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Effort begins to publicize potential NY constitutional convention

http://www.northcoun...onal-convention

Aug 14, 2015 - New Yorkers will get their first chance in 20 years to vote on whether to hold a convention to change the state's constitution in November of 2017. Groups who want an informed vote on the issue said it is not too early to start getting the word out.

A constitutional convention, dry as it may sound, has the potential to make big changes to New York's government. Delegates could decide to switch to a unicameral legislature or require that lawmakers be full-time. They could also tighten what critics said are lax campaign contribution laws. The delegates could also address social issues such as gay marriage, abortion laws, or even gun control.

The State University's Rockefeller Institute of Government is neutral on whether to hold a convention, but the Institute's Deputy Director, Bob Bullock, said he wants the public to be informed when they go into the voting booth. "It's an opportunity for us as we go into the 21st Century to take a look at his document and ask ourselves, is this document a relevant as it needs to be?" Bullock said.

New York State Bar Association President David Miranda said his group has formed a committee to take a fresh look at the state's constitution, which has not been overhauled in nearly 80 years. Miranda said the group will be a microcosm of the state's political make up. "We have people on both sides of the fence, we have Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals," Miranda said. The Bar Association is also one of the groups, along with the League of Women Voters, which does not endorse a convention.

The fear of unpredictable action on social issues helped defeat the last proposed constitutional convention in 1997. A number of government reform groups decided to oppose a convention at that time.

Bullock, with Rockefeller Institute, said those worries should not be a hindrance to holding a convention. He said the state has a long progressive tradition with leaders like Teddy Roosevelt, Alfred Emanuel "Al" Smith, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The last constitutional convention in 1967 resulted in a number of recommendations, but voters, who ultimately have the final say in the process, rejected them. The last time the constitution was significantly changed was in the 1930s, in the midst of the Great depression. Bullock said people are now, like then, discontent with state government, as New York goes through a wave of corruption. "Trust in government has eroded dramatically," Bullock said.

Miranda, with the Bar Association, said now might be time to at least examine how well the document, which is seven times longer than the federal constitution, holds up. "Things are different now," Miranda said. "Maybe it's time to take a look at it."

A recent poll by Siena College found when New Yorkers were told about the constitutional convention, 69 percent were in favor of it. Governor Cuomo is the only politician so far to endorse having a constitutional convention. It was part of his 2010 election platform and a spokesman said Cuomo still backs the idea.
 

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The problem with having one is that NY is full of liberals. It means that it would be impossible for a good outcome for the rest of the people. I can hardly wait to hear what new restrictions on everything I can follow.

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Walker1847
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Just look at the mess the NY politicians can create in NY with simple everyday legislation - Can you imagine the lasting damage they could do through changing the State Constitution?
 

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NY politics being what it is almost certainly means overreaching liberal changes. The constitution is fine as it is. And Cuomo supports it, so right there I'm suspicious. I personally don't see anything worthwhile coming out this, the delegates proposing changes are the same ones voters are dissillusioned with, I vote we get rid of them first and then we see if changes to the state constitution are warranted.

As Walker said, they don't follow it anyway so what's the difference?
 

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The only thing that I would change in our Constitution is to insert a stipulation that says if the any politician or judge that ignores or infringes on any persons rights that they will be immediately removed from office and given a choice of being hung for treason or be sent to prison where they will be subjected to hard labor that will benefit our country such as building a border wall and such.
Seems harsh? Not at all after thinking about all those that have died to defend/protect/uphold our Constitution. It would be perfect punishment.
If those that want to run for office are concerned about this stipulation then politics are not for them.
 
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