January 9, 2021
This has been quite the week. I think I know how you feel. Frustrated. Disappointed. Confused. Fed up. I feel all those things, and more.
In all my life, I have never worked harder than I did over the last two months since the election. My days and nights were absolutely consumed by figuring out ways to get to the truth and to figure out what I, as a state legislator, was capable of doing about it.
Next week, I’ll take inventory of all the letters I signed, lawsuits I joined, and other efforts I made to address this matter. But for now, I wanted to share with you a letter I sent to all my Republican colleagues in Harrisburg on January 2 in an attempt to get them to join me to exercise the General Assembly’s authority on your behalf to decertify Pennsylvania’s presidential electors.
As swearing-in day fast approaches, I find myself reflecting on the extraordinary times we live in, and our role as members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
For the last 10 months we have witnessed the Governor’s contempt for the legislative process, as we moaned and complained about him ignoring our will. For the last couple years we have bemoaned the Supreme Court’s overstepping of its proper role, starting with the redistricting fiasco, running through our fight to terminate the disaster emergency, and finally topping it off by undermining every last security feature we built into Act 77.
I don’t need to remind you what our constituents think about all this – you’re likely hearing their adamant frustration just like I am. The aftermath of the 2020 General Election appears to be a tipping point. We’ve come to a pivotal and defining moment.
Over the last few months there have been over two dozen separate efforts by members to “do something” about this election. I won’t list them all, but I see the names of those who joined those efforts, including 39 co-sponsors of HR1094 on the very last day of our previous session, 70 members who joined an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in Texas v Pennsylvania, and 59 members - including six members of our House Republican leadership team - who signed a letter to Congress urging an objection to Pennsylvania’s purported slate of presidential electors.
My question to you is: Did you really mean it? If so, then I ask you to reflect on our oath for a moment and consider what it means.
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity."
In light of the actions of the Executive and Judicial branches to contravene and undermine our plenary authority over the appointment of electors of President and Vice President under the Constitution of the United States, what exactly is your plan to “support, obey, and defend” that document?
We only have a few days left to act. If we don’t act, what do you think the 2021-22 legislative session be like? Let me tell you what it will be like: we will accomplish nothing of significance. We will simply roll over and play dead while the Governor extends his disaster emergency and brutalizes small businesses and families until the end of his term in January 2023, and while the Court draws our legislative maps for us and tells us exactly how to fund schools, down to the penny.
Do you think they won’t?
I know, I know, we have two constitutional amendments pending to curb the governor’s emergency powers and another to change the way we elect judges. But don’t think for a minute that the other two branches of government aren’t already scheming to undermine those efforts and thwart our ability to get them across the finish line. It’ll be just like they did with redistricting, just like they did on terminating the disaster emergency, and just like they did with the Pennsylvania Election Code.
Do not think for a minute that their scheme to undermine the 2020 General Election didn’t begin almost immediately after the 2016 Election with the Governor unilaterally deciding to decertify every voting machine in the state. Ever since, they have taken every opportunity to further undermine our authority to create law regarding the administration of elections to appoint presidential electors.
They will also continue to scheme against us on other fronts, because they have gotten away with it for so long already. We could attempt to put a stop to it, if you really meant it when you signed on to those efforts to “do something” about the election, and if you really mean it when you take your oath of office on Tuesday.
The way to attempt to put a stop to it is by taking a stand to defend the constitution and our authority as a co-equal branch of government by decertifying Pennsylvania’s slate of presidential electors. Yes, it’s an extraordinary measure, but these are extraordinary times and extraordinary times call for extraordinary action. Because we are the caucus of law and order, you can take comfort in the fact that decertifying the electors is perfectly legal and well within our authority as the legislative branch of state government.
In McPherson v. Blacker the Supreme Court of United States held that "The appointment of these electors is thus placed absolutely and wholly with the legislatures of the several States… Whatever provisions may be made by statute, or by the state constitution, to choose electors by the people, there is no doubt of the right of the legislature to resume the power at any time, for it can neither be taken away nor abdicated.”
The other side doesn’t care about the rule of law, but we do - and decertifying the electors is not a deviation from that fundamental difference between us and them.
I also view this as similar to the way I got myself out from under a bully when I was a kid. I sat there and just took it for a very long time until one day I’d finally had enough and stood up and punched him square in the mouth. He never bothered me again. Ever. In fact, just a few years ago I encountered him and he offered a sincere apology for bullying me when we were kids.
And yes, the Governor is a bully. The Supreme Court is a bully. Just shy of half our colleagues, who sit on the other side of the aisle, are in league with them. They laughed at us when the Court drew its own congressional maps. They laughed at us when they teamed up to defeat our effort to terminate the disaster emergency. They laughed at us after they rudely hijacked the Speaker’s rostrum last year. They laughed at us after they undermined our attempt to create a Select Election Integrity Committee just prior to the election.
They’ve been openly coordinating their efforts to neuter us as a co-equal branch of government and to negate our majority status in the House and Senate, and we’ve just been sitting here taking it. It’s time to say ENOUGH. We MUST reclaim our authority, and decertifying the presidential electors is the perfect way to do it.
I’ll admit it – I started down this path because I was in disbelief at the alleged outcome of the presidential election. At one point I even thought we could appoint replacement electors to declare a different winner. This is no longer about that for me; it’s all about our role and authority as the General Assembly.
Appointing new electors would imply that we are certain of the winner of the presidential race in Pennsylvania. I am not certain who won, but I am certain that the election was not entirely above board and that non-legislative actors did everything they could to undermine our authority and to subvert the security of the election. As such, it doesn’t even matter who received the most legal votes because the election to appoint electors was unlawful.
These reasons, along with the need to jealously guard our standing as a co-equal branch of government, are enough to justify decertifying the presidential electors.
Decertifying Pennsylvania’s presidential electors is not about “voter fraud” or any of the various theories floating around regarding alleged nefarious activities during the election. It *IS* about our duty to take corrective action in the face of non-legislative actors interfering with our federal plenary authority to create law for the purpose of conducting elections to appoint electors for President and Vice President. That usurpation took place before a single vote was even cast, and rendered the presidential election as unlawful.
It doesn’t matter that the presidential election and our own elections happen at the same time and are on the same ballot for the sake of convenience. That does not merge, dilute, or cede our plenary federal authority. We retain that authority at all times, and we need to exercise that authority now.
Or... we can choose not to, and just go through the motions of legislating while begging the other two branches of government to treat us as co-equals at every turn over the next two years, and likely well into the future. We can also say goodbye to anything that resembles a reliable and fair election process.
Tuesday will mark my fourth time taking the oath of office. I know it will be the first time for some reading this, so I implore you to fully understand the words you will be saying before you say them. We are charged with abiding by that oath, no matter how it might be viewed by those who don’t have the time to fully understand our obligation, and no matter what it means for our own personal or political fortunes.
You are not one of my colleagues because you can’t communicate with people. In fact, you are one of my colleagues because you are one of the best communicators among the 64,000 or so residents in your district. Surely, you should have no problem explaining to them what your oath means as it relates to presidential elections. If you are not certain of what our authority actually is in the matter of presidential elections, I’m more than willing to help make you more certain.
Decertifying presidential electors is not “taking everyone’s vote away” as I have heard some describe it. Disenfranchising honest voters in Pennsylvania was accomplished by the Supreme Court, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Governor, election officials in certain counties, and everyone who cheered them on along the way while they issued unlawful directives BEFORE the election occurred.
Decertification is also not to be considered casually. It should only be done with just cause, which I believe we possess, and in extreme circumstances such as those we find ourselves in now. Decertification is a CORRECTIVE action, not a reactive one.
Many of you have joined the manifold efforts made over the last few months to object to the undermining of our authority, and to urge others to object to Pennsylvania’s slate of electors. Many of you have stood with me in the hall of the House as I swore my oath the previous three times.
So I ask you once again: Did you really mean it?
I did. I take my oath seriously, and would honor it even if I were the only one among my 64,000 constituents who thought it was the right thing to do, and even if in the end it meant that my time as one of your colleagues might come to an end.
Representative Russ Diamond
102nd Legislative District
I repeated this plea to my colleagues on January 4, the day before we convened to be sworn into office in the Hall of the House. While 25-30 of my colleagues were with me, I regret that I could not sway everyone.
This is how the House of Representatives works. Someone has an idea and then does their best to convince everyone else. Sometimes you can pull it off, sometimes you can’t. I cannot speak for those who weren’t with me on this, so I can’t explain their reasons. But it does not dissuade me from believing I was absolutely right on this matter.
But all is not yet lost. I will continue to fight as hard as I can in our new legislative session to pursue these issues, to reclaim the General Assembly’s rightful authority as a co-equal branch of government, and to fight for policies which benefit you and your family, not politicians and the elite.
Finally, I'm sure you're aware of the appalling efforts of Big Tech and social media to shut down conservative voices. As such, I ask you to FORWARD or SHARE this message with your friends, family, and fellow patriots so we can all remain in touch with each other.
We must remain resolute.
I'm proud of the stand I've taken and the work I've put in to stand up for what's right in Harrisburg. I won't be silenced. I won't stand down. I will continue to be Tom Wolf's worst nightmare and to fight for our values. Your liberty and your rights to live, work, gather, worship, and remain a free individual are too important to give up now. We are in the fight of our lifetimes.
I would be honored and grateful if you would stand with me by making a contribution to my political committee so I can continue to fight for you and your family.