Archive for May, 2014

Who is Apollo Fuhriman?

Posted: May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

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 ).

Apollo Fuhriman

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
From: Apollo
To: Apollo–
Hello!
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.)
http://info.kingcounty.gov/kcelections/pcocandidatefiling
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.
Thank you!
Apollo Fuhriman
Mitt Romney for President
Volunteer Coordinator-WA
————————————————————————————

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” votegop@live.com
> Date: May 18, 2014 at 9:11:41 PM PDT
> To:
> 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!
> Apollo
————————————————————-

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, votegop@live.com, 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?

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In the midst of the PCO tussle in social media, a great story has been altered unrecognizably by a couple of local bloggers. The original intent of the idea for PCO candidates in contested precincts to contact their counterparts was so that either one who really didn’t want to run would yield to the more enthusiastic candidate, or two willing volunteers in the precinct might come to a meeting of the minds and find common ground, since one would end up being the other’s PCO eventually anyway. In my own precinct, my PCO stepped down as a gesture of goodwill so that I could run and assume the responsibilities of the office while he took a position on another committee. He and I have helped each other canvass and distribute literature in our precinct while he was PCO, and will continue to do so as friends and fellow Republicans now that I have the job. Rather than having a race against each other, we have chosen to unite to help great candidates in the 17th LD. It can work this way, despite the rampant cynicism that has been on display all over the internet.

Another instance of this successful collaboration is from a friend of mine, David Hedrick. David is a former Congressional candidate, and once did the political community a great service by catching a sign thief in the act as he attempted to take a PCO sign. More recently, he has been a made a focal point for the local debate about soliciting opponent withdrawals. Rather than listen to the agenda-driven words of political partisans, Here is his story in his own words:
******************************************************************************************************
David Hedrick

Because I do not wish to further malign the name of the innocent, for the purposes of this statement I’m going to refer to my former PCO opponent simply as my neighbor.

There are two primary reasons an individual would voluntarily run for Republican PCO. One, the person has a sincere desire to represent their precinct to the Republican Party. Two, the person is willing to step up to the plate and make sure the job gets done when an individual in the former camp has not volunteered. Both of these reasons are honorable justifications to throw one’s hat into the race. Arguably, the latter demonstrates a more transparently selfless sense of duty than the former.

Around the middle of last week, I filed as a candidate for Republican PCO seeking to represent my fellow Republicans from Precinct #681. Shortly after filing, I found that another individual from my precinct had also filed around the same time that I had.

After discovering this, I decided that I would introduce myself to my opponent and attempt to find out “which” of the reasons above, had led her to seek the position. I assumed that a person in the second group would likely be happy to hand over the seat. Of course, if she was in the first group, I would have a great opportunity to wish her luck and promise for my part, a clean, fair race.

On Friday night, I set out to do just that. I had the pleasure of meeting my neighbor and her husband at their home. As you can imagine, we talked politics. We discussed political issues, gave an abbreviated synopsis of our respective political histories and shared our opinions of various local political races. It quickly became clear, that we had much more in common than otherwise. It also became apparent that my neighbor was primarily in the second group, willing to unselfishly sacrifice her time and do the heavy lifting if necessary for the benefit of our political party, but with no great desire to hold the position for the sake of commanding the grandiose title of Republican PCO. At the beginning of our conversation, she was not aware that she had an opponent and stated as much.

It was important to me that I wasn’t convincing her to make a decision that she was not prepared to make. In fact, on multiple occasions I asked my neighbor if she was sure that she wanted to withdraw. I believe I made it quite clear, that while I was prepared to accept the position, I would rather face an election than have her regret her decision to withdraw.

She was very clear about her choice. She even graciously offered to help me campaign, presumably if I had another challenger.

The next day at an event, I expressed my excitement at how the former evening had worked out. Because I do not have to focus on my own PCO seat, I will be able to devote more of my time and efforts to getting Republican’s into office and sending choice liberal Democrats packing in the process. I had also met a new Republican ally who seemed keen to assist good candidates for office. I looked at the whole thing as a big win for the Republican Party.

It wasn’t until tonight that I was informed that some kind of created controversy had come out of this.

Those who actually know me, know that I do not make it a practice to respond to the spiteful blogging crowd. Since the moment I first took that mic, I have faced attacks from the extreme left wing of both parties by individuals where the truth is more irrelevant than an oath of office to a Democrat. To be honest, the attacks have always bothered my friends and family much more than they have ever bothered me. Of course, I’m not talking about everyone out there with a blog. Instead, I’m referring specifically to the intellectually dishonest keyboard warriors who are so quick to dismantle the efforts of others, always prepared to unleash their venom on those who are out there in our community endeavoring to change a world that their critics do nothing more than blog about. What great political courage it must take when carpal tunnel is the largest hazard.

The problem here is that there is an implication that’s being suggested by default, and this implication is the very reason I elected to respond. If I somehow tricked my opponent into relinquishing her competitive bid, she was stupid enough to fall for it. This position is as insulting as it is wrong. The intelligence my neighbor displayed during our conversation was transparently clear and anyone who spends two minutes speaking with her would know this. She was in no way politically naive. Implicitly accusing a fellow Republican of stupidity or naiveté when you have no evidence to support such an accusation is something that should not be tolerated by any Republican no matter which side of the isle he or she finds themselves on.

From here, I’m going to go back to campaigning to elect Republicans to office. I can only assume that my neighbor still plans to do the same and I look forward to working with her in the future.

And for the critics, you can go back to typing about how nothing I say or do can be trusted anyway, making up facts of your choice as you go. Just please, for your own sake, don’t forget to stretch those hands and arms before you start.

David William Hedrick

5/20/2014

david@davidwhedrick.com

It appears that a Washington State Republican Party operative has been caught filing at least 20 online PCO applications on behalf of Clark County residents, some of whom had no intention of filing and gave no permission to use their names. Richard ‘Apollo’ Fuhriman, a lawyer and former Bothell City Council candidate who is no stranger to filing for office from outside of his voting district has apparently expanded his operations to include PCO filings way down here in Clark County. On a day when the local chatter among establishment sympathizers has been on an email sent by Christian Berrigan urging PCO candidates to call their opponents in order to assess their level of enthusiasm, the real news story is that there was a very good reason for making those phone calls, namely, that several of those candidates never wanted to file in the first place.

Our search began with a funny message from a PCO who had never shown up for a meeting in two years who we questioned regarding whether or not she was serious about running again. The fact that this perpetually-absent PCO had filed on the first day possible, along with a number of other ‘Spectator PCOs’ had made us wonder why they were so prompt in refiling. In following up with her, she told us that she had never filed, nor wanted to file. What follows is the chronology of events that led to the discovery of what may be election fraud.

* (PCO 1) alerted us that she had sent an email last week stating that she did not want to file. She stated that she never gave anyone permission to file for her. She provided an email from someone named ‘Apollo’ (later traced to King County) who had solicited her application for PCO.

* The email address for ‘Apollo’, votegop@live.com, was used as the file email address for another PCO candidate (PCO2). That email still appears in the PCO rolls that can be found here . Upon being called by the elections office, PCO2 indicated that he had given permission to ‘Apollo’ to file because he wasn’t technically savvy enough to do it himself. He also mentioned that Ryan Hart, Jaime Herrera’s District Director and former CCRP Chairman, had also been involved with Apollo’s efforts.

*Christian Berrigan requested that the elections division determine if IP logs are available and he requested those logs. That request is pending.

*Elections emailed Apollo, and he returned their call. According to elections division, Apollo admitted that he had filed around 20 applications online and that he remembered filing for PCO1 specifically. He apologized profusely for mistakenly entering her information without permission.

*Christian Berrigan requested a data file of all PCO filings, including whether or not they were paper or online applications, and including the time stamp for each application.

*Upon receipt of that file, Christian sorted it by time stamp and discovered a series of PCO applications entered online within 1-2 minutes of each other in a regular sequence. These names all happened to be associated with prior leadership in the CCRP, including Stephanie McClintock, Mary Graham, Dan Barnes, Marc Boldt, and Mike Gaston, nearly all of whom have been absent from every meeting not having to do with electing a new board in the last two years. The elapsed time of the sequence clearly indicated that the names were entered in a batch. This means that none of these candidates were able to individually affirm or swear the required oath in the final step of the application process.

*Upon returning to the elections division, we were informed that another PCO (PCO3) in that sequence had written an angry email demanding any and all information associated with his application, which he had not authorized anyone to file. He had never told anyone he wanted to be a PCO, and was irritated that he was forced to withdraw in order not to be on the ballot. His information request is still pending.

*Christian Berrigan then began calling candidates in the sequence to verify that they had given permission to a third party to file on their behalf. The first name on the list, (PCO4) stated that he was upset that the position had been misrepresented to him. When Christian asked him if he had given anyone permission to file for him, he said no. He had merely inquired as to the particulars of the position months earlier and decided not to run. He learned that he had been filed when he received the confirmation from the County Elections Office.

*Further calls in the sequence indicated that several others had been asked by Mary Graham if they wanted to be a PCO, they had responded in the affirmative, and Mary told them, “I’ll take care of it”. No further action was taken on the part of the individual candidates, including no filling out of the oath to uphold the Constitution, which is a requirement at the end of every Declaration of Candidacy.

*Apollo called the Elections Division again, and indicated that the online filing he had done in Clark County was with names provided to him by Mary Graham, including PCO1, who he mentioned by name. PCOs 3 and 4 were in the same sequence that Apollo admitted entering. Ryan Hart’s name was not mentioned.

In conclusion, it appears that elements of the WSRP collaborated with local Establishment operatives in an attempt to defeat or undermine the rise of the conservative grassroots activists that have been manifested over the last two years. In so doing, they filed applications for several people without their permission, bypassed the oath and affirmation process for approximately 20 or more PCO candidates in Clark County, and generally violated the good faith that is supposed to govern the online filing process. Cathie Garber, Clark County Elections Supervisor, intends to change the process, which may include requiring a credit card payment of $1 to file online in order to tie an identification to each filing. She concludes, “This is abuse of the system, and we can’t have that.”

*Edit* To correct an earlier mistake, only the legislature can change the process by which online filings are governed. Ms. Garber suggested a possible alteration, to charge a $1 fee for online PCO filings.