Van Jones' PR Firm Working With Republican Electors Voting Against Trump

(Updated) The CNN contributor's firm represents at least two Republican defectors

CNN contributor Van Jones / AP
December 7, 2016

A progressive public relations firm founded by environmentalist and CNN political contributor Van Jones is representing "a number" of Republican electors who plan on voting against President-elect Donald Trump.

Chris Suprun, a Republican presidential elector from Texas, garnered media attention on Monday after having an opinion piece published in the New York Times explaining why he plans to defect from Trump with his Electoral College vote on Dec. 19.

"The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country," Suprun wrote. "Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. I pray my fellow electors will do their job and join with me in discovering who that person should be."

Supron wrote in his Twitter bio to direct all media inquiries to an email address at Megaphone Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based "social justice" public relations firm.

Van Jones, a left-wing CNN commentator and former adviser to President Obama who resigned after coming under fire for his affiliation to 9/11 conspiracy theorists and referring to Republicans as "assholes," founded Megaphone Strategies earlier this year. Jones has attributed Trump's electoral success to a "white-lash" and said that a Trump "hate wave" could hit Canada.

"Megaphone Strategies is a new social justice media strategy firm run for purpose, not profit," the group says on its website. "We offer cutting edge strategy, training, and media relations services to high-impact social justice organizations and individuals. Our mission is to use PR as a tool to diversify progressive movements–lifting up diverse progressive leadership in the media–and to provide services based on ability to change the world, not ability to pay."

"We are run by and for the movement, profits are reinvested into the movement to provide services to up-and-coming groups who couldn't traditionally afford our work," the group says.

Megaphone Strategies lists a majority of its clients as environmental and "social justice" organizations such as, Green For All, Democracy Fund, and Demand Progress.

Nina Smith, the director of media relations at Megaphone Strategies, whose email is listed in the Twitter bio of Suprun, told the Washington Free Beacon that the group is working with "a number" of Republican and Democratic electors who do not plan on voting for Trump.

"We are working with a number of electors on this issue, not just Chris," Smith said in an email statement. "Elector Suprun placed my email in his bio to help direct the deluge of media coming his way."

Smith provided the Free Beacon with a press release for another presidential elector, Michael Baca, who does not plan on voting for Trump. Baca is the second presidential elector the firm is representing and said he will vote for Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Megaphone Strategies says that electors have reached out to their counterparts for advice on which Republican they would prefer. Kasich was the top pick.

"What's most clear is that Trump has many detractors, even among Electors who had previously pledged to support the eventual Republican nominee," the release says. "Baca is the first Elector to formally announce his support of the Ohio Republican and the Hamilton Electors effort."

The firm claims that Trump is facing a "growing Electoral College revolt" that hopes to deny him the presidency.

"In contrast, Trump is facing a growing Electoral College revolt, where Electors from both parties are working together to deny him the Presidency," the release says. "Conversations with many other Electors, both Republican and Democratic, indicate that many more are coming forward to reject Trump in the days ahead."

"If Trump loses an additional 36 votes in the Electoral College," the release continues, "he will not win the Presidency, and the election would go to the U.S. House of Representatives, which has happened twice in our nation’s history."

Update 11:54 A.M.: Following publication, Smith clarified that Megaphone Strategies is working with a number of electors on both sides of the aisle.