Not so fast. This group, its former iterations, and its founder Nathan Sproul all have a long history with the Republican party, and particularly in the are of voter fraud and Democratic voter disenfranchisement. So much so, in fact, that Sproul has himself now noted that the RNC had him change the name of his firm so that the hire wouldn't look suspicious.
Sproul said he created Strategic Allied Consulting at the RNC's request because the party wanted to avoid being publicly linked to the past allegations. The firm was set up at a Virginia address, and Sproul does not show up on the corporate paperwork.Why did they have to get the name changed? Because Sproul and the many iterations of this group has been associated with voter fraud before; multiple times. Notes the Republic Report, quoting from an investigation by ThinkProgress:
- In Oregon and Nevada, Lincoln Strategies — then known as Sproul and Associates — was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms. The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work. [CNN, 10/14/04; KGW News, 10/13/04; East Valley Tribune, 09/07/06]Not to be stopped at that, Mitt Romney's own campaign has paid Spraul $70,000. Sproul himself is a former Executive Director of the Arizona Republican Party. The connections between Sproul and the national and state Republican parties are rooted in a history of voter suppression and voter fraud in the past decade; it isn't something that just sprang up in the last year. Given their history and the RNC's insistence that the firm change their name, one could be forgiven for thinking that Sproul was hired precisely to commit voter frauds and voter disenfranchisements on behalf of the Republicans. His only fault in the eyes of the GOP is that he got caught.
- In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Lincoln Strategies — then known as Sproul and Associates — found their names absent from the voter registration rolls. [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/29/04]
- During the 2006 midterm elections, Wal-Mart banned Lincoln Strategies for partisan voter registration efforts in Tennessee. The Republican National Committee had hired the firm. [Associated Press, 08/24/06]
- In Arizona, Lincoln Strategies employed a variety of deceptive tactics — including systematically lying about the bill — to push a ballot initiative to eviscerate the state’s clean elections law. [Salon, 10/21/04]
- Lincoln Strategies, then employed by the Republican Party, was behind efforts to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in states such as Arizona. [American Prospect, 06/25/04]
Sproul is by no means an unknown quantity in the inside Republican circles. So why did the RNC and state GOP hire them? When you hire someone with a specific reputation for a specialty, what is it you are hiring them to do? The Republican party, at the very least, hired a known and infamous fraud to do... voter registration? Yeah, right.
So the RNC can talk about "firing" this group all they want. But they will hire them right back under a different name when no one is looking. This is not an isolated incident. The pattern of these groups show a connection that goes deeper than one voter registration drive in one state. It shows a political party's willingness to repeatedly hire firms created by a man repeatedly associated with voter fraud; a party that, incidentally, works hard to keep their political adversaries from voting when they get into power.
Republicans don't simply hate Democrats. They hate democracy.