When the RNC then publicly claimed to have “fired” Sproul’s new company, after the fraudulent forms came to light, it’s likely that the RNC also knew full well that many of their state GOP affiliate organizations were still quietly employing Sproul’s firms for partisan work in a number of other states.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the evidence suggesting that his companies are still operating in states around the country under different names. That, despite the RNC’s claims to have “severed our relationship” with Sproul, and the assertion that they “acted swiftly and boldly” to cut ties with the group only after the allegedly fraudulent registration forms came to light in Florida (and as Democratic registration forms were also alleged to have been destroyed by Strategic workers in other states, such as Colorado and Nevada.)
Shortly after the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal first broke late last month, $430,000 in payments from the California Republican Party made to “Grassroots Outreach, LLC”, a firm which shared the same corporate Tempe, AZ address as Sproul’s companies Sproul & Associates and Lincoln Strategy Groups.
Most of the payments in this election cycle, according to the database, are said to be for “Signature Gathering” (presumably for ballot initiatives, etc.), though $34,000 of those payments are noted to be for “Voter Registration”.
Sproul confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that Grassroots Outreach is, indeed, one of his companies, though he insists the CA database is in error, because, he says, his companies have done no voter registration in the state this year.
Now, Flynn has uncovered new evidence of another company calling itself “Issue Advocacy Partners”. He documents help wanted ads, some posted as recently as September 26th, mirroring those published previously by Strategic Allied Consulting.
“Similar ads were being posted in other states, namely Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, New York and New Jersey, for almost identical jobs with another entity, Issue Advocacy Partners,” writes Flynn. “Some of the listings are connected directly to Sproul’s Lincoln Strategy Group. Others use Sproul’s Tempe, AZ, business address for contact information.” [Update: Since original publication this morning, Flynn writes in to note that Issue Advocacy Partners has also now “popped up” in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana as well. “Also,” he adds, “two former supervisors of Sproul’s NC operation have moved to OH, one now hiring ‘Voter Outreach Representatives’”.]
“Some of the ads specifically mention voter registration,” Flynn details, while others use “terms like ‘seeking to hire grassroots canvassers to identify conservative voters’, ‘voter recruiter’, ‘conservative voter identification’, ‘voter ID’, ‘identify conservative voters’.”
One of the ads Flynn found, posted on 9/27 and since removed, reads: “Issue Advocacy Partners is a conservative organization working to register voters as well as remind voters to vote conservatively in the upcoming election.”
From the evidence detailed above, it’s clear that, despite the RNC’s claim to have cut ties with Sproul, and his own originally unqualified assertion that he and his companies were not “still work[ing] for the RNC or other state or local parties,” there is a great deal of evidence that his operations are still working on behalf of Republicans in California and Oregon under the name Grassroots Outreach, and in Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, New York and New Jersey under the name Issue Advocacy Partners.
Last week, three ranking members of high profile U.S. House committees sent a letter to RNC Chair Reince Priebus, seeking more information about the RNC’s work with Sproul. It was signed by Democratic Reps. Charles Gonzalez, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Elections; John Conyers, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; and Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.
The letter, which cites reports on this matter by The BRAD BLOG in a number of its footnotes, details the Republican Party’s “unfortunate history of voter suppression” and its “Years of illicit and unethical behavior” which “led to the 1982 consent decree under which the RNC agreed to ‘refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities’ or anything else that might ‘deter qualified voters from voting’.”
“Despite your party’s requests over the past thirty years, federal courts have repeatedly declined to lift that decree,” the letter to Priebus continues. “The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on December 13, 2010, pointed to violations as recent as 2004 and found no evidence of ‘any significant change that renders prospective application of the Decree inequitable.’”