The Republican National Committee is cutting ties to Strategic Allied Consulting, a voter registration firm under investigation for turning in fraudulent voter registration forms in Florida. The RNC hired the firm to do voter registration drives for $3.1 million this year.
The firm’s founder, Nathan Sproul, is a longtime Republican strategist whose reputation was tarred by widespread accusations of voter registration fraud and attempts to suppress Democratic voter turnout. George W. Bush’s campaign reportedly paid Sproul over $8 million for his work in the 2004 election. Sproul, now under new scrutiny, claims he started Strategic Allied Consulting because the RNC wanted to hide his past:
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.
The committee is now scrambling to distance itself from Sproul after Florida launched a criminal investigation into the company. Strategic Allied Consulting submitted 106 “questionable” voter registration forms to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, and several other counties have discovered fraudulent forms as well. The Florida GOP fired the firm on Tuesday night.