Don’t be conned into voting (and paying) for a Con-Con

By Alex Kaminski

The Con-Con vote November 2017
You’ve probably heard about the upcoming vote for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) in NY. The vote will be on the back of the ballot in November 2017, with New Yorkers controlling, through a mere majority vote, whether a Con-Con will take place.

If a majority votes yes, it would open up the NY State Constitution for any and all changes that get proposed and agreed upon by elected delegates and subsequently voted on by the people. The Con-Con would actually take place in 2019.

Delegates control the Con-Con, not you and I
However, what you might not know is why the Con-Con, and any changes to the Constitution, won’t truly be in the control of the people like proponents of it would have you believe.

The people do vote to hold the Con-Con, but then delegates get elected and these delegates hold the fate of the NY State Constitution in their hands. Only what they propose and agree upon ever gets to the people for a vote to make actual changes to the Constitution.

So, while our State Constitution might change if there is a Con-Con, all you’re really voting for this November is to allow it to change, not for any specific change. In truth, the changes you want will likely never end up being put to a vote.

And Deep Pocket Special Interest Groups Control the Delegates…
This begs the questions: Who will these delegates be? What agenda will they have?

You’d like to think it would be someone who lives next door to you, shares your views, and will propose the changes you think are important. However, if history is any indicator, the delegates will be individuals funded by special interest groups and what will make it to the ballot will be the items on the agenda of those with deep pockets, not what you and I want.

Existing legislators and individuals funded by those with a specific agenda, those with an agenda like drilling for oil in our parks and state-protected land will be the delegates and will be those controlling what gets put to vote. The Constitution protects such land from being touched, preserving nature in our great state and allowing us as residents to enjoy such land. However, everyone knows the oil companies have deep pockets; deep enough pockets to fund delegates’ campaigns and have delegates that are in their pockets elected, who can then propose amendments that would lift the protections on these lands.

This is just one example of potential agendas that could be pushed through a Con-Con. The proponents of a Con-Con have an agenda, not your agenda or my agenda, their own agenda. The deep pockets will control the Con-Con if it happens. Special interest groups will get their hands on our State Constitution and have their way with it by funding their agenda with funds that others can’t match.

But we all pay the bill
Not to mention that the Con-Con will cost the state millions, likely over $100 million, which will be paid for by you, me, and all of our fellow taxpayers, not the groups pushing us to vote yes. Millions of dollars will be shelled out by the people of NY and the voice of the people paying for the Con-Con will be drowned out by the voice of those with deep pockets.

So make your choice, but if you vote yes – be ready watch the deep pocket special interest groups get what they want in your Constitution while you pay the bill.


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