FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Romney’s Dirty Trickster

They say if you want to know who a man is, find out who his friends are. In that case, meet Mitt Romney’s new buddy, Nathan Sproul, the former leader of the Arizona Republican Party and the Arizona Christian Coalition.

OK, the word “buddy” may not be exactly right. How about cohort, accomplice, hired gun? That might better describe the shadowy political consultant who has recently joined the Romney election team.

Come to think of it, scratch, “political consultant.” Replace it with “dirty trickster,” or more pointedly, “perpetrator of voter fraud.” Alright, we’ll need to add the qualifying term “alleged” before “perpetrator,” since Sproul has not actually done jail time yet for stealing votes. (Who has?) Let’s just say that the Republican operative, who has been called “Arizona’s Carl Rove,” has had a chequered career over the last two decades playing fast and loose with the electoral process. Here are a few highlights culled from a recent story in Republic Report and elsewhere:

*The firm Sproul and Associates was investigated for voter fraud in Nevada during their work on behalf of the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004. Sproul’s registrars allegedly canvassed voters about which candidate they were planning to support. If they were leaning Republican, the group helped them to register. If they leaned Democratic, they ignored them, or later destroyed the form.

*In Oregon as well, the state attorney general opened a criminal investigation into allegations that Sproul’s group (they have since changed their name to “Lincoln Strategies”) was involved in intentionally destroying or discarding voter registration forms signed by Democrats. Portland CBS affiliate KLAS-TV reported that a former employee of Sproul claimed that hundreds, if not thousands, of Democratic registration forms were trashed by the Sproul’s minions.

*Sproul and his operatives were also behind efforts to gather signatures on a petition to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in Arizona in an attempt to siphon votes off from Democrat, John Kerry in 2004.

*During the midterm elections in 2006 Sproul’s “registrars” were kicked out of Wal-Mart in Tennessee, and also the Oregon library system  for claiming fraudulently that they were engaged in a “non-partisan voter registration drive, when they were really working for the Republican National Committee.

*In Arizona, according to Salon, Sproul’s minions 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]

Republicans counter that Democrats do the same sorts of things. They cite the Chicago-based community development group ACORN, which they accuse of having filed fake voter registration forms prior to the last presidential election. Never mind that the general counsel of the RNC himself acknowledged that he could not give a single example of an improper vote having been cast as a result of this supposed voter registration fraud.

As former Republican congressman Chris Cannon of Utah conceded, “the difference between ACORN and Sproul is that ACORN doesn’t throw away or change registration documents after they have been filled out.”

Sproul’s capers include “tricking Democrats into registering as Republicans, surreptitiously re-registering Democrats and Independents as Republicans, and shredding Democratic registration forms,” according to the Baltimore Chronicle. For which services during the 2004 presidential election campaign, Sproul was paid an astounding $8.3 million by Bush and the Republicans, investigative journalists Mark Crispin Miller and Jared Irmas discovered.

That makes the $71,391 in fees that the consultant has reportedly received so far from Romney for President Inc. mere chump change by comparison. But, hey, that was only the first installment. Expect more and bigger checks to flow as November approaches and Nathan Sproul presumably comes up with new and improved ways to swindle Democratic voters of their votes.

Richard Schiffman is  the author of two biographies as well as a journalist whose work has appeared in  Salon, The Guardian, Reuters, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and the Huffington Post. He was also a free-lance journalist for several years at NPR and Monitor Radio.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
July 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
It Was Never Just About the Chat: Ruminations on a Puerto Rican Revolution.
Anthony DiMaggio
System Capture 2020: The Role of the Upper-Class in Shaping Democratic Primary Politics
Andrew Levine
South Carolina Speaks for Whom?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Big Man, Pig Man
Bruce E. Levine
The Groundbreaking Public Health Study That Should Change U.S. Society—But Won’t
Evaggelos Vallianatos
How the Trump Administration is Eviscerating the Federal Government
Pete Dolack
All Seemed Possible When the Sandinistas Took Power 40 years Ago
Ramzy Baroud
Who Killed Oscar and Valeria: The Inconvenient History of the Refugee Crisis
Ron Jacobs
Dancing with Dr. Benway
Joseph Natoli
Gaming the Climate
Marshall Auerback
The Numbers are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts are a Bust
Louisa Willcox
Wild Thoughts About the Wild Gallatin
Kenn Orphan
Stranger Things, Stranger Times
Mike Garrity
Environmentalists and Wilderness are Not the Timber Industry’s Big Problem
Helen Yaffe
Cuban Workers Celebrate Salary Rise From New Economic Measures
Brian Cloughley
What You Don’t Want to be in Trump’s America
David Underhill
The Inequality of Equal Pay
David Macaray
Adventures in Script-Writing
David Rosen
Say Goodbye to MAD, But Remember the Fight for Free Expression
Nick Pemberton
This Is Heaven!: A Journey to the Pearly Gates with Chuck Mertz
Dan Bacher
Chevron’s Oil Spill Endangers Kern County
J.P. Linstroth
A Racist President and Racial Trauma
Binoy Kampmark
Spying on Julian Assange
Rose Ramirez – Dedrick Asante-Mohammad
A Trump Plan to Throw 50,000 Kids Out of Their Schools
David Bravo
Precinct or Neighborhood? How Barcelona Keeps Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Global Capital
Ralph Nader
Will Any Disgusted Republicans Challenge Trump in the Primaries?
Dave Lindorff
The BS about Medicare-for-All Has to Stop!
Arnold August
Why the Canadian Government is Bullying Venezuela
Tom Clifford
China and the Swine Flu Outbreak
Missy Comley Beattie
Highest Anxiety
Jill Richardson
Weapons of the Weak
Peter Certo
Washington vs. The Squad
Peter Bolton
Trump’s Own Background Reveals the True Motivation Behind Racist Tweets: Pure White Supremacy
Colin Todhunter
From Mad Cow Disease to Agrochemicals: Time to Put Public Need Ahead of Private Greed
Nozomi Hayase
In Crisis of Democracy, We All Must Become Julian Assange
Wim Laven
The Immoral Silence to the Destructive Xenophobia of “Just Leave”
Cecily Myart-Cruz
McDonald’s: Stop Exploiting Our Schools
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Veggie Gardens Won’t Feed us in a Real Crisis
CounterPunch News Service
A Homeless Rebellion – Mission Statement/Press Release
Louis Proyect
Parallel Lives: Cheney and Ailes
David Yearsley
Big in the Bungalow of Believers
Ellen Taylor
The Northern Spotted Owls’ Tree-Sit
July 18, 2019
Timothy M. Gill
Bernie Sanders, Anti-Imperialism and Venezuela
W. T. Whitney
Cuba and a New Generation of Leaders Respond to U.S. Anti-People War
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail