Saturday, July 02, 2005


Sproul & Associates: Doing well by doing ... what?

In his blog News from Underground, Mark Crispin Miller reports that the RNC got a little careless with the records of the money paid to Sproul & Associates, the company that they hired to do voter registration (this is the company that got caught shredding the registrations of anybody who selected "Democrat" for their party affiliation).
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.
After filing their Post-General Report with the FEC, the RNC amended the report several times, each time changing the dates and descriptions of payments to Sproul. As Miller points out,
Because these amendments were made in 2005, the Center for Responsive Politics' mistakenly allocated that money to the 2006 cycle.... 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.... 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.
Does anybody else kind of wonder why there were so many instances of the same mistake in the records for a company that's already in legal trouble (the Oregon attorney general is investigating Sproul for altering several thousand voter registrations), considering the mistake so conveniently hid the full extent of Sproul's services for the Republicans? And does anybody else wonder what Sproul & Associates really did for the RNC and the Bush campaign under the conveniently vague description of "Political Consulting" and "Voter Registration Costs"? Or is it just that the Republicans can't type or proofread any more accurately then they can quote Democrats?
'Surreal' is right, MEC. (Great first post, by the way!)
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