There appears to be more than the usual amount of interest in tonight’s meeting of the Clark County Republican Central Committee. Among several resolutions that will be before the PCOs is a vote on whether to reject as a body the proposed county charter that will be on the ballot in November. This resolution from Republican PCOs has drawn the attention of the pro-light rail, anti-David Madore facebook group C3G2 as well as County Auditor Greg Kimsey, a strong proponent of the charter who is also rumored to be very interested in the ‘county manager’ position that the charter would create. The county manager position would be unelected, and according to the interpretation of many who have studied the charter, would wield most of the executive power in the county, in much the same way that a school district superintendent rules the roost on most school boards.
This evening, Kimsey sent a last-minute email to select PCOs urging them to table the anti-charter resolution. I was not among the original recipients, so many thanks to LD 18 PCO Kevin VanGelder for bringing this to light. The email reads in part:
If you attend tomorrow night’s PCO meeting you will be asked to vote on a resolution in opposition to the Clark County Home Rule Charter that will appear on this year’s general election ballot…It is my hope that before we make a decision to oppose the Charter that we have an opportunity to also hear from those who support the Charter.
I ask you to support “tabling” the anti-charter resolution until after a “Pro Charter” committee and a “Con-Charter” committee have been formed and those committees have presented their findings at a subsequent PCO meeting. A vote in opposition or in support of the charter should be taken after both sides of this important issue are presented.
The facts and context surrounding this resolution are as follows: A group of a few PCOs who are not on the executive board authored and distributed the resolution back in July. All PCOs in the county received an email notifying them about the resolution on July 29th, almost a month ago. Rumors have been swirling for a few weeks that Kimsey was attempting to author his own resolution to combat this grass roots effort. It is now the day of the meeting, and he has yet to produce this counter-resolution. From this email, one can safely deduce that he either never got around to writing it, or he knows it will never pass, so he didn’t bother. His next option then, is to try to make sure the anti-Charter effort doesn’t pass. He is clearly afraid of an up-or-down vote, so he is resorting to an old Establishment trick. In attempting to ‘table’ the resolution, he will accomplish two things: 1. A ‘motion to table’ is not debatable, so no discussion will be allowed before a vote, which means that the argument in his email about ‘referring it to committee’ will never have to be specified, and 2. if the meeting ends with no vote, it is likely that it will not be revisited before the election, since meetings of the Central Committee are quarterly, and there is none scheduled before November. So in effect, ‘tabling’ means never having to see it again unless a special meeting is called, which is very unlikely during an election season just to pass one resolution. The opinion of the PCOs will remain unexpressed and irrelevant. That is Kimsey’s clear objective.
If Kimsey actually wanted to have committees and discuss the merits of the charter, why did he not do so in the over three weeks before the scheduled meeting? Because he doesn’t actually want a vote by the PCOs. He will have every opportunity to speak against the resolution during the debating period before the vote, but it is the vote itself that he is trying to avoid.
This is a great example of why leadership in the CCRP had to change. The grass roots puts forth a great effort to be heard, and the Establishment uses parliamentary procedures to shut them down without discussion or an up-or-down vote. If Kimsey and his friends were still in charge of the party, this would have succeeded as a matter of course, and the authors of the resolution would have been left dazed and wondering what just happened, much like so many of us were after the Kimsey-chaired convention in 2012 was called to a close without having finished voting and without electing the delegates. This is what the Establishment does again and again when they don’t have the votes.
Whether or not he succeeds tonight will be dependent on how alert the leadership and those favoring the resolution are. Hopefully the will of the body will prevail over the political aspirations of one man. If you are a PCO, please attend tonight, and please vote to allow this resolution to be voted on.
In the wake of last week’s primary election, a couple of articles came out in local papers covering the PCO races (seen here and here ). In both articles, the headlines trumpeted that the ‘moderate’ or ‘mainstream’ Republicans had been victorious over their grass roots counterparts. A sampling:
Moderate Republicans win primary round at precinct level
Grass-roots control of local GOP to continue?
“The battle for the future of the Clark County Republican Party has been waged in neighborhoods across the county in the past couple of months. In this round of the ongoing war, the establishment Republicans declared victory. ” – Lauren Dake, The Columbian
“Mainstream” Republicans hold on to most PCO seats
“Mainstream” Republicans largely beat back more conservative contenders in this week’s election of the Cowlitz County precinct committee officers (PCOs), according to unofficial primary results. Just seven of the 25 competitive candidates backed by PCO Liberty Alliance won a spot on the grassroots steering committee of the local GOP.” -Brooks Johnson,The Daily News
After reading these articles, one might easily come to the conclusion that the efforts by such operatives as Mary Graham, Apollo Fuhriman, and Team Herrera-Beutler to recruit PCOs and return the party safely to the Establishment fold had been successful. One might expect that in December, Ed Lynch and other rent-seeking Chamber-of-Commerce members would emerge and start donating money to a more light-rail-friendly CCRP leadership again, one that Jim Moeller would happily ‘reach across the aisle’ to work with, and this business of writing resolutions warning Republicans to stick to the party platform of small government and less spending would finally be just a bad memory for the Moderate contingent. It would be forgivable if anyone were to draw this conclusion from Lauren Dake’s piece. It would also be dead wrong.
Since there are only two or three readers of this blog, and since I know you can all keep a secret, I can tell you that despite Ms. Dake’s confident assertion that “the establishment Republicans declared victory”, the moderates did not win the primary. The ‘bulk of Republican contested PCO seats’ were not won by the Establishment, and their only victory is that they get to continue to participate in a welcoming party that calls more than one meeting a year, and doesn’t pick favorites in primaries, or use party funds in excess of $5000 to pay for mailers in favor of some PCO candidates over others. So in that way, I guess maybe the moderates won after all?
In reality, the Clark County primary elected about 190 Republican Precinct Committee Officers. The vast majority of these, over 140, were uncontested and therefore ‘deemed elected’ without appearing on the ballot. So while the 42 races were interesting to mark in terms of results, they were really less than 25% of the actual PCO election, and though they came out fairly close to even for both sides (there are always a few unknown candidates in the middle who are not attached to a particular group), the other 75% was NOT CLOSE to even. The real story, the one that should have been printed, is that this movement toward a more PCO-centered party has some serious legs and doesn’t look to be in danger at all. In fact, it may soon be spreading to a neighboring county.
Cowlitz County Party Leaders Getting Nervous?
In Cowlitz County, a new chapter of the PCO Liberty Alliance has sprung up to challenge the moderates who have a choke-hold over the county Republican party. The situation is so bad there, I have been told that a conservative Republican, David Steenson, was effectively shown the door by the party, despite the lack of a Republican in the race, so he ran instead as a Libertarian. The party chairman has also reportedly refused to allow PCOs to elect legislative district chairs in the 19th and 20th Districts, despite the fact that it is required by RCW 29A.80.061 .
Upon seeing the PCOLA campaign being manifested there, party leaders took out an ad in the local paper, complete with a listed slate of PCO candidates that they wanted people to vote for. The same paper then boasted in their post-primary report that ‘just five of the 29 candidates endorsed lost their elections’. While this may be good advertising for their newspaper, it didn’t give a very accurate picture of the situation in the Cowlitz County Republican Party. Once again, the uncontested races were a majority of the total races, and PCOLA’s populist, grass roots appeal allowed them to out-recruit their Establishment competition. The totals are closer than in Clark County though, and they set up a very interesting Organization meeting in December. Expect the old guard running the meeting to give themselves every advantage going into the vote. This is a story we plan to follow and hopefully get a report on, so stay tuned.
As I was reading these articles from separate counties with nearly identical headlines (just a strange coincidence, I’m sure), I was reminded of our local political sage who blogged about the results of the PCO Liberty Alliance campaign two years ago:
“Looks like reality and an abysmal, laughably inept performance…has set in as the massive waste of time, effort and money resulted in no real change in the GOP landscape and, well, we’re back to business as usual“
“The only time it really matters is Re-Org… and there will be a mass turn out then that will dwarf the Paulbots… and any effort to change the bylaws will be met the same way…. since there has to be several weeks notice given to any such effort (no surprises allowed). For these guys, they’ve managed to confuse motion with action. They are distinctly different… as they will come to find out.“
Well, our somewhat antagonistic (but loveable) blogger friend was half-right anyway; there was record-setting turnout. Fortunately for PCOs and friends of grass roots candidates everywhere though, we were able to change the bylaws and the leadership that December to reflect a more populist approach to local Republican politics, giving far more control of the party to the only folks actually elected by voters, the PCOs. In fact, the vote on the new bylaws was 160 to 3, so I guess ‘half-right’ might be too generous. The only thing that victories by former party leaders in PCO races netted them was a front-row seat as the turning of the guard unfolded (regrettably, that blogger was not there to witness it, and had to read about it from some ‘moronically named site’).
And that is why you come to this blog (both of you), because journalists and sour ex-State Party Executive Directors don’t always get it right.
Yesterday, I was sent this text of a recent facebook post from a Very Respected Member of the local Republican party. It was, of course, not the first time I had heard rumblings about the Grand Paulbot Scheme, but I thought it was so articulate and specific in terms of laying out the secret plan, that it deserved a re-post:
“This needs to be said and the time is now. The current Clark County Republican Party leadership consists of at least 99.9 per cent Paulbot activists. Having acquired the vast majority of PCOs (by any means necessary), they now control the dispensation of funds and the ability to enhance the prospects of their chosen candidates in the upcoming primary election. BE WARNED!!! These people who call themselves Republicans support ONLY other Paulbots.”
Naturally, I was alarmed upon reading that our Executive board was only supporting their friends to the detriment of everyone else. We had, after all, taken great pains to pass new by-laws forbidding party participation in primaries after years of the old CCRP using their resources against us, e.g. paying $5000 of party funds to support certain PCO candidates over others, allowing only their candidates to speak at Lincoln Day Dinners, shutting down conventions and refusing to fill incomplete delegations when their anointed Presidential candidate wasn’t winning, etc. I would really hate to have done all of that work with the PCO Liberty Alliance, only to find that our new board was doing the same things as the old board.
I decided to investigate this claim. Having received secret information from my mole at CCRP headquarters (she made me take out the garbage first), I can now confirm what many have suspected, that the Paulbots (and the other board members who, as it turns out, never voted for Ron Paul) are giving away alarming amounts of party money to candidates. Some of this info is very recent, the Executive Board having voted to distribute funds only a few days ago. What follows is the entire list of CCRP donations year-to-date:
1. Jeanne Stewart (County Commissioner): $8500
2. Lynda Wilson (17th LD Representative): $7000
3. Anson Service (49th LD Representative): $3500
4. Liz Pike (18th LD Representative): $1000
5. Scott Weber (Clark County Clerk): $1000
6. Lauren Colas (Clark County Treasurer): $1000
7. Peter Van Nortwick (Clark County Assessor): $500
8. Josie Townsend (Clark County Prosecutor): $500
Now, I know what you are thinking as you read these names: “Wait a minute, none of those people who received money have ever voted for Ron Paul!” That was my thought as well. In trying to uncover the Secret Paulbot Agenda, it seems like this part didn’t fit. Not only did the board give $23,000 to candidates, significantly more than the $14,850 that the old board did in all of 2012, but they didn’t give a cent to anyone in a contested primary, even to the lone Paul supporter running as a Republican for office in Clark County. So what gives? Is the Secret Paulbot Agenda so nefarious that it is undetectable to the naked eye? Are they using invisible ink and disks that self-destruct in five seconds? I mean, we know the people telling us about the plot are credible, right? They would never just make things up out of thin air would they?
As I continued my investigation, looking for clues about the Grand Paulbot Scheme, I was able to come up with some possible signs that the new leadership is ruining the party. For example, they are sending increasing numbers of PCOs out into neighborhoods to bother people about politics and they litter neighborhoods with more signs and literature from candidates. They even abandoned the old headquarters, the party’s only contact with the at-risk population at Highway 99 and Hazel Dell, in favor of a newer office in the middle of the county, so that more of these ‘Republicans’ might actually use it. I also hear they are secretly planning on having a convention in 2016 that elects all of the delegates, but that may be just wild speculation. So there is evidence of change that even people like Rep. Jim Moeller have noticed and have every right to publicly condemn. As we already established in a previous post, Moeller would like the Republican party to go back to the way it was before, and apparently, some Very Respected Republicans agree with him. Perhaps this is what Moeller means when he talks about his efforts to “reach across the aisle”?
This year’s election cycle may have more turbulance than usual as three local Republican incumbents have drawn grassroots-oriented primary opponents. In the 3rd Congressional district, Michael Delavar (R-Washougal) is running against Jaime Herrera-Beutler. In the 18th Legislative district, John Ley (R-Camas) is challenging Brandon Vick for the State Representative seat, and in the 17th, Chris Rockhold (L-Vancouver) squares off against Representative Paul Harris. While each candidate brings a slightly different approach to their campaigns, they all have one interesting thing in common; they are all airline pilots.
So why do pilots feel such an easy transition from their jobs to becoming leaders in the political sphere? It makes intuitive sense: Pilots are often entrusted with the lives of hundreds of passengers every day. They are also skilled in communicating with those passengers in a confident and competent manner. They are trained to deal with crisis-situations with calmness and maturity. Finally, they are accustomed to developing and communicating a flight plan in advance of acting upon it. All of these traits find corresponding activity in politics, and experience in these areas can be a refreshing change. Wouldn’t it be nice, for instance, if all of our elected leaders gave us a ‘flight plan’ before their term started so that we could know for certain what specific direction they intended to take our government? So many politicians give us general platitudes and fluff so that we’re never actually sure who we are electing until well after they are in office, and usually it is an unpleasant surprise to find out who they really are. It would also be nice if our local elected officials were as well-trained as pilots have to be before they can go up in the air.
As always, there is a tendency to default to the incumbent in any race, which gives Delavar, Ley, and Rockhold a tall mountain to climb. Jaime Herrera, for instance, raised just under $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2014 alone. Vick and Harris have also successfully tapped into the corporate donation sources that usually ensure incumbent victory. Corporations are looking for candidates who can provide a tangible ‘return on investment’, like the kind Boeing got last year when a special session of the legislature was called just to give them a huge package of tax breaks. That ROI is usually not to be expected from a principled candidate who votes his conscience and has a strong set of ideals to guide his or her vote. Maybe that principled candidate would vote the same way as the prospective corporate donor, but then again, maybe not. Typically, the ‘Moderate’ faction of both parties is happy to provide that consistently malleable presence in the legislature that can be influenced with campaign funds to vote in favor of the corporate donor. By filling the legislature with such ‘Moderates’, it quite naturally follows that we get the corporate welfare and massive spending that is so typical of the big government paradigm.
Note that I am not saying all corporate donations are a sign that a candidate is a ‘sell-out’. Corporations have the right to participate in the political world too, but having a lot of them usually means that a candidate has something to ‘pay back’ in terms of voting and legislating. When searching for a principled candidate, I like to look in the PDCs and see a healthy percentage of donations coming from private citizens. Note John Ley , for instance, who has done a pretty good job of fundraising from private citizens so far. Quite a few folks were so convinced that he would be a good candidate, they gave to his campaign from their own private funds. That is compelling. Rockhold and Delavar also draw the vast majority of their support from private donors.
It will take a strong grassroots movement, including private individuals volunteering and donating their shekels, in order for any of these aviators to succeed against such strong headwinds. While many challengers are somewhat less than serious about campaigning and even less so about actually being an effective legislator, I know all three of these men, and I consider all three worth the time to check out. Each one has a vision and is asking questions that need to be asked of our often complacent leadership. Each one is also devoted to promoting the principles of small government and personal liberty, which I consider a requirement to win my vote.
Jim Moeller hates the current crop of Republican PCOs so much, he spent a good portion of his CVTV campaign speech talking about us. We’re famous!
(Full Text Below)
“My name is Jim Moeller, and I want to thank you for the great honor of representing the 49th District in Olympia. In this election, we’ve never had a clear choice to make. Throughout my career, I’ve worked diligently to reach across the aisle to make sure that partisan feuds do not block the basic business of the people. Even in stormy political weather, basic bills can get passed. However, I must report to you that the local Republican party and its representatives in Olympia are personally responsible, not only for killing any possibility of replacing the I-5 bridge within the next 10-20 years, but that they also personally blocked needed and vital transportation improvements from Spokane to Seattle in the past two years. The local Republican Party has been taken over at the Precinct Officer level by its most extreme fractions. Now each and every one of our local Republican officeholders is beholden to a very narrow band of people. These folks offer nothing new but ‘no’. In place of a real bridge project, we now have a pretend community…committee, operating as a political fig leaf to cover incompetent and irresponsible actions of some of our country’s Republican delegation. Our County Commission is now viewed statewide as a laughingstock, while our essentially part-time Congresswoman has no economic plan beyond collecting a paycheck and getting re-elected. The proud party of Lincoln is now an organization of zealots, run by ideologues on behalf of bored billionaires, all of whom operate without any accountability. And now, now they favor placing a large, polluting oil terminal in the heart of this district, on our largest river, and support having long oil trains run throughout this community day and night, each one with enough explosive power to level the downtown or any of the communities along the way. These people…the people have opposed this idea in every way they can, and yet my opponents, one of whom has a long political history of claiming to be the people’s voice, still favors this job-killing, community-killing, and river-killing plan. I know we can do better. In this election, lets come together and make a statement. This summer, when our ballots arrive, let’s not put off voting, let’s not pretend it doesn’t really matter. Early…nearly every day, my constituents have to sit in the tie-up in the middle of the day while our Woodrow Wilson-era drawbridge goes up. One of my opponents even said that the drawbridge is “perfectly fine”. It’s not perfectly fine. I need your help; more importantly I need your vote. This election is all about us, because our state government needs to serve us, our needs, our communities, our families. Please join me in this fight.”
So, to recap:
1. A multi-billion-dollar light rail project that gets most of its funding via extreme tolling of Vancouver residents who work in Oregon qualifies as ‘basic business of the people’ in Jim Moeller’s economy. Of course, this is the same Jim Moeller who thought jacking up the gas tax to record levels was a good idea, as well as the man who bilks the taxpayers for the highest per diem claims of any legislator in Washington.
2. When a bunch of regular citizens dare to notice what Moeller and his pro-light rail buddies are doing and interrupt their busy lives to stand up to this cronyism, they are called ‘zealots’, and, perhaps worse, ‘extreme fractions’. I’m not exactly sure what he means by the latter comment, but it may refer to the fact that we were in favor of a bridge solution that was an extreme fraction of the cost of implementing a light rail system that nobody was going to use. After reviewing the last few votes on the light rail issue in Clark County and the resounding defeats it has suffered at the hands of two thirds of Clark County residents, one wonders if he understands at all the concept of ‘fractions’ and which side of the median his position is on. Perhaps a remedial math course would not go amiss for Rep. Moeller?
3. While the numbers of Republican PCOs continues to set records after each new election cycle, Jim Moeller sees them as a ‘narrow band of people’ compared to the salad days of yore when there were far less PCOs, but they were more to Moeller’s liking. Meanwhile, Republican PCOs continue to outnumber their Democrat counterparts by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. So I guess Moeller, who is himself a Democrat PCO, knows something about narrow bands of people, since he has doubtless been to a few Democrat party meetings.
4. According to Moeller, Republican PCOs want to explode everything: communities, rivers, and kittens. Apparently this rhetoric is part of his efforts to ‘reach across the aisle’ and avoid ‘partisan feuds’. He’s just so genuine, isn’t he?
The hope is that the 49th District will see through this crook and vote for Lisa Ross, who, by virtue of being a C.P.A. is at a minimum able to understand fractions, and how large the fraction of incomes in Clark County already go to taxes. Please consider voting for Lisa if you live in the 49th District.
After weeks of searching, the Clark County Republican Party has found a new home.
Today, CCRP Chairman Kenny Smith and Vice-Chairman Brenda Poletti signed papers on a new headquarters at 9401 NE Covington, in the Five Corners neighborhood. The location is near the center of the county, and about 4.6 miles due east from the old headquarters on Hazel Dell Avenue. In addition to being a closer drive for the majority of Republicans in the county, the newer and better-maintained structure is an upgrade in terms of visibility and aesthetics. The Five Corners neighborhood is also deemed among the safer neighborhoods in the area, and hopefully the new headquarters will not be subject to the same vandalism that plagued the old location. The fact that there are no retail stores in the building should also improve the parking situation for evening meetings.
In keeping with their commitment to reach out to the community, the CCRP plans to have staff available during business hours. Chairman Smith believes that all meetings except for the quarterly central committee PCO gatherings will be held in the new building. He also looks forward to taking advantage of the sign space and high-traffic location to make a strong presence for the Republic Party in the county, which has been a concern for many Republicans since the lease with the old location was discontinued in 2013.
Having visited the site yesterday, it appears to this writer that the executive board hit a home run, and just in time to be a support for campaigns throughout the county. While there were concerns that the old building was not being used enough to justify the cost, the greater accessibility, particularly for volunteers from the 17th Legislative District (where a lot of the campaign action is) should increase the utility for the party as a whole. Many thanks are due to all of the folks who donated to make this building a reality.
On Monday, May 19th, we discovered that at least three candidates for PCO had been filed against their will by a third party and a number of others had been filed without being present and without swearing their oath to uphold the Constitution. While much is known in Clark County about the source of those names, Former 18th LD Republican District Chair Mary Graham, the identity and origin of the one doing the filing has been less definitive, given that he hails from King County. So who is this fellow, and why would he take an interest in PCO races several counties away?
While our information is still limited, and he recently took his facebook page down shortly after our original post on Monday, we have been able to gather a few facts of interest (with a hat tip to Roberta Stephani and Doug Parris of The Reagan Wing ).
Richard ‘Apollo’ Fuhriman is a 45-year-old lawyer from Bothell, WA. He has been to two Republican National Conventions, most recently in 2012 as an elected delegate from CD1. Given that there are only three elected delegates for an entire Congressional District, we can assume that he is very well known in Snohomish and King County.
Fuhriman has also served as a paid employee of the King County Republican Party from 2010 to 2011, and the Mitt Romney campaign in 2012. He also was involved in PCO recruiting during 2012 when he sent this email which I found interesting:
-——- Original Message ——–
Subject: **Republican PCO sign up deadline today at 4 pm***
Date: Fri, 18 May 2012 15:02:48 -0700
I am looking for someone to run as PCO (precinct committee officer—your neighborhood leader) in your precinct, and I hope that you will be able to do it. It would be a very big help to the Republican Party if you would do so. To sign up, it only takes about 2 minutes, and it is very needed at this time as we try to build on the recent conservative election successes we have been having around the country.
(If you remember the district convention and the people creating all the disturbances* one of those delegates may have filed to run as PCO in your precinct.)
The minimum that a PCO needs to do is get elected and then attend one meeting in December to elect party leadership. It also provides an opportunity to become a part of the grass-roots efforts to help win our local, state and federal races with tools and data, as well as training.
The party (and I) could really use your help with this.
Mitt Romney for President
Aside from his obvious reference to Paul delegates that everyone should watch out for, Fuhriman also uses the same recruiting pitch we have seen among the Establishment here in Clark County, that one need only go to ‘one meeting in December’ to elect leadership. Apparently, back then he was still appealing to the recruits themselves to file for candidacy, rather than doing it for them.
In 2014, this is a sample email he sent to recruits in Clark County:
> From: “Vote GOP” email@example.com
> Date: May 18, 2014 at 9:11:41 PM PDT
> Subject: PCO
> Good evening!
> There is a group that does not want different voices within the Republican party. OUR Party. It appears that they are trying underhanded tactics just to win power and control.
> I find their intentional tactics deplorable. I hope that you will not bow to the pressure and please do not sign their withdrawal form.
> If you have any questions, please ask. We want your voice, we need good Republicans like you to continue to be a PCO.
> Thank you!
> I look forward to working with you in the future!
The phrase, “I find their intentional tactics deplorable” is, of course, fraught with irony, but the most interesting thing about this email is the address, firstname.lastname@example.org, which is also the email address given for a local Clark County PCO candidate for whom Apollo filed. So now, every transmission having to do with being a PCO is being sent, not to the candidate, but to Apollo in King County. If the CCRP doesn’t change it, they will also be sending call-to-meeting and other PCO-related information to Apollo.
We caught some flak from members of the WSRP after we asked if Apollo was actually a WSRP operative. While it may be true that he is not doing these PCO filings at the behest of the WSRP, the above email from 2012 seems to indicate that he was working on their behalf. “The party (and I) could really use your help with this.” He seems also to be speaking for the Party in the more recent email.
So what is a recent King County Republican Party employee doing recruiting PCOs in Clark County and then filing them whether they wanted to run or not? Why are all of his recruits of a certain ‘moderate’ political hue? Who sent him, and who were his contacts here in Clark County? Is the State Party trying to re-shape a Clark County party that has grown too liberty-oriented, or is someone trying to pave the way for a moderate Presidential candidate like Chris Christie or Jeb Bush?