What began last week as a trickle—a report from the Palm Beach Post that the Florida Republican Party was cutting ties with a firm that turned in "questionable" voter-registration forms in one county—has now grown into a pretty ugly flood. Turns out the Florida GOP paid the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting, to do voter registration, while the Republican National Committee paid the same firm millions to register voters in four other battleground states: Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, and Colorado. The group allegedly submitted forms with dead voters' information and fake information—and in some cases, may have changed voters' party affiliations to Republican without alerting the voters. More disturbing, the firm the Republicans were paying, Strategic Allied Consulting, is one of several that GOP consultant Nathan Sproul has run over the last decade. Along the way, Sproul's companies have been accused of everything from refusing to register Democratic voters to shredding the voter-registration forms of Democrats. Yet Sproul continued to get lucrative contracts from the GOP. And the conservative media has had precious little to say about it.
Josh Marshall called the news a "thunderclap of schadenfreude" and it's hard to think of a more apt description. Republicans and their media backers have long criticized mass voter-registration drives, often pushed by progressive—if not necessarily partisan—groups. The 2008 ACORN voter registration non-scandal has been a cultural touchstone for the right. But what's alleged against Sproul and Srategic Allied Consulting is is far more serious.
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