakers had likely perused the rider carefully, if they even knew it was there. And at any rate, Enron had given to the campaigns of over 200 legislators.

    So apparently, Phil Gramm successfully slipped this crafty bit of legislation unnoticed by other members of Congress or the president. In the end, some cheap imitation of justice was offered to the public. Wendy Gramm did not escape unscathed.

    After the Enron scandal, Gramm and the other directors of the energy company were named in several investor lawsuits. In particular, Gramm and other seventeen Enron directors agreed to a $168 million dollar settlement in a suit led by the University of California.

    Speaking to the BBC regarding the Enron scandal, Robert McCullough – a consultant from Oregon and a professor at Portland State University- drew a parellel to events of the past. The emerging shape of the Enron scandal was almost identical to one of 70 years ago, which prompted the setting up of the first regulators to govern the way companies report their performance, he said. Following the collapse of Anglo-American innovator and investor Samuel Insull’s financial empire during the Great Depression,

    The US set up the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate companies’ financial reporting. “At the time, regulatory practices were set in force to avoid its repetition,” Mr McCullough said. “Their enforcement has been eroded over the intervening years, and today we are almost exactly reproducing that scandal. That regulation had been chipped away to the point where it is no better than it was in the 1920s, Mr McCullough said.

    full link-

    http://nomadicpolitics.blogspot.com/2012/01/friends-of-rick-perry-mr-and-mrs-gramm_06.html

    Phil Gramm, sponsored a bill that made the Glass-Steagall act much less than it was, by making it possible for large brokerage firms to act like banks, without the Glass-Stiegel regulations, leading to the chaos we have today.

    The Gramms have grown richer and fatter as the little bastard (the out-of-wedlock love child conceived of the tryst between Wendy and Enron?) they parented also flourished like a ravening cancer with worldwide consequences.

    Phil suddenly decides to not run for Senate reelection, just as Wendy sneaks home the bacon with Enron profits, while the mere mundanes all suffered huge losses.

    Anyone who would put much credibility to this group is totally stuck on stupid.

    And an Article V ” Con-Con” is the worst scenario possible for our Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights.

    Thats why George Soros and the radical Left WANT a Con-Con…….just like TPPF !

    “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their
    illusions is always their victim.” – Gustave Le Bon

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