Obama eligibility goes to college! The Electoral College, that is. This year, a Minnesota Republican elector candidate vows to raise the standard of behavior of Presidential Electors. If he succeeds, then the Electoral College, for only the second time in its history, will be more than a mere rubber stamp for the major parties.
Obama eligibility: why didn’t they think of this first?
The Republican Party in Minnesota nominated James Grinols and nine other Minnesotans to become Presidential Electors. To understand his role, one must understand how the Electoral College works.
The US Constitution. Photo: National Archives of the United States
Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution describes how this country chooses its Presidents (and Vice-Presidents). Contrary to popular impression, the country does not merely tabulate the popular vote and then arbitrarily assign “electoral votes” to the competing tickets. Instead, each State appoints several Electors, as many as they have Senators and Representatives in Congress. State legislatures decide how to pick Electors. (Congress decides that for the District of Columbia.) An Elector must be a citizen but may not be a government official or sitting Senator or Representative. The Electors then meet in their own States and (according to Amendment XII) vote for one person each for President and Vice-President. They then make lists of all the candidates, and the number of votes for each one. They seal these and send them to Congress. Then the Vice-President opens all the envelopes before the new Congress. The House breaks any tie for President, and the Senate for Vice-President.
So in theory, a Presidential Elector makes up his own mind whom to vote for. During the first Presidential election, the Electors did just that. They all voted for George Washington for President because they all wanted him. And no one told them how they must vote. But today, all Electors understand how they must vote: they vote the way their Party tells them to vote, if their Party “carries” the State. (Maine chooses Electors somewhat differently: two at large and one from each Congressional district.)
James Grinols has just told the Minnesota Republican Party that he will not meekly follow orders. He wants Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to give him copies of their birth certificates. He hired Mario Apuzzo of New Jersey to represent him. (This same lawyer represents Nick Purpura and Ted Moran in their Obama eligibility lawsuit in New Jersey). And he now insists that Romney and Ryan send to Mr. Apuzzo the
paper, full form official certificate of birth with raised seal from the place of your birth.
And if they do not, he will not vote for them if his Party carries the State.
Obama eligibility: set a good example!
I may be idealistic, but it seems my only available option is to help the Republicans lead by example.
So says James Grinols. His goal: to have the Electoral College act like a body of flesh-and-blood human beings, not the rubber stamp it has been since 1800.
If we could get Republican electors in all states – all  of them – to ask for Romney’s birth certificate, it would have a visible, strong moral pull at least to independents who might finally see the absurdity of a presidential candidate going to court in order to resist being forced to show birth certificate credentials.
Grinols told Jerome Corsi at WND that he despaired of getting Democratic elector candidates in Minnesota to do the same. But Nick Purpura, lead plaintiff in the New Jersey case, told CNAV that Grinols could force the issue if Democrats carried Minnesota:
He, as a Minnesota resident, should file a writ of Quo Warranto to force them to say how they can vote for any candidate who does not show his birth certificate.
The writ of Quo Warranto (“By what authority?”) asks any official by what authority he either holds his office, or does something officially.
CNAV asked Purpura whether Grinols should also ask Romney and Ryan to give proofs of Amendment XIV citizenship of both their parents at the times of their births. That would satisfy all the criteria that the Supreme Court, in Minor v. Happersett, set out for natural born citizens of the United States. Purpura enthusiastically agreed. Then he added:
The Electoral College is a joke. And here in New Jersey the whole [Obama eligibility] question is a joke. The [Division of Elections] has admitted that they have no record of Obama’s birth certificate on file for 2008!
CNAV can vouch for that directly. A Division of Elections officer said that to Purpura in your correspondent’s personal presence.
But the broader issue, broader even than Obama eligibility, is raising the standard for Presidential Electors as they decide how to vote. Grinols seems to understand this:
I am aware that there are other electors beginning the task for their party. You were chosen for such a time as this. You owe it to your country, your state and your party to trust but verify.
More to the point, Presidential Electors are not rubber stamps. James Grinols has just encouraged his fellow elector candidates to stop acting that way.
CNAV called Mario Apuzzo’s law office and left “voice mail” for him.