Numerous so-called “faithless electors,” pledged for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, are apparently being pressured to change their votes, and some may be thinking of “going rogue” on December 19. At least one Colorado official has issued a public warning of “consequences” of being fined and going to jail if any electors in that state violate their oath of office and overthrow the expectations of American voters.
Recent news on the influencing of potential “faithless electors” has emerged per the story at the Daily Caller. A “public relations firm… with ties to prominent Democrats like President Obama and twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton” is at issue.
Cited is the point that Megaphone Strategies, whose stated mission is to “use PR as a tool to diversify progressive movements,” per the Caller, appears to be representing a handful of “faithless electors” trying to overturn the December 19 Electoral College vote and to “keep President-elect Donald Trump from winning” the November election.
Also mentioned is news that the firm was “co-founded by Van Jones, the former green jobs czar in the Obama White House” who currently works for CNN as a commentator, and Molly Haigh, cited as Megaphone’s president and another co-founder, who worked for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
As many as 20 electors pledged to vote for Trump, according to the story quoting a Harvard University constitutional law professor, Larry Lessig, may actually vote against him, according to the Syracuse News story. As the Washington Times is reporting, Democratic electors who are pledged to vote for Hillary Clinton but refuse to do so are being warned that they may be officially removed and replaced by others who will “follow the law,” according to the Denver District Court Judge Elizabeth Starrs, who has given Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams the option.
This most recent decision by Judge Starrs is being described as “the second blow in as many days” to the so-called “faithless electors,” who lost on a motion Monday that they hoped would allow them “to vote for a candidate other than Mrs. Clinton.”
And given the legal permission, State Secretary Williams warned there would be “consequences” for the faithless electors, which includes a fine and jail time.
“If you take an oath of office and then immediately violate it, that should have consequences.”
Secretary Williams, apparently a Republican per the information available in the story, added that he viewed this as “arrogance.” The Clinton-bound electors are apparently appealing the decision before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and are not giving up in the hope of succeeding before their own December 19 Electoral College deadline.
Previously, Secretary Williams released a statement, which was quoted in the Times story.
“Make no mistake, this is not some noble effort to fight some unjust or unconstitutional law; rather, this is an arrogant attempt by two faithless electors to elevate their personal desires over the entire will of the people of Colorado.”
These “faithless electors” for Trump and Clinton seem to be under heavy pressure, solely because of their positions as official electors, from persons and organizations determined to change the situation for the candidate they supported.
As Salon recently reported, there are potential “faithless electors” in Colorado looking to sway other pledged electors and overturn the final Electoral College vote. Quoted in the story is Michael Baca, the Colorado Democratic elector who filed to create a 527 group which would allow unlimited amounts of fundraising for the effort from “individuals, corporations and labor unions.”
Faithless electors for Trump or Clinton, voting on their own “personal initiative” are an issue. Money in U.S. politics was an issue for voters this year, of course, and the unlimited fundraising ability for a 527 group’s efforts would be troubling to many voters who are not designated electors.
The electoral vote numbers from the November 8 general election, according to Politico, has Trump at 306 and Clinton at 232. If there are enough designated electors changing their votes from Trump or Clinton or any third-party candidates, the official vote conceivably could be altered.
Two “faithless electors” intending to vote against Trump were recently interviewed on the new Tucker Carlson show for Fox News, as seen in this video from YouTube. Electors Bret Chiafalo of Washington and Michael Baca of Colorado defended their intentions as Carlson asked them to consider the consequences and perhaps “social chaos” if their actions result in Trump’s election being overturned on December 19.
If “faithless electors” for Trump or Clinton are going to overturn the November election results is anyone’s guess. What do you think will happen on December 19?
[Featured Image by Kathy Willens/AP Images]