Newspaper logo  
 
 
  Team Bush Paid Millions to Nathan Sproul--and Tried to Hide It

RNC VOTE FRAUD?

Team Bush Paid Millions to Nathan Sproul—and Tried to Hide It

by Mark Crispin Miller and Jared Irmas

All the payments by the RNC to Sproul add up to a whopping $8,359,161. Where did all that money come from? Why did the RNC suppress their real expenditures? And what exactly did Sproul do for all that pay?
In the months before the 2004 presidential election, a firm called Sproul & Associates launched voter registration drives in at least eight states, most of them swing states. The group--run by Nathan Sproul, former head of the Arizona Christian Coalition and the Arizona Republican Party--had been hired by the Republican National Committee.

Sproul got into a bit of trouble last fall when, in certain states, it came out that the firm was playing dirty tricks in order to suppress the Democratic vote: concealing their partisan agenda, tricking Democrats into registering as Republicans, surreptitiously re-registering Democrats and Independents as Republicans, and shredding Democratic registration forms.

The scandal got a moderate amount of local coverage in some states--and then the election was over. Now anyone who brought up Nathan Sproul, or any of the other massive crimes and improprieties committed on or prior to Election Day, was shrugged off as a dealer in "conspiracy theory."

It seems that Sproul did quite a lot of work for the Republicans. Exactly how much did he do? More specifically, how much did the RNC pay Sproul & Associates?

If you went online last week to look up how much money Sproul received from the Republicans in 2004, you would have found that, according to the party (whose figures had been posted by the Center for Responsive Politics), the firm was paid $488,957.

In fact, the RNC paid Sproul a great deal more than that. From an independent study of the original data filed by the Republicans with the Federal Election Commission, it is clear that Sproul was paid a staggering $8.3 million for its work against the Democrats.

How the true figures came to be revealed
On Dec. 3, 2004, the Republican National Committee filed their Post-General Report with the FEC, accounting for all expenditures between Oct. 14 and Nov. 22.

Among the Itemized Disbursements there were listed six expenditures to Sproul & Associates, amounting to a total sum of $4.5 million. Three of them were for "Political Consulting," and the other three were for "Voter Registration Costs." The RNC paid Sproul the biggest amount on the day before the election: $1,668,733.

On Jan. 7, 2005 and again on May 3, 2005, the RNC sent in revised reports. Those items were unchanged in all of them.

After they received the RNC's second revised report, the FEC expressed dissatisfaction with the vague phrase "Voter Registration Costs." In a May 18 letter to Michael Retzer, Treasurer of the RNC, the FEC requested that itemized disbursements labeled thus be further clarified.

On June 17, the RNC submitted a (third) revised report. In it, those three suspicious Sproul expenditures labeled "Voter Registration Costs" had been changed to "Political Consulting." As a "clarification," it was as vague as possible. Although it only raised more questions, there seems to be no letter in the FEC database concerning that unedifying correction.

Moreover, there are some big surprises buried in the paperwork. It turned out that the RNC paid Sproul not only for their pre-election work, but also paid them for work after the election. According to their Year-End Report, filed on Jan. 28, 2005, the RNC paid Sproul for "Political Consulting" in December--long after all the voter registration drives had ended.

And two months later, when the RNC filed their amended Year-End Report on May 3, the dates of those December expenditures mysteriously changed. A payment of $210,176, once made on Dec. 20, was changed to Dec. 22. A payment of $344,214, initially recorded on Dec. 22, was changed to Dec. 9.

As to why Sproul was being paid in December, and why the dates were changed, one can only speculate. But it may be worth noting that the Ohio recount took place from Dec. 13 through Dec. 28.

Because these amendments were made in 2005, the Center for Responsive Politics' website mistakenly allocated that money to the 2006 cycle. When we informed them of these missing numbers yesterday, CRP was quick to adjust them. They also included two more expenditures: a $323,907 payment for more "Political Consulting" (10/12/04) and $450,257 for "Mailing Costs" (10/04/04).

And there was more--much more.

Fuzzy math
The documents also suggest that the RNC may have changed the dates of nine payments to suggest expenditures in 2005, thereby shifting focus from the 2004 election.

In going through the documents, CRP located nine expenditures from the future: Sproul somehow received a total of $1,323,154 between Sept. 2 and Sept. 29, 2005. Another $472,642 is hidden in 2005. Four of those prospective items were (or will be) for "Generic Media Buys" or "Lodging, Transportation." The other four are (or will be) for "Voter Registration Efforts"--surely an expense incurred in September of last year, not this year.

Larry Noble, executive director of CRP, considers such future expenditures for, say, "Lodging, Transportation" rather odd, but he gives the RNC the benefit of the doubt. "My guess is that it's an error," he suggests. "It's possible that they're cleaning up voter registration lists in September, but it's also possible they made a mistake."

Even if that mistaken date is just a typo, it is, to say the least, not likely that they made the same mistake in nine uniquely dated items for 2004.

In any case, all the payments by the RNC to Sproul add up to a whopping $8,359,161--making it the RNC's eighth biggest expenditure of the 2004 campaign.

Sproul is currently under investigation by the Oregon Attorney General's office, for altering the voter registration forms of several thousand students in that state. Whether the new numbers are in part mistaken, they represent a huge expense for the Republicans. Given Sproul's history of serious electoral mischief, affecting countless Democratic voters in the last election, it is important that we ask some sober questions: Where did all that money come from? Why did the RNC suppress their real expenditures? And what exactly did Sproul do for all that pay? If we're going to get some reasonable answers, the FEC must undertake a very thorough audit of the books.


Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of culture and communication at New York University, is author of several books, including Boxed In: The Culture of TV, Mad Scientists: The Secret History of Modern Propaganda, The Bush Dyslexicon and Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order. Jared Irmas is a junior at New York University. Additional reporting by John Brakey.

Published by the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the authors. Originally published on Thursday, June 30, 2005 at News From Underground



Copyright © 2005 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on July 5, 2005.

 
Local Gov’t Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

02.26 DeVos to Conservative Conference: I Will Replace the Bush-Obama Failed Ideas with My Own Failed Ideas

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

02.27 TRUMPCARE VS. OBAMACARE

02.27 Only China Can Save the Planet [Republicans cede renewable energy dominance to China, as if only fossil energy has worth. Could they be more stupid?]

02.27 With Obamacare in jeopardy, California considers going it alone with 'single-payer' system [with population larger than Canada, California could achieve better single-payer efficiencies than Canada's, with even greater efficiency when more states join in a common insurance market]

02.26 Windfarms aren’t the real reason energy bills are rising. Blame the free market

02.26 Food aid from warehouse to plate: fighting South Sudan’s famine – in pictures

02.26 Scott Pruitt vows to slash climate and water pollution regulations at CPAC [another immoral idiot speaks]

02.25 Revealed: thousands of children at London schools breathe toxic air [you can't see the most dangerous pollution, the particles are too small which makes them dangerous]

02.24 OMG measurements of Greenland give us a glimpse of future sea rise

02.24 Dutch minister calls on UK to join safe abortion fund after Trump ban

02.23 BREAKING: Exxon to Leave Up to 3.6 Billion Barrels of Tar Sands/Oil Sands in the Ground [Yay!]

02.23 Lancet Study on Life Expectancy by 2030 Confirms Poor US Performance

02.23 Climate scientists face harassment, threats and fears of 'McCarthyist attacks' [sociopathic behavior...]

02.23 The Case for a Fracking Ban

News Media Matters

02.26 Spurned Reporters should dump Trump Briefings, turn to Investigative Journalism

02.26 Revealed: how US billionaire helped to back Brexit [and Trump] [at what point is the label "traitor" apropriate?]

02.25 Donald Trump press ban: Guardian, BBC and CNN denied access to briefing

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.26 The Immigration Facts Donald Trump Doesn’t Like

02.26 'Incredibly Disappointing': Democrats Choose Tom Perez to Head Party [not changing is not the answer; can a party taking large campaign donations from healthcare companies ever support price-controlled single-payer?]

02.26 Trump national security adviser wants to avoid term 'radical Islamic terrorism', sources say [McMaster seems an unusually sane member of Trump's administration]

02.25 Wanted: Three Principled Republicans to Save America From Trump

02.25 REPUBLICANS ACCUSE VOTERS OF USING TOWN HALLS TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES

02.25 Resistance Recess Puts Congress on Notice for Supporting Trump’s Agenda

02.25 Steve Bannon: Trump is 'maniacally focused' on executing promises [videos; will increasingly unregulated and immoral capitalism save us?]

02.25 Donald Trump vows to 'get the bad people out' of US – as it happened

Justice Matters

02.26 The story of the week is Trump, Russia and the FBI. The rest is a distraction

02.26 Hate Crime Is Feared as 2 Indian Engineers Are Shot in Kansas [two foreigners walk into a red state bar...]

02.25 White House confirms conversation with FBI about Trump and Russia

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

02.25 Just as neoliberalism is finally on its knees, so too is the left

02.24 Michael Hudson: Why Failing to Solve Personal Debt and Polarization Will Usher in a New Dark Age

International

02.27 How Russia Is Using Oil Deals To Secure Its Influence In The Middle East [countries should get off of fossil fuels so the world can breathe]

02.27 Infographic: Here’s How the Global GDP Is Divvied Up

02.27 Twilight of the Technocrats? [caring for people and morals have to become prime factors!]

02.27 THE LONG HISTORY OF DEPORTATION SCARE TACTICS AT THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER [why can't we have altruistic policy to help people avoid becoming refugees? perhaps it is bad governments that should be helped...or punished. is U.S. drug policy the root problem?]

02.26 HOW PETER THIEL’S PALANTIR HELPED THE NSA SPY ON THE WHOLE WORLD [technology East Germany's STASI would have loved!]

02.25 CHINA’S NORTH KOREA PROBLEM

02.25 TRUMP, PUTIN, AND THE NEW COLD WAR

02.25 Marine Le Pen refuses to be questioned by French police

02.24 A Global Counter-Trump Movement Is Taking Shape

02.24 UN: $4.4bn needed to prevent 'catastrophe' of famine

02.24 Kim Jong-nam killed by VX nerve agent, say Malaysian police

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web

Public Service Ads: