Ethics Dunce: Texas Elector Christopher Suprun [UPDATED]

Shut up, Chris; shut up, Alexander.

Oh, shut up, Chris; you too,, Alexander.

Another faithless Texas elector has announced himself. This time, it’s Christopher Suprun, the latest previously anonymous figure to exploit the 2016 Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump for 15 minutes of fame. Let’s see: there was Trump’s former lawyer, who breached or nicked several legal ethics duties to get a column in the Huffington Post, Trump’s ghostwriter, and all of the women who never saw fit to complain of being sexually assaulted by the President Elect until their accusations could do maximum harm and spark maximum exposure. Now we have Suprun, who penned a self-righteous op-ed for the New York Times explaining why he feels he is entitled, all by himself, to ignore the will of the people and cast his vote as elector for someone other than the candidate Texas insisted he pledge to vote for: the winner of the most votes by participating Texas citizens in the November 12 election.

The measure of Suprun’s gravitas and qualifications to take this responsibility on himself is aptly illustrated by the first of his justifications for his untenable position: “Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of “Saturday Night Live” for bias.” Naturally, he appeals to the authority of Alexander Hamilton, whose various employments in the post-election train wreck has convinced me that he, not Old Hickory, really should move off the currency and make way for someone with the right number of chromosomes. If I hear one more quote from Federalist Paper 68—which no one is 100% certain that Hamilton even wrote—I may strip off my clothes and run screaming Norse epithets into the night. Assuming, as most do, that the author was Hamilton, so what? The paper was written after the Constitutional Convention. Hamilton’s concept for that document and the structure of the government was rejected. He didn’t trust the public, or democracy, wanted George Washington to be king, and championed a system the resembled Great Britain’s. Using him to justify a concept of the Electoral College that has never been employed or accepted in the United States is a classic logical fallacy.

It’s 3:36 AM, and I don’t need to rehash all of the reasons why Suprun is an arrogant, usurping,  anti-democratic ass to presume to over-ride millions of voters because he disagrees with them, in all his expertise and wisdom in governance and leadership (he’s a paramedic), and because he can. The explanations here and here are plenty.  His own column would make his position ridiculous all by itself, however. “Mr. Trump lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief,” he says, as if nobody alerted him that the campaign was over. Yes, we’ve heard that.  Barack Obama, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman similarly lacked such experience. Arguably, Trump has more than any of them did.  Thanks for your observation, Chris: now shut up. The election is over. That argument did not prevail, and you, whoever the hell you are, are neither qualified nor credentialed to apply it to the results of the election now.

“He has surrounded himself with advisers such as Stephen K. Bannon, who claims to be a Leninist and lauds villains and their thirst for power, including Darth Vader. “Rogue One,” the latest “Star Wars” installment, arrives later this month.” Now the theory is that what the President Elect does before he’s sworn in can justify voiding the election, is it? Which anonymously written Federalist Paper makes that amendment to the Constitution? Seriously, Chris, don’t you have some patients to work on? And now we’re using advisors’ comments about Star Wars characters as smoking guns? Who are you?

“I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio,” Chris writes. Kasich lost, and handily, you pompous boob. How dare you? He was a blithering, twitchy, equivocal joke in the debates, roundly rejected by voters in the Republican primaries, and didn’t run for election: where do you get off deciding that he should be President instead of Trump? At least Hillary Clinton was on the ballot: if you are going to hijack the process and void millions of votes, at least accept the marginally less stupid argument of the Change.Org  petitioners who want to steal the Presidency.

Then there’s the matter of the pledge Suprun took that bound him to vote for whoever got the most votes in Texas. At least Art Sisneros, the other Texas elector who decided that he couldn’t do what millions of Texans voted in the belief he would do, had the integrity to resign. What standing does Christoper Suprun have to criticize Trump’s character, when Suprun swore an oath and now tells us he was crossing his fingers? He had an obligation to refuse to be an elector once he knew that Trump was the Republican candidate.

Chris is  lucky he’s a paramedic and not a paralegal. If, as many paralegals do, he decided to become a lawyer, violating a pledge would be enough to block his bar membership on the grounds of moral turpitude, as it should be.

Enjoy your perfidy, self-importance and fleeting fame, Christopher. Now we know you can’t be trusted.

UPDATE (12/17/16): Since Supron issued his screed, the efforts to use the Electoral College to overturn a fair and legal election have only become more shrill and bizarre, not to mention embarrassing to Democrats for decades if there is any justice. Hollywood actors put out a video (misstating the law and history), and are harassing individual electors by name.Republican electors have been targeted by death threats, harassing phone calls and reams of hate mail. One Texas Republican elector said he’s been bombarded with more than 200,000 emails. Politico reports that…

There have been ad campaigns targeting electors and op-eds assailing their role. One Democratic member of Congress has called to delay the vote for president while an investigation of Russian involvement in the election is underway. Two others have pleaded with electors to consider Russia’s role when deciding how to vote. Progressive groups are preparing protests across the country at sites where electors will meet to cast their ballots. Personal contact information for many electors has been posted publicly — and it’s been used to bury them with massive email campaigns.

A Harvard professor, Larry Lessig, the same odd-ball who ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination on the platform that he would eliminate big money donors in politics and then resign, is serving as central counsel to encourage and defend faithless electors. A Georgetown law professor has announced a theory that  the Supreme Court can declare the Electoral College, which is in the Constitution, unconstitutional. Of course, we still hear about Alexander Hamilton’s decisively rejected theory that the College should be super-voters who can over-rule their state’s citizens’ will, as if his too-often quoted Federalist Paper a Constitutional amendment.

Finally an astute lawyer had enough of the nonsense and wrote a well-researched explanation of just how ignorant and legally impossible the Electoral College scheme is. Robert Barnes, in useful post that I wish was about a month earlier, writes,

Congress and courts established a range of precautions against such rogue actions.

At the outset, it is important to note that the mythical version of the electoral college — as a “check” against the electorate with a right to vote one’s “conscience” against the people — was rejected in the very first election it was used, subsequently invalidated formally in the adoption of the 12th Amendment, and recognized by the Supreme Court and leading jurists and scholars alike. The twinned SCOTUS decisions of McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1 (1892) (states enjoy plenary and exclusive power over electors) and Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214 (1952) (finding since the first election of electors role as “simply to register the will of the people”) made that history clear. Whatever Hamilton thought, the actual voters rejected it, and the Twelfth Amendment chose the voters’ method rather than Hamilton’s. The role of the electors was as a messenger, not as the message.

It gets better. Read it all. Then send it to your silly friends blathering on about Federalist Paper 68.

145 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Texas Elector Christopher Suprun [UPDATED]

  1. For whatever short-sighted or self-serving reasons you all had, just admit you’ve elected an embarrassment, and a potentially dangerous man. Move on and let the electoral system function as it was intended.

    • Who is the “you” in this statement? It should be the whole electorate, because a nation elects leaders. If you are telling grandstanders like Suprun to move on, right on. How the system is intended to work requires him to vote for Donald Trump. Sucks to be him, but I didn’t make him be an elector.

      • Maybe I’m wrong, but my understanding of the electoral college is to allow the electors to use their knowledge and good sense to cast their vote while being cognizant of the popular vote in their jurisdiction. Otherwise we would not have electors, just a counting of each state’s weighted vote. The “you” was intended for those who were voicing their opposition to this elector exercising his duty (and who undoubtedly voted for Trump).

        • Pure historical revisionism.

          The EC was designed in a time before high speed communications, it was necessary to elect people and have them march across the nation to DC because there wasn’t a good way to do it otherwise.

          • That’s not the history I’ve read. The founding fathers didn’t believe the common farmer was sophisticated or knowledgeable enough to unequivocally decide who would be the best president. Research it. If it was simply a matter of communication, a sealed letter from each state delivered by secure carrier would have sufficed.

            • So how does that fit with this current issue? It doesn’t. Suprun is one common farmer presuming to veto many, and that was not the intent. The Founders recognized that the choosing of a leader should be given more ceremony than a opening a bunch of letters (which also created the opportunity for mischief.)

              Such intellectual dishonesty to avoid accepting the fair and legal results of an election. Embarrassing.

            • The founding fathers didn’t LET the common farmer vote. Actually, the common farmer might be the worst of examples, because they often owned the land they farmed, but the founding father’s original design put serious restrictions on who could or could not vote. There were 43,000 votes counted in 1788, with an American population of 3.7 million.

              I want to be very clear: I think you’re full of shit, and actively making things up. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and you should stop.

        • Yup, you’re wrong. If that were intended, then they would be vetted, elected, and carefully evaluated. Christopher is a good example of what we have: they are just people. Why would we tolerate super-voters, like the Democrats’ super-delegates, who have no claim to being super? Why should a handful of ordinary citizens get a veto over millions? It make no sense, which is why the system doesn’t work that way and never has. intellectually dishonest hyper-partisan and hysterics are arguing for an unethical and disastrous breach of the system, because they don’t like what democracy wrought. Tough.

          I’ve explained this: The EC is symbolic and ritual. If people are going to keep trying to use the ritual to cheat, then maybe it will have to be reduced to an automatic vote, but the individuals are in the Constitution, and that’s hard to change.

          WHO undoubtedly voted for Trump? What a stupid and insulting assumption. There’s no bias here. There are millions of Americans I’d rather see as President, but they didn’t run, Trump did, he won, and the electors have no “duty” but to follow what the public in their states have dictated

          • I disagree. The original electors were not common people, they were intellectuals and statesmen. How it got to the state the college is in now, I couldn’t tell you, but that’s what we have and it could serve it’s usefulness when the system fails all sensibilities. I’m not stupid and there was no insult by me correlating the Supron opposition to the Trump voters. Who do you think on this thread who oppose Supron’s actions didn’t vote for Trump?

            • You really are an idiot, aren’t you? What do the original electors have to do with the electors in the EC today as it has evolved? Nothing. They are all dead. The system is not what they envisioned, and neither is the political world. Just stop it. You are ridiculous.

              Making a completely correct analysis that a faithless elector presuming to veto a democratic result in his state based on a tortured reading on an opinion piece by someone who didn’t approve of the constitution only shows that someone understands process, fairness, and rules. Most of the people properly criticizing this boob didn’t vote for Trump. I sure didn’t. Of course it is an insult: you cannot conceive of someone standing up for the process as it has been represented and practiced for 200 years unless it benefits them and their favored politicians. I wrote the post, you clod. Why don’t you check what I’ve written about Trump? Why do I think people on the thread didn’t support Trump? Oh, I dunno, maybe because I’ve read their comments on the subject for over a year. Or maybe because I understand why I find Supron nauseating—because I comprehend government and ethics, and have integrity.

              • I should have know better than engaging a arrogant, pompous ass like you. You fail to recognize the holes in your flawed arguments, so you throw out insults and fluff instead. Very ethical of you, i.e., you’re a hypocrite. Don’t bother to respond. I’m off your asinine site.

            • I don’t know how you can be so wrong and yet are still able to figure how to post comments. Can you not read the English language? The article CLEARLY states he took an oath to vote for the winning candidate when he was sworn in as an Elector. In this case, he is duty and oath bound to vote for Trump or resign.

                • Wow. Richard must be new here. I’m constantly amazed by how unethical people are and arrogant when you don’t agree to their flawed thinking.

                  No matter the reason, he made a pledge to the people. End of story. No do overs.

                  I’ve not posted in awhile but still reading and enjoying.

                  • Missed you! I particularly admired Richard’s creative defense to the point that Chris and the other electors have no special credentials or expertise to justify their being able to veto the votes of millions no less qualified or wise than they. His answer? But the original electors were SUPPOSED to be well-qualified. Ah! So the fact that theoretical electors 220 years ago were supposed to be qualified to veto the will of the people, a paramedic in 2016 should be able to wield the same power without those qualities, after centuries of the power not being recognized or used.

                    I don’t like calling commenters idiots, but sometimes it can’t be avoided.

        • IF your not a Fraud and a reputable person, I would agree, but since he has Deceived Everyone from the get go Manassas VA is a long way from the Pentagon. He WAS NOT THERE. He Even Represents himself as a Member of the Department at the time as evidence in the Video of the pitch at the game. Yeah not Buying it. I put too many years in that department to have him SOIL the reputation. BTW the EC college was designed to keep Slaves from Voting, feeling they where not smart enough at the time. So lets even look further, knowing he is a Fraud, whats worse, Him OR Hillary or Trump? yeah I guess a small fine will fix anything. smh

          • Fake history note: The EC had exactly nothing to do with “keeping slaves from voting.” Slaves couldn’t vote, were considered “property,” and weren’t exactly hard to spot at the polls.

      • Jack Marshall,

        You are incorrect. The system does not “require” him to vote for Donald Trump. The U.S. Constitution gives the electoral college free reign to override the voters.

        This was their justification to make the system that way:

        The U.S. is NOT a democracy. The U.S. is a democratic republic.

        I expect Trump will win anyway, but Christopher Suprun should vote his conscience. That’s what he’s supposed to do. The founders made the system that way for a reason.

        Some States have passed laws fining electoral college voters who opposed the State’s majority vote, but they could not pass a law preventing them from voting against the State. That would be unconstitutional.

        Whether you like that or not, that IS the way it is.

        And, after Trump lost the popular vote, when some people said the electoral college should be eliminated, I argued against that too. I can make that argument here too, but it’s not relevant. What is relevant is the rule of law as established by the U.S. Constitution.

        • I am not going to rehash everything I’ve written already, as well as other. Be grateful I don’t trash the comment for the offense of having your fingers in your ears and commenting anyway. You position has been thoroughly rebutted, and it is invalid, unethical and ignorant.

          Your argument is straw. Nobody has said it is illegal not to vote for the candidate you are PLEDGED to vote for, or to presume, like a pompous, presumptuous ass, that you have the expertise to veto the votes of millions who didn’t elect you to do so. It’s just obviously wrong, a defiance of the system as it has evolved, and wildly undemocratic.

  2. Can we take a sidebar here and look at the futility of the exercise? Donald Trump currently holds 306 electoral votes to the 232 of Hillary Clinton. These guys aren’t advocating increasing Hillary’s total, so they want to cast for a new 3rd candidate. To have ANY IMPACT AT ALL, they need to drain Donald Trump below the 270 mark, that’s 36 faithless electors. For that effort, what do they get? They get the House of Representatives to correct their mistake. The House (heavily Republican, especially given this situation) would simply “go with the plan”, which is to say, pick the presumptive president-elect.

    These people are simply grand-standing. They can’t change anything unless they’re prepared to push Hillary Clinton to the top of the heap.

  3. Jack,

    First, I would like to apologize for failing to “do due diligence” and review previous posts on your blog. I did in fact make a faulty assumption that you were pro Trump and I am sincerely sorry about that.

    Second, please do not assume I am a Hillary supporter or defender. I deeply dislike the woman, her dishonesty and her arrogance. I am a registered Democrat but I am and always will be a Bernie supporter, someone who I consider one of the very few believable voices in our capitol. He is not perfect but then again no one is, but he is a good man in my opinion.

    Third, I did not show the Newsweek article to *excuse* Hillary’s behavior. I raise it because we are talking about the man who is currently president-elect. You are a student of the Presidency, so you know that it is an office that requires its owner to swear to “support and defend the Constitution” and yet, as this article shows, Trump has a visible and provable track record of repeatedly breaking the law, defying the courts, and in general disrespecting our system of justice.

    Fourth, and perhaps most important, you spoke to me about doing due diligence. Perhaps you should do the same and study our history.

    Our founding fathers never intended the electors to be a rubber stamp for the popular vote of their state or the nation because there was no popular vote in many states. There is no such thing as “200+ years of precedent” on the electoral college’s behavior the way you describe it. In fact, for most of the first fifty years of America’s existence, most states didn’t actually hold popular elections for president AT ALL and most state legislatures simply appointed the electors. These men would take their electoral oaths and gather in a room and DISCUSS their personal views on who they knew were qualified to serve and then after talking they would vote for the two men they thought would be the best options for President. They did NOT vote for Vice President, whoever was the runner-up from among the Presidential votes was automatically the Veep. It was in fact what we now would call a “ranked voting system” where the two largest vote-getters would be the President and the Vice President respectively, even if they were from different parties and hated each other … as happened in 1796 with the Adams / Jefferson administration.

    Ethics is more than just following the rules, it is also about doing what is right for the common good. How can any person with good conscience and sound mind believe that after 50 years of spitting in the eye of the law Trump will suddenly stop doing so on January 20, 2017? To say we must give Trump a chance is wishful thinking at best. It defies logic and common sense to think the man’s nature will magically change when he moves into the White House.

    The courts have ruled that electors may be required to sign a pledge, but no court has ruled that the pledge is legally binding. Electors must be allowed to do the ETHICAL thing, to do their duty and USE REASON TO SELECT the best man for the job, not be a mindless rubber stamp.

    • Thanks for sharing that Tim – that is the first I have heard of any elector other than one pledged to the Apprentice (Donald) who has admitted desire to vote “faithlessly.” I know a bunch of people in Ohio who I am sure would say that voting for Kasich over Hlary would be going from bad to worse.

  4. My question is why does no one call this guy out for saying he was a New York City fireman. He was a paramedic in Virginia and went to NYC after the planes hit!

    • 1) Who cares? It doesn’t make his argument more wrong than it already is.
      2) Well, he was a fireman in NYC working for NYC while he was there, so it’s a sort-of fair description. Sort of. You know, like “We are all Americans now”…

        • you are correct he was a Paramedic in Manassas and Did not go to the Pentagon, he still wears the Uniform of the Department he served then, No Others since. Date: December 05, 2016 09:40PM

          WHEREAS, Stephen Christopher Suprun, Jr., a firefighter/paramedic trained in the Commonwealth of Virginia, was elected chair of the Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center Advisory Council; and

          WHEREAS, Christopher Suprun has served for more than 20 years in both volunteer and paid ranks as a firefighter/paramedic; and

          WHEREAS, Christopher Suprun won Rookie of the Year honors as a new firefighter with the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department for his service in 1993; and

          WHEREAS, Christopher Suprun was one of the first responders to the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001; he also was a first responder during Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and

          WHEREAS, Christopher Suprun has been published in nearly 50 articles on issues relating to emergency medical services and their delivery; and

          WHEREAS, Christopher Suprun was an initial trustee of the Virginia Volunteer Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Service Award Fund Board; and

          WHEREAS, Christopher Suprun is a national spokesman for the Never Forget Foundation, a nonprofit organization that connects school-age students with public safety responders who, through coaching and mentorship, show students how to prepare for unexpected occurrences and disaster situations; and

          WHEREAS, the hard work and dedication shown by Christopher Suprun will help to ensure a bright and healthy future for children in need of emergency medical attention, and also inspire those who work to prevent injury and illness in children and who respond to pediatric emergencies; now, therefore, be it

          RESOLVED by the Senate of Virginia, That Stephen Christopher Suprun, Jr., hereby be commended for being elected chair of the Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center Advisory Council and for his continued leadership in all areas of emergency medical services; and, be it

          RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Stephen Christopher Suprun, Jr., as an expression of the Senate of Virginia’s admiration for his leadership in the areas of emergency medical services and youth injury prevention

          Heck of a Resume but ALL Total BS.

  5. I voted for the Trump, after looking into the real issues that he stood on. Media literally ran a smear campaign against him. Have you ever wonder is it actually news or just about the ratings? Its like they make the fire to draw more in. 50 people protest and its national news really who gives a dam about that, I think God California does not run this country. I do hate Trump stances on immigration and citizenship. I also hated the way Obama overran the constitution ever chance he got. Even in a debate the commentator stated 8 years of record breaking Job Growth, what a laugh Texas gained more jobs then 49 states combined. Did the media report how misleading the comment was. It was Texas republican and conservative government that gain those jobs not Obama. Then even then it was not really Texas it was local cities and fair tax embankments and other incentives that kept the job growth in high demand even during the low oil prices.

    I am killing this with the details…

    Regardless, I supported Trump in my vote. Personally I think Ted Cruz would have been a good pick. After doing research for my options it seemed best to vote that way. To have some idiot like Christopher Suprun to cast my Vote away is unsettling to say the least. I have 141 IQ, 176 Credited hours, and served this country for 8 years. What the hell makes him think I am not capable of making an intelligent decision. I know it was not the best pick but nether was Obama and we had to deal with the pencil head for years bankrupting America.

    At the end of the day I truly think Trump might surprise us all. He seems to have a talent for that. Lets just hope it is a good surprise. Everything I looked at pros and cons still said he was the best pick, I’ll challenge anyone to look at his platform with cons and pros and convince me otherwise. Just to be clear platform not media bias, clips, or what you personally think. I personally think he is a pompous jerk. He still got my vote.

  6. I don’t even know who the electors in Virginia were for any candidate, because they were not listed on the ballot I received, so, in truth, I had absolutely no idea who I was really voting for (or, for you English purists, “for whom I was voting”). I can only assume that the electors who were elected from Virginia will vote for HRC, because that’s what they were elected to do. Side note–I did not vote for these electors, but I would be very disturbed if they voted any other way, because I have absolutely no idea who they are but would at least like to think that they could be trusted to carry out their pledge.

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