The Palm Beach Post report last night that a Florida Republican Party contractor turned in at least 106 “questionable” registration firms, with “similar signatures” and wrong addresses, doesn’t seem like a national news story. But it has unwoven a somewhat concealed effort by Republicans in several states to deploy a firm with an ugly history of allegedly destroying Democratic voter registration forms and other acts of fraud.
The contractor in Florida is called Strategic Allied Consulting, a business entity created a few months ago and registered online by a former Arizona Republican Party director named Nathan Sproul.
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. 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 and petition gathering. 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.
I called Sproul’s firm in Arizona to ask about its connection to Strategic Allied Consulting. “I am not at liberty to discuss that,” the reception answered bluntly, before transferring me to another employee who gave a similarly coy response. I e-mailed my questions over, and will post a response if they send it. It’s also worth noting Sproul hid his tracks in 2008.