The Republican National Committee hastily cut ties with Strategic Allied Consulting in late September, when Florida opened a criminal investigation into the GOP-funded voter registration firm for turning in hundreds of fraudulent registration forms in Florida counties. Once Palm Beach County raised the alarm, other states discovered fraudulent registrations, including North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado. Now under fire, Strategic Allied Consulting founder Nathan Sproul has quietly started a new identical firm called Issue Advocacy Partners, which is operating in 10 major battleground states.
This isn’t the first time Sproul has had to hide his past. He claims the RNC told him to start Strategic Allied Consulting so they could hire him without calling attention to his shady work in the 2000 and 2004 elections, when his consultants altered and destroyed Democrats’ registration forms on the RNC’s payroll. BlueNC first uncovered the link between Issue Advocacy Partners and Nathan Sproul last week, when the new firm began posting job listings on Craigslist for “household researchers” in Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, New York and New Jersey:
Some of the listings are connected directly to Sproul’s Lincoln Strategy Group. Others use Sproul’s Tempe, AZ, business address for contact information. Some of the ads specifically mention voter registration but do use terms like “seeking to hire grassroots canvassers to identify conservative voters”, “voter recruiter”, “conservative voter identification”, “voter ID”, “ identify conservative voters”. Many of the postings use an email address with the domain issueadvocacypartners.com. The website located at issueadvocacypartners.com has an appearance that is almost identical to that of the original strategicalliedconsulting.com.
Sproul is still operating on behalf of Republicans in at least ten states, though denies that he is being paid by the Republican Party. However, The Nation found evidence of a $453,000 payment to a Sproul offshoot firm from the California Republican Party, and former RNC chair Ed Gillespie paid Sproul $750,000 for unspecified work via his super PAC, American Crossroads. There may be still other local GOP chapters that continue to employ Sproul in spite of his well known reputation for voter registration shenanigans.