The chairman of the Florida Republican Party, who served as a presidential elector in 2016 and 2020, told RedState the left ran an organized campaign to intimidate him, and other electors pledged to Donald J. Trump to flip their votes—overturning the 2016 election.
“I’m not sure there’s anything in history, like the pressure campaign that was put on the 2016 electors,” said Christian Zeigler, a leader in the Sarasota GOP and congressional staffer, before he took over the state chairmanship in February.
“In 2016, I became an elector ’cause the state chairman actually provides the slate of electors to represent Florida,” Zeigler said.
“When people go to vote, they’re basically voting for that slate of the electoral college members, so in Florida in 2016, we had 29 electoral college votes–29 out of the 538 for the whole country,” he said.
“There was a massive national aggressive campaign where they posted my cell phone number, my email, my home address on blogs,” he said.
“They basically, it was all over the internet that they were pushing citizens to email us to send us letters in the mail. I probably got, I got thousands and thousands of pieces of mail in my mailbox,” he said.
“Everything from, you know, they were kind of worded nicely, begging me to switch my vote to other people that were really kind of like threatening me with violence,” Zeigler said.
“It was like kind of a broad spectrum of people that were just so paranoid and upset with how the election results were that they, you know, they took it upon themselves in this campaign–very organized campaign,” he said.
Martin Sheen, other celebrities shoot video to convince Trump’s electors to flip
I was 1 of the 538 Members of the Electoral College targeted by these Hollywood Actors to overturn the 2016 Election.
I ignored them, but received tens of thousands of letters in me mailbox, phone calls on my cell at all hours & emails. Some polite, others threatening. https://t.co/V6zE7vQ6tp
— Christian Ziegler 🇺🇸 (@ChrisMZiegler) August 2, 2023
The chairman shared his experience when he saw Sen. Marco Rubio (R.-Fla.) posted the 2:24-minute video of leftwing celebrities, led by Martin Sheen, Richard Schiff from the cast of “West Wing,” Michael Farrell and Loretta Swit from the cast of “M*A*S*H,” along with electronic music superstar Moby, Debra Messing, Bob Odenkirk, James Cromwell, BD Wong, Noah Wyle, Talia Balsam and a handful of others.
For the script, they drew upon Alexander Hamilton’s description of the ideal president from the Federalist Papers.
Sheen opens the video with the following:
“Our Founding Fathers built the Electoral College to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue, and to ensure that the presidency only goes to someone who is, ‘to an eminent degree, endowed with the requisite qualifications.’”
Messing emphasized: “An eminent degree, someone who is highly qualified for the job.”
Together they join in saying: “You have a position, the authority, and the opportunity to go down in the books as an American hero who changed the course of history.”
Hamilton Electors co-founder reflects on his 2016 effort
The video was created and promoted by Unite for America, which was working with another group called the Hamilton Electors, founded by Michael Baca and Bret Chiafalo.
The Hamilton Electors, according to Baca’s posted resume, raised $250,000 for a 50-day campaign designed to flip Trump electors. In those 50 days, they held 27 candlelight vigils at state capitals to protest 27 states won by Trump.
In the Unite for America video, the celebrities said they only needed 37 electors to send the election to the House of Representatives—and no one had to vote for the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. This is because Trump was in line to receive 306 electoral votes, and the minimum total is 270. If no candidate reaches 270, the election goes to the House.
Baca told RedState he thought he could convince 10 percent of the Trump electors to vote for a moderate Republican, who, with the support of Democratic electors, they could bypass the House altogether.
“There was as many as 60 GOP electors who wanted to join us, but the RNC did a hell of a job whipping them up,” he said. “I have a relic—I’d have to pull out where I wrote all the numbers from the different groups who claimed they had electors.”
Baca said he urged his confederates not to threaten Trump electors.
“I had no contribution to any threats of violence,” he said. “You don’t get people to join you by threatening them.”
The Marine veteran said he was responsible for flipping Christopher Suprun, for the only Republican to flip his vote—in addition to himself.
In the end, five Hillary Clinton electors did the same.
The final total was Trump 304 to Clinton 227.
Zeigler: Every day, the mail truck dropped off hundreds of letters
Zeigler said the pressure on him and the other electors was sometimes overwhelming.
“Every day, I would come home, and there would be a, there would be a USPS bin that was full of mail that couldn’t fit in the mailbox,” said the one-time aide to Rep. Vern Buchanan (R.-Fla.).
“It’d be sitting on my doorstep of people begging me not to cast my electoral vote for Donald Trump, even though I was a Donald Trump elector at that point,” he said.
“I lived it; there was an effort by the left to change the results of the election by flipping, you know, the electoral college members in 2016 and having them not cast their vote, their electoral college votes,” Zeigler said.
“I’m just telling you what they did with letters and emails and calls and texts and everything else. I mean, they flooded us,” he said.
“Some of those conversations I had that were very nasty at three or four in the morning, them calling me—and that was occurring to all of the electors in Florida at the time because I was talking to them,” the chairman said.
“They took it upon themselves to reach out to the Electoral College members begging us to flip our electoral college votes and change the outcome of the presidential election in 2016,” he said.
“I don’t remember anyone getting indicted.”