Federal Election Commission filings show that the Republican National Committee paid Strategic Allied Consulting LLC $ 416,665 for “management consulting services” in September. The firm, owned by GOP operative Nathan Sproul, was fired by the RNC and five state Republican parties after apparently fraudulent voter-registration forms turned up in 10 Florida counties. The payments were provided before Republican ties with the firm were cut off.
A spokesman for the RNC said at the time Strategic Allied Consulting was fired that the party has “zero tolerance” for anything that smacks of voter-registration fraud. But it has stuck with Sproul over nearly a decade despite repeated allegations in various states that his firms have been involved in trickery and deceit. There’s a pattern of alleged misbehavior.
The Florida party had previously paid the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, $ 1.3 million in July and August, according to the Palm Beach Post. The RNC had directed a total of $ 3.1 million to the firm through state organizations in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched a criminal investigation of Sproul and Strategic Allied Consulting because of allegations of 220 criminal acts. Among were allegations of dead people being registered to vote as well as numerous other voter-registration infractions used to try to increase Republican voter rolls.
Sproul’s firms have previously run similar voter registration efforts for the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, for McCain-Palin in 2008 and Romney since late last year. Operating under different names, the firms have been accused of altering information on Democratic voter registration forms in several states, including Oregon and Colorado. The Florida Party, a spokesman said, had hired SAC “at the request of” the RNC.
Sproul, the former executive director and leader of the RNC in the state of Arizona. This year, he was hired by the RNC and the Mitt Romney campaign to do voter work in five swing states: North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado. In addition to the $ 1.3 million, in Florida, and the $ 400,000 to the RNC for September Sproul was paid more than $ 1.7 million by both the RNC and the Romney campaign to do voter registration drives in those five states. But, over the past nine years, Sproul and his companies have been paid a total of more than $ 21.2 million by the Republican Party despite the several instances of suspected trickery and deceit in the voter registration efforts. No charges have ever been filed.
Colin Small, an employee of Strategic Allied Consulting, was charged charged with eight felonies and five misdemeanors, for trashing eight voter-registration forms. After losing his job at Strategic, he was hired by Pinpoint, which “had previously been a subcontractor for Strategic Allied Consulting, which is run by a Republican operative, Nathan Sproul,” The New York Times reported Friday.
Mr. Small was employed by PinPoint, a company working for the Virginia Republican Party to run local registration drives, and reported to a party headquarters in Harrisonburg.
Mr. Small, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, had until recently worked for Strategic Allied Consulting, the Arizona company that was fired by the national Republican Party last month after allegations of voter registration improprieties in Colorado, Florida and Nevada. PinPoint, which also has offices in Arizona, had previously been a subcontractor for Strategic Allied Consulting, which is run by a Republican operative, Nathan Sproul.
In a statement, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told Zeke Miller:
Despite their public renunciation of Strategic Allied Consulting, the Republican National Committee did not actually break ties with this sketchy firm. The RNC’s continued ties to this company, despite revelations of its lengthy history of being accused of voter registration fraud and whose activities on behalf of the RNC in my home state of Florida this cycle are the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation, show a complete lack of willingness to protect the fundamental right to vote.
The RNC’s decision to continue to employ a consulting firm with a well-known history of registration fraud and other election-related irregularities is unconscionable, and it is a clear breach of public trust.
Indeed. But, as in the past, Sproul will no doubt just change the name of his operation, get hired by the RNC again and continue his efforts. Zero tolerance depends apparently on what the definition of zero is.