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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 6/6/12

Romney Hires Voter Suppression Guru

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Cross-posted from Republic Report


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Nathan Sproul

Republic Report has covered how political money can corrupt government by influencing the actions of elected representatives. But professional hacks can also disrupt democracy by interfering with the voting process itself.

Late last year, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign began paying Nathan Sproul, a political consultant with a long history of destroying Democratic voter registration forms and manipulating ballot initiatives. Sproul, who changed his firm's name from Sproul and Associates to Lincoln Strategies, has received over $70,000 from Romney's campaign. Much of the campaign coverage has focused on the rhetoric of surrogates and the role of high-priced television advertisements. But if Sproul continues to play a role in the campaign, and if his previous work is any guide, his firm may have an impact on key swing states.

ThinkProgress covered Sproul and his work for the coal industry. The post, which partially reprinted below, goes through his greatest hits, including evidence that his firm systematically suppressed Democratic overs on behalf of the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential team and deceiving voters during registration drives in 2006:

- In Oregon and Nevada, Lincoln Strategies -- then known as Sproul and Associates -- was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms. The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work. [CNN, 10/14/04; KGW News, 10/13/04; East Valley Tribune, 09/07/06]

- In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Lincoln Strategies -- then known as Sproul and Associates -- found their names absent from the voter registration rolls. [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/29/04]

- During the 2006 midterm elections, Wal-Mart banned Lincoln Strategies for partisan voter registration efforts in Tennessee. The Republican National Committee had hired the firm. [Associated Press, 08/24/06]

- In Arizona, Lincoln Strategies 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]

- Lincoln Strategies, then employed by the Republican Party, was behind efforts to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in states such as Arizona. [American Prospect, 06/25/04]

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LEE FANG  Lee Fang is a  reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. He covers money in politics, conservative movements and lobbying. Lee's work has resulted in multiple calls for hearings in Congress and the (more...)
 
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