by Dan Poletti
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?
[Printed here by permission of the author.]