Last week a Republican member of the Electoral College, Christopher Suprun, published an op-ed in the NYT explaining why he would not be casting his vote for Donald Trump. Suprun is the same elector who the NY Post reported one month ago that he’s on track to vote as assigned for Donald Trump next month, despite reports saying he’d consider going rogue and voting for Hillary Clinton. Previously, Politico had quoted Suprun in August saying he found Trump so unpalatable, he’d consider going “rogue” and voting for Clinton. He then told the Post that he “always planned to vote for his party’s nominee” when Electoral College electors gather in their respective state capitals to finalize Trump’s presidency on Dec. 19.
He lied, as his NYT op-ed made very clear: "The election of the next president is not yet a done deal,” Suprun wrote. “Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience.”
"Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief", Suprun also wrote, adding that Trump’s business dealings might pose unacceptable conflicts of interest, Suprun adds - a problem that could seem him “impeached in his first year given his dismissive responses."
Yesterday, Suprun spoke to Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on the Powerhouse Politics Podcast, and suggested that there are other Republican electors who will follow Suprun in not voting for Trump. "At this point there are people who have reached out to me. Again it wouldn’t be my place to name who they are," he said, though he indicated he was talking about Republican electors.
"I am confident in saying, at this point," he continued,"I don’t think I will be the only one voting for someone other than Donald Trump who is carrying a Republican elector seat." It was not clear which former candidate would earn Suprun's vote since his choice, Ohio Governor John Kasich, has said he is not interested.
Still, Suprun is confident he will find someone: "As electors come forward, and I have had conversations with other Republican electors in particular, I think we will start discussing names specifically and see who meets the test that we could all get behind," he said.
"The point of this isn’t just to go down and raise a little ruckus it is to vote for the person we think would best be able to hold the position."
Of course, tens of millions of Americans are fairly confident that person has already been found, and are confused why Suprun believes he has the right to override the responsibility bestowed upon him by Trump's voters.
Meanwhile, Suprun says he has received both positive and negative reactions. On the positive side are people who say his actions restore their faith in the country. On the other side he has "received several twitter threats directly."
"I have been told that this type of action leads to insurrection, which I think is unfortunate," Suprun said. "There has been some backlash. Unfortunately there are some Trump backers who think violence is the answer."
Suprun had been a Trump supporter but said he "started having very serious doubts two weeks ago when on the Sunday talk shows Mr. Trump started talking about a phantom three million illegal votes, where he was attacking members of the press for exercising their first amendment rights."
"I think he is the only candidate I am aware of who ever asked a foreign country to hack his political opponent’s e mail account to find out what is in them, which I consider almost an invitation to espionage. We know he has been a demagogue. He has not attempted to unite the country. Even when Time Magazine made him their Person Of The Year they called him 'President of the Divided States of America.' And, finally, most objectively, he seems to have financial conflicts of interest which he won’t resolve."
Quoted by ABC, Suprun said he is in favor of an electoral college, but doesn’t think it should be "a rubber stamp." As he wrote in his recent New York Times article, he believes his actions fall squarely in the Hamiltonian tradition. He wrote that "the United States was set up as a republic. Alexander Hamilton provided a blueprint for states' votes. Federalist 68 argued that an Electoral College should determine if candidates are qualified, not engaged in demagogy, and independent from foreign influence."
Finally, here is a smug Supron appearing on the Tucker Carlson show defending his views and declaring that we won't find out who will be President until the "election" actually happens on December 19th.
"December 19th is when the election actually happens. I'm actually surprised you didn't know that. But that's when electors actually cast their ballots. And that's when we'll find out who is President."
Meanwhile, many angry voters took to Twitter calling for Supron to be replaced as an elector.
#ChristopherSuprun— Dani Taylor (@DaniEdgeH2O) December 9, 2016
Your moral high horse is sickening. Stop wasting the nation's time! This is self promotion ONLY.
#tuckercarlson suprun should be tarred and feathered.— hrley (@Hrley) December 9, 2016
This self absorbed elitist is a disgrace.
Remember this scumbag Christopher Supron.
This idiot #ChristopherSuprun represents the votes of the people not his. Remove and replace this cowardly traitor!— American Infidel ???? (@MakingGuns) December 6, 2016
It remains to be seen if his effort fizzles away and is forgotten like Jill Stein's attempt to "recount" the election away from Donald Trump.