Faithless Elector Watch: Daniel Schorr Gets Naughty

Move over, Bob Beckel, Matthew Miller, and the late James A. Michener. The rogue’s gallery advocating strategic faithlessness on the part of U.S. electors has another inductee: Daniel Schorr, bow-tied sage of National Public Radio. In an NPR commentary aired Nov. 12, Schorr endorsed Miller’s proposal that Gore

appeal to the Republican electors to honor the will of the majority and cast their votes for him on Dec. 18. That might be better than starting a campaign for repeal of the Electoral College provision of the Constitution, which would probably go the way of most proposed constitutional amendments and, in any event, would not help in the current situation.

Schorr repeated the sentiment (almost word for word) in a Nov. 17 column for the Christian Science Monitor.

Also on the case is Citizens for True Democracy, a lefty public-interest group based in Claremont, Calif.. This group has launched a Web-based campaign to persuade Republican electors to switch their votes to Gore. Like the Coalition Coalition, which favors creation of a Bush-Gore coalition government, CTD is posting information on how to contact individual electors; and because this information sometimes includes phone numbers, said electors are not amused. (Chatterbox thinks that the people who get to pick the president of the United States should make themselves accessible to the public and, specifically, to Chatterbox. Only one elector returned Chatterbox’s calls today. See below.) E The People, a nonpartisan Web site, is working both sides of the street by providing a link to one petition urging Bush electors to vote for Gore and also to a second petition urging Gore electors to vote for Bush. For good measure, there’s also a third petition urging electors to vote for whomever they’re pledged to. There is no apparent penalty for signing all three.

Elector of the Day: One Republican who’s been fingered as a possible Electoral College bolter by the Wall Street Journal, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and the Philadelphia Inquirer is Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. Arpaio is famously a maverick, and he was quoted telling the Inquirer, “Maybe we ought to consider [Gore].” But after speaking with Arpaio today, Chatterbox puts the chances of his going faithless at roughly zero. “I supported Bush in the primary before it became fashionable,” Arpaio told Chatterbox. “Why should I change now?” By way of further clarification, Arpaio said, “The only way I’d change my vote is if Bush calls me and asks me to change it.”

Arpaio is the kind of maverick whose extreme views on law and order (click here to buy his book, America’s Toughest Sheriff) suggest that Dubya is, if anything, a little too pink for him. Arpaio claims credit for creating “the world’s first-ever female chain gang.” (According to Phoenix New Times, it’s actually the world’s first-ever grave-digging female chain gang). More recently, Arpaio instituted a live Jail Cam. (“Instances of violence or sexually inappropriate behavior by detainees during the booking process may occur. Viewer discretion is advised.”) This last gives Chatterbox an idea: How about an Elector Cam? Chatterbox doubts they would engage in any violence or sexually inappropriate behavior, but if any of ‘em took bribes we could get it on videotape! Take it away, Sand Hill Road. …