MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Overlooked in the rapidly escalating charges of massive GOP voter registration illegalities is an admission by the coordinator of the scheme: the shady Republican consultant, Nathan Sproul. Having a long history of legally questionable voter registration tactics, Sproul was a known public relations disaster to a party that had trumped up charges of Democratic voter fraud at the polls that was, according to the MinnPost, "virtually non-existent."
The MinnPost reports:
A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent….
Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.
So what have the Republicans been up to in creating national hysteria over a problem that doesn't exist? They've been up to, as Greg Palast and Brad Friedman (among others) have detailed, attempting to steal elections and succeeding at times (think Bush 2000) through a variety of strategies.
One of them, championed by the disreputable Nathan Sproul, has been to aggressively register Republicans, even it appears without their consent, while refusing to register Democrats, as legally required, or allegedly dumping the registrations of Democrats into garbage bins.
Meanwhile, the most well-known strategy the GOP has used to commit Constitutional voter fraud is by suppressing the vote of likely Democrats through onerous voter-ID and other restrictions (increasing length of residency requirements, cutting down on early voting hours, etc.). As the MinnPost noted of the highly partisan Pennsylvania voter requirements that were just judicially vacated for the presidential election, "Republican Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania’s House majority leader, spoke approvingly at a Republican State Committee meeting of the state’s new voter ID law, 'which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania — done.'"
Now, even the mainstream corporate media is taking note of how the Republican Party, from the RNC on down to state and local levels, reportedly paid Nathan Sproul's firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, millions of dollars.
Now, the Tacoma Washington News Tribune reports:
Nathan Sproul was hardly unknown when his firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, was hired over the summer to register voters for the Republican Party.
In 2004, employees with his previous firms were accused of a wide assortment of infractions: destroying voter registration forms of Democrats, duping college students into registering as Republicans, refusing to register Democrats or independents. Nevada, Oregon and Arizona opened investigations but closed them without charging anyone.
On Tuesday, new details emerged that Strategic Allied Consulting knew of problems in Florida earlier than reported in what is now a case of possible voter registration fraud in a dozen counties.
In reality, there are charges that Sproul's firm committed voter registration illegalities across the nation in 2012, working directly for the RNC, state GOP parties and the Romney campaign (although his firm has now been fired from many of these highly-lucrative contracts).
As the Houston Chronicle observes,
Just weeks after Texas counties tried to purge their voter rolls by eliminating supposedly deceased voters (many of whom beg to disagree), it turns out that a firm hired by the Republican National Committee may have been registering truly deceased Republicans to vote in Florida.
In ironic turn of events, the Republicans who have been strong proponents of the Voter ID laws, insisting that voter fraud does in fact exist, are now smack dab in the middle of a voter fraud investigation.
And about that smoking gun concerning the Republican Party and the Romney campaign claiming they didn't know what Sproul was up to?
Sproul belies that very claim in an interview with the Los Angeles Times:
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.
"In order to be able to do the job that the state parties were hiring us to do, the [RNC] asked us to do it with a different company's name, so as to not be a distraction from the false information put out in the Internet," Sproul said.
In essence, Sproul is asserting that the Republican National Committee knew of his sordid reputation and told him to disguise his involvement in his legally questionable strategies to "register" Republican voters while driving down Democratic voter registration.
Meanwhile, in Florida, the epicenter of where the Sproul voter registration fraud scandal broke out, Governor Rick Scott (whose company committed Medicare fraud to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, but he didn't go to jail due to 1% immunity) is still trying to disenfranchise people entitled to vote.
According to Time Magazine, Scott's "approval rating currently stands at a lowly 38%, with 50% disapproval. Moreover, a Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9 poll shows Scott losing the 2014 gubernatorial race to both his 2010 Democratic rival, Alex Sink, and former Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-independent who may soon turn Democrat."
Of course, if Scott can limit voting to the 38% of Floridians who approve of him, he just might win. He'll just need some assistance from Nathan Sproul.
(photo by magrippi)