State Rep. Ken Ivory has been hired as a paid staffer for a group that supports the call for a convention of the states – an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution via the founding document’s Article V.
For an undisclosed salary he is to educate folks about the issue and advocates for approval by the various state legislatures.
Ivory has done nothing wrong, broken no ethics or conflicts of interests laws or rules.
But he does admit he’s being pounded by the far-left and far-right over his employment and policy-making – and it is tiring.
Two years ago Ivory was criticized by a D.C. liberal group over his work on trying to get federal lands in Utah turned over to state control. The group filed an official complaint with the Utah AG’s office.
And a Utah Attorney General brief investigation cleared Ivory of any wrongdoing.
Ivory has since left the non-profit he set up on lands issues and formed several groups aimed at adopting an Article V convention of the states.
Ivory has for years supported various attempts in the Utah Legislature to call such an Article V convention, and, indeed, before his paid job started last Fall, he twice, in 2015 and 2016, introduced resolutions calling for such a convention.
Ivory did not introduce an Article V resolution this session. He denied to UPD that he stepped away from sponsorship because of his new paid job advocating such an action.
Fellow Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville, ran the resolution this session, HJR3, which has already passed the House and awaits Senate action.
“Rep. Nelson did a fine job with that this year,” said Ivory, so he didn’t need to act.
However, it is against the rules for any legislator to be paid to introduce legislation – so Ivory is probably wise to just stay away from that direct conflict.
It’s not like Ivory is trying to hide anything, however.
Ivory’s hiring by the Convention of the States Action non-profit was reported on the group’s website last November, easily found in a web search.
“Rep. Ivory is a rock-solid legislator focused on federalism and States rights—the perfect champion against a federal government that is broken and will never fix itself,” said Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance.
Ivory’s filed conflict of interest statement with the Utah House, due at session’s start, lists the COSA job.
Ivory told UtahPolicy on Monday that first he was opposed by the D.C. liberal group for his lands work, and now he’s being opposed by the Utah Eagle Forum and the John Birch Society for his work on calling a convention of the states.
“I guess that means I must be doing something right,” by being opposed from the far-left and the far-right.