Mitt Romney and the GOP have paid several firms with a long history of voter fraud allegations, and a man named Nathan Sproul — who runs most or all of them – more than $2 million recently for “voter registration” in key swing and battleground states, according to reports out today. Some of the firms, Grassroots Outreach, LLC, and Strategic Allied Consulting, share the same address in Tempe, Arizona and seem to be shell companies, according to a report, while Sproul clearly runs others, like Sproul & Associates and Lincoln Strategies.
The $2 million plus does not include these groups’ activities going back at least to 2004. Nathan Sproul (image, top) runs Strategic Allied Consulting, and possibly Grassroots Outreach, LLC.
There are several related stories, plus a video, which we’re going to put all together for you so you can see the huge implications. The first report, from Brad Friedman at Salon, the second, a video that went viral the past two days, seems to show what these contractors do, and lastly, another report, from Lee Fang at The Nation.
“The Republican Party of Florida’s top recipient of 2012 expenditures, a firm by the name of Strategic Allied Consulting, was just fired on Tuesday night, after more than 100 apparently fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in by the group to the Palm Beach County, FL Supervisor of Elections,” Brad Friedman, writing at Salon, reports:
The firm appears to be another shell company of Nathan Sproul, a longtime, notorious Republican operative, hired year after year by GOP Presidential campaigns, despite being accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in a number of states over several past elections.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Strategic Allied Consulting has been paid some $667,000 this year by the Florida GOP, presumably to run its voter registration campaigns in the state. That number, however, does not account for another identical payment made in August. The Palm Beach Post is reporting tonight that the firm received “more than $1.3 million” from the Republican Party of Florida “to register new voters.”
The firm is not only tied to the Florida GOP, but also to the Mitt Romney Campaign, which hired Sproul as a political consultant late last year, despite years of fraud allegations against his organizations in multiple states.
Moreover, the firm is also reportedly operating similar voter registration operations on behalf of the Republican Party, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, in a number of key battleground states this year, including North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado. Strategic Allied has recently taken steps to hide their ownership by Sproul’s notorious firm, Sproul & Associates.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Election Susan Bucher confirmed to The BRAD BLOG late this evening that she turned over 106 suspicious voter registration applications to the Florida State Attorney during a meeting yesterday afternoon in Palm Beach, after the “questionable” applications were submitted to her office by a worker for Strategic Allied.
The forms were said to all have similar signatures, changed addresses and party affiliations, and other defects which appear to have all been done by the same hand.
The case emerging in Florida tonight mirrors a similar incident reported earlier this year in which more than a thousand fraudulent voter registration forms were discovered to have been turned in to the Sacramento County, CA Registrar of Voters by a group hired by that state’s Republican Party.
But Strategic Allied Consulting is not the only case of its kind, as a massive GOP voter registration scheme, which could involve the upper-echelons of the national party, appears to be underway.
So, it seems that state GOPs in Florida and California have been hiring someone with a known record of allegations of voter fraud, yet they continue to pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars each, totaling millions, to do things like this:
The video, which went viral, was explained away insufficiently by the Boston Globe on Sunday — before the Florida fraud was discovered.
“The young woman in a popular Internet video who claims to be working for a Colorado county clerk’s office while registering only people who will vote for Mitt Romney was not working for the clerk’s office,” the Globe reported, again, insufficiently, without doing sufficient digging.
A quick note: The Baltimore Chronicle in 2005 reported:
From an independent study of the original data filed by the Republicans with the Federal Election Commission, it is clear that Sproul was paid a staggering $8.3 million for its work against the Democrats.
Back to now.
“Sproul, a consultant based in Tempe, is infamous for accusations that his firms have committed fraud by tampering with Democratic voter registration forms and suppressing votes,” Lee Fang at The Nation writes:
Sproul was hired by the Romney campaign for a period of five months that began last November and ended in March. But now there’s evidence that the payments continued, only to a different name.
As Greg Flynn of BlueNC pointed out earlier this month, Strategic Allied Consulting recently put up a proxy to hide the fact that its website was registered by Sproul; but not before Flynn took a screen shot. Flynn notes that the firm has been aggressively hiring in Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida. He flagged two large payments to the firm from GOP committees in Florida and North Carolina.
I found a few more payments, like this one from the Colorado Republican Committee: $140,000 to the Sproul-connected firm on July 6, 2012. (UPDATE: I also found the California Republican Party making$430,840 in payments to “Grassroots Outreach, LLC” this cycle for voter registration. According to this disclosure, Grassroots Outreach shares the same address as Sproul’s office in Tempe, Arizona. Craigslist job postings in California and Colorado use identical language as Strategic Alled Consulting’s listings in North Carolina.)
Brad Friedman has put up a history of Sproul’s companies, and their work for Republican interests. They range from antics like gathering signatures to put Nader on the ballot and being banned from Walmart for partisan voting drives to more serious offenses, like allegedly destroying Democratic registration forms in several states while on the payroll of the RNC.
Sproul’s Wikipedia bio reads:
Nathan Sproul is a noted Republican strategist and political consultant for numerous campaigns. Sproul is currently the head of Lincoln Strategy Group, a national political consulting firm based in Arizona. He is a former leader of the Arizona Republican Party and the Arizona Christian Coalition. He has worked on the campaigns of many Republicans including Trent Franks, Andy Thomas, and Len Munsil.
Shocking. Absolutely shocking. And just what you’d expect from Romney and the GOP.
Hopefully, someone will continue the investigations, and see just how far they lead.
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