For those of you out there seriously contemplating the notion that the nation’s governors represent the last great hope for preserving freedom and battling socialism, you’d better think again.

A WorldNetDaily survey of the nation’s governors on issues central to states’ rights and individual freedom has not produced encouraging results.

In the last 10 days, WorldNetDaily called all 50 U.S. governors to determine their positions on President Clinton’s suspended Executive Order 13083, a chilling grab for power by the executive branch and the federal government in general, and plans to institute a national ID number tied to state-issued driver’s licenses.

Overwhelmingly, most governor’s offices expressed ignorance of either plan — both well-documented, first in WorldNetDaily, and later in establishment press outlets. Most failed to respond to repeated inquiries about their positions on these two issues critical to drawing a clear demarcation between the powers of Washington and the authority of supposedly sovereign states.

Now, let’s remember, Republicans hold nearly three-quarters of the governorships. Republicans pay lip service to issues of states’ rights, individual freedom and personal privacy. Yet, only six Republicans expressed even the mildest of concerns against EO 13083, an executive order even the White House acknowledges went too far in redefining federalist principles. Only three even commented on an existing law that will soon establish the national ID card — a proposal antithetical to civil liberties and anathema to freedom-loving Americans.

Such indifference, I guess, should be expected from a group of officials represented by the National Governors Association. The NGA was, WorldNetDaily revealed recently, working on its own plan to implement both the EO 13083 and the national ID card. In addition, the group’s website champions socialist causes and, until exposed by WorldNetDaily last week, carried a banner touting an “information partnership” with the left-wing Internet coalition known as “HandsNet.”

After this column last week revealed the true nature of HandsNet — an umbrella representing the interests of the National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, La Raza, Friends of the Earth, the Children’s Defense Fund, Americans for Democratic Action, Mexican American Legal Defense and
Education Fund, the National Education Association and other pseudo-liberal groups — the NGA site removed HandsNet and other links from its page.

So, at least someone’s paying attention. But the real test is action, not associations.

Can you imagine that governors are not speaking out on EO 13083, which would have justified federal intervention in any issue for any reason? Some of those asked said they would give their opinions to the White House when specifically asked for them.

Incredibly, that is precisely what Clinton did when he suspended the order — he solicited the opinions of local and state officials across the land. Yet, the governors have their heads buried in the sand, or, perhaps, up their anal orifices.

Or maybe the fix was in from the beginning. Perhaps Clinton, ever the savvy politician, agreed to suspend EO 13083 because he knew he was dealing with a bunch of compliant, unscrupulous governors who would do his dirty work for him and for Washington.

So what’s up with these guys? What is the real agenda of the National Governors Association? John R. Prukop, executive director of Citizens for a Constitutional Washington, thinks he knows.

“The National Governors Association is the Judas Goat, together with various sister organizations, such as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the Council of State Governments,” he says.

He says that as far back as 1937, these organizations supposedly representing the interests of states have, in fact, been promoting greater federal power and, in fact, global uniformity and the implementation of international treaties.

“The great vice of organizations such as the National Governors Association, the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws can be summed up in one word: federalism,” says Prukop. “They desire to clothe the federal government with almost monarchical powers. They have almost succeeded.”

So, do the occupants of the statehouses offer freedom-loving people any hope as the vanguard of a fight against Washington tyranny? Not if the National Governors Association or our recent surveys of opinions from them represent any indication.

Better look elsewhere for the political leadership needed to reclaim the promises of the U.S. Constitution.

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