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'Hamilton Electors' 

Trail Mix: Raul Labrador's rise in Trump's eyes, and trying to stop the president-elect

click to enlarge So-called "Hamilton electors," inspired by Alexander Hamilton, are trying to stop the Trump train.
  • So-called "Hamilton electors," inspired by Alexander Hamilton, are trying to stop the Trump train.

FINING THE 'FAITHLESS'

Two Washington state electors could be fined $1,000 each for violating their signed pledges to vote for HILLARY CLINTON when the Electoral College meets Dec. 19. The electors, Bret Chiafalo and Levi Guerra, have filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing that the fine is unconstitutional.

The two are part of a national movement known as the "Hamilton Electors," bent on denying DONALD TRUMP the presidency by voting for an alternative, yet unnamed, GOP candidate. However, Chiafalo and Guerra are Democratic electors, so their votes for a different Republican would not detract from Trump's total. They hope to gain enough support around the country to subtract the 37 electoral votes it would take to bounce Trump from the White House.

Trump's campaign has filed a response to the lawsuit, arguing that it threatens state laws elsewhere that bind electors to their pledge. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson also filed a response in defense of the state law. Similar lawsuits have popped up in Colorado and California.

A spokesman for Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman tells the Seattle Times that a fine for "faithless electors" has never been assessed. The law was enacted in 1976 when a 30-year-old Republican elector named Mike Padden voted for Ronald Reagan over Gerald Ford. Padden is now a state senator representing Spokane Valley. (MITCH RYALS)

RAUL VS. CATHY

Idaho U.S. REP. RAUL LABRADOR wasn't a Trump man. At least, not at first.

In May, Labrador only grudgingly endorsed Donald Trump's presidential campaign, criticizing him for "not knowing much about the Constitution or politics." But as the campaign progressed, Labrador championed Trump, holding rallies for the candidate in states across the nation.

Now, it's possible that the congressman may be rewarded for his support with a position in the Trump administration. While reporting initially suggested that Labrador's geographic neighbor, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Spokane, was going to be Trump's pick to lead the Department of the Interior, the language surrounding Labrador sure sounded related to the same department.

"We discussed how we can work together to better manage our federal lands and unlock our country's vast natural resources," Labrador said in a statement after his meeting with Trump.

Similarly, Trump's transition team leader Jason Miller praised Labrador's "great familiarity with interior issues."

By late Tuesday, however, news outlets began to report that Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke was now favored for the post. (DANIEL WALTERS)

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