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Democrats urge federal probe of GOP voter registration operation

October 23, 2012|By Joseph Tanfani
  • A company owned by longtime GOP consultant Nathan Sproul was fired by the Republican National Committee last month after suspicious voter forms cropped up in Florida.
A company owned by longtime GOP consultant Nathan Sproul was fired by the… (Tom Hood / Associated Press )

WASHINGTON – Three Democratic Virginia congressmen are requesting a Justice Department investigation of a Republican Party voter registration operation that has spawned an arrest in Virginia and fraud allegations in other states.

In a letter, the lawmakers urged Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to investigate whether there was a “broader conspiracy” of fraud stretching across several states. 

“The number of allegations in a multitude of locations would seem to suggest something more than the isolated acts of 'a few bad apples,' " Reps. James P. Moran, Gerry Connolly and Robert C. Scott wrote in the letter sent Tuesday.

The Republican National Committee paid at least $3.5 million to a company called Strategic Allied Consulting, which was doing voter registration and get-out-the-vote work in eight swing states. The company, owned by longtime GOP consultant Nathan Sproul, was fired by the RNC last month after dozens of suspicious voter forms cropped up in Florida. State law enforcement officials are investigating.

But the Republican registration campaign continued without Strategic Allied Consulting. Last week, a 23-year-old field supervisor, Colin Small, a former GOP congressional aide from Pennsylvania, was charged with destroying voter registration forms after a store owner found them in a dumpster.

Sproul and Republican Party officials blame the problems on mistakes by workers who ignored their training and instructions. They say they quickly fired the employees responsible. In Florida, many of the bad forms were traced to one temporary worker; election supervisors said many of the forms were apparently in the same handwriting.

A Justice Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sproul is continuing to do political work this fall under another corporate name – Issue Advocacy Partners. He would not identify the client, other than to say it was not the Republican Party.

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joseph.tanfani@latimes.com

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