The Three Sedona Amendments (TSAs)

by Blair C. Henry JD [1] (rev 8/7/18)

Twenty workshops were held in Sedona, Arizona to determine what 450 residents, balanced fairly based on gender and political persuasion, AGREED would make the BIGGEST difference in upgrading and strengthening the American democratic process.[2]

The participants overwhelmingly AGREED that taking the influence of money out of the political process would make the BIGGEST difference–and they drafted, and over 75% approved, a proposed constitutional amendment in less than thirty minutes.

The participants also overwhelmingly AGREED their proposal to take the money out of politics had, in their words,  a “zero percent chance” of passing as long as We The People continued to allow the wealthy to use their wealth to mislead and deceive the American people.

So, they drafted, and over 75% approved, a second proposed constitutional amendment requiring complete honesty in the American political process–and they moved it to the top of the list.

Sedona Amendment No. 1: Honesty IN Politics 

The people shall have the right to complete, honest, accurate and intelligible information (CHAI) on all matters of public policy—and it shall be unlawful for anyone, including public servants, political candidates and the media, to conduct any organized or official activities that tend to mislead or deceive the American people on a matter of public policy. [3]

Sedona Amendment No. 2: Money OUT of Politics

The people shall have the right to a political process free from the influence of private wealthand all resources used in an election, or provided to a public servant while in office, shall be provided solely, fairly, and equally by the public treasury subject to strict ethical guidelines and timetables. [4]

You are invited to review the supporting information in the endnotes below and vote on the proposals here.
Your constructive comments and suggestions are welcome!!
Thank you!!

Sedona Amendment No. 3: Ethics UP in Government

The people shall have the right to their public servants honoring the highest ethical standards—including, but not limited, the fiduciary standards of ethical conduct including, but not limited to,

  1. Always putting the interests of the constituents ahead of those of the public servant
  2. Loyally, honestly, fairly, and equally representing the interests of every constituent
  3. Avoiding even the appearance of self-dealing or conflict of interest—including allegiance to a political party [5]

Endnotes follow

[1] Blair C. Henry JD – Founder & Executive Director of The People’s Convention, Inc., a neutral, nonpartisan, nonprofit convention organizer based in Sedona, Arizona since 2011. Blair has served as a Seattle corporate and prosecuting attorney, certified mediator, graduate school professor, elected delegate to both the Democratic and Republican state conventions, and intern at both the United States and Washington State Senates.

[2] Political balance – Workshop participation closely resembled the national average of Americans: 24% typically lean left politically, 35% middle, and 37% right based on Gallup Jan 2016  Gallup Jan 2018 26% left, 35% middle, 35% right

[3] Sedona Amendment No. 1: Honesty IN Politics – The Intention of the Drafters
To support those needing to interpret this section in the future, the drafters respectfully submit it is the Intention of the Drafters that

  • This section shall NOT apply to unofficial or unorganized, spontaneous communications between family, friends, and acquaintances i.e. “coffee talk”
  • Criminal and civil penalties shall be increased, based on the number of people exposed to the misleading or deceptive statement(s) and the degree of negligence, reckless disregard for the truth, or intentionality involved in making the statement(s), to deter future violations
  • “Intelligible information” is defined here as information, standing alone, that is completely and accurately understood by a jury of persons with the equivalent of an American eighth grade education
  • All laws and regulations not meeting these criteria within one year after ratification of this amendment shall be deemed void and unconstitutional
  • All communications on public policy longer than two pages or one thousand words shall be preceded by a complete, honest, accurate and intelligible (CHAI) summary of no more than two pages or one thousand words 

Factual Support for Proposal 1

  1. Polling – America now ranks 21st in the world in terms of actually being democratic and of the Americans polled 91% believe they were subjected to false or misleading election information; 65% believe Members of Congress don’t tell the truth; 55% have little trust in the mass media reporting the news fully, fairly, accurately
  2. Constitutionality – There are hundreds of laws and regulations in America that prohibit fraud and deception and do NOT violate the freedom of speech or the press
  3. Reciprocity – It is a felony for a person to mislead or deceive the federal government, 18 USC 1001. However, there is no law that makes it illegal for the government to lie, mislead or deceive you.
  4. Abraham Lincoln: “I have faith in the people. . . The danger is, that they are misled. Let them know the truth and the country is safe.”The Boston Journal July 1864 1864:
  5. Thomas Jefferson: “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their government . . . “ Letter to Richard Price, 1789, ME 7:253
  6. Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations: “…we underscore that the right to the truth is inextricably linked to the promotion of democratic ideals, human rights, and justice.”
  7. U.S. Supreme Court: “the ability of the citizenry to make informed choices . . . is essential” Buckley v Valeo (1976)
  8. U.S. Department of Justice: “The United States Supreme Court has explained that the, ‘basic purpose . . . is to ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society, needed to check against corruption and to hold the governors accountable to the governed.’ . . . The Supreme Court stressed that ‘[t]this phrase should not be dismissed as a convenient formalism.’ Rather it, ‘defines a structural necessity in a real democracy.”

[4] Sedona Amendment No. 2: The Intention of the Drafters – Money OUT of Politics
To support those needing to interpret this section in the future, the drafters offer it is The Intention of the Drafters that

  • Prohibiting the use of private resources to influence an election or a public policymaker does NOT infringe upon a person’s right to freedom of speech or freedom of the press under the First Amendment
  • This section shall prevail over any inconsistent statutes, rulings, or interpretations, including the Citizen’s United case
  • Every jurisdiction conducting an election shall provide everyone with an equally available and easily searchable place to exercise the First Amendment right to communicate in writing their endorsement of a candidate or proposal preference

Factual Support for Proposal 2

  • Polling – Trust and confidence in the American political process is at or near an all-time low. Of the Americans polled: 86% believe elected officials are mostly influenced by their campaign contributors; 85% believe campaign financing requires fundamental changes or a complete rebuild; 84% believe money has too much influence in political campaigns
  • Private Contributors – In the federal 2012 elections, 4/10ths of 1% of Americans provided almost TWO-THIRDS of ALL campaign financing—and elected policymakers know who they are
  • Cost to Replace Private Financing – The average cost of replacing all private financing and removing the influence of money on all federal public elections based on 2016 spending is $8.10 per person per year
  • First Amendment – It is lawful, and not uncommon, for the American people to amend the constitution to repeal a decision by the Supreme Court p37

[5]  Sedona Amendment No. 3: The Intention of the Drafters – Ethics UP in Government

In approving the amendment is The Intention of the Drafters that

  • As “trustees” of the “public trust”, every government employee, contractor, and agent, shall honor the highest standards of fiduciary ethical conduct
  • Violations of this section shall result in permanent loss of government employment or contracting

Factual Support for Proposal 3

  • Of the American polled: 81% believe Members of Congress accept bribes from lobbyists; 65% don’t believe Members of Congress tell the truth; 66% believe Members of Congress are disloyal to their constituents by favoring special interests; 66% believe Members of Congress should be restricted from lobbying after leaving office
  • Many of the nation’s founders expected public servants to serve as trustees of the public trust and therefore subject to fiduciary ethical duties similar to any other trustee.