Maligned political strategist paid $1.8 million by Republicans in October

The Associated Press reported Monday ties between conservative political strategist, Nathan Sproul, who has been the subject of repeated voter fraud allegations, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Federal Election Commission records show that the RNC and Trump campaign paid Sproul’s firm, Tempe, Ariz.-based Lincoln Strategy Group, a combined $1.8 million in October. Formerly called Sproul & Associates, the GOP-aligned consulting company was previously investigated for tampering with voter registration rolls in Nevada and Oregon.

According to RNC spokeswoman Lindsay Walters, the $1.2 million listed payment to Sproul from the Republican Party “is a coordinated expenditure with the [Trump] campaign. Similar to 2012, coordinated expenditure decisions are joint decisions, the RNC does not have sole decision authority.”

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks subsequently explained that Lincoln Strategy “is a firm that we work with to execute door knocking.”

The most serious allegation against Sproul came in 2012 when his then-company, Strategic Allied Consulting, was subjected to a two-year-long investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after three employees plead guilty to felony charges for discarding and manipulating voter registration applications.

The Strategic workers in question told authorities they had been ordered to do so by their superiors, but Florida investigators found no evidence such instructions had been given.  Sproul told AP that the admitted felons were technically not employed by his company, but were rather contracted through staffing agency.

“Because of our strict standards, our company immediately refers people to law enforcement and election officials when there is any indication of improper activity,” Sproul said in a statement Friday.

Despite his recent denials, Sproul admitted in a 2012 Los Angeles Times interview that the RNC had asked him to create more than one company to muddle their association with the political fixer before being released from his contract during the campaign that year with presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.

For the 2016 presidential campaign, Lincoln Strategy has posted online job ads to recruit canvassers in swing-states including North Carolina and Colorado, offering workers $20 per hour.

 

[AP] [Photo courtesy Tom Hood/AP via Salon]