Moreover, as The BRAD BLOG detailed on Tuesday the company’s mailing address, according to documents released [PDF] by the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement upon announcement of their statewide criminal investigation of Strategic (the firm is also being criminally investigated in CO), was registered as a corporation last June out of the same law office run by top-level Republican National Committee election attorneys where both Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super-PAC and the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity are also based.
Despite Spicer’s attempt to downplay the VA incident on Thursday — “He made a mistake and he’s being charged with it, which we fully support” — as he similarly did for the FL incidents previously, it’s become clear that the RNC’s deceptive and often illegal registration and canvass operations are toxic, widespread, and very high-reaching.
Ironically, or perhaps not at this point, Romney, who hired Sproul late last year as a “political consultant” for some $71,000, appears to have committed both voter registration fraud and voter fraud himself in Massachusetts, when he voted in the January 2010 U.S. Senate Special Election between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley. While he owned houses in both California and New Hampshire at the time, he did not own a Massachusetts home until July of that year. Instead, he used the basement of his son’s Belmont, Mass., home as his own registration address in apparent contravention of Massachusetts state residency laws. [See our still-growing list of other very high-profile GOPers recently involved in apparent election fraud crimes.]
Trashed registration forms in Virginia
According to FEC filings obtained by CBS 6 in Richmond last month, the Virginia Republican Party reportedly paid some $500,000 to Strategic for registration work before the state GOP claimed to have fired them, several days after the fraudulent forms collected by Strategic and submitted to county Supervisors of Elections by the Florida GOP began to surface in the Sunshine State. As we now know, only Sproul was fired. The voter registration operation itself continued.
Small, the man arrested on Thursday and charged with eight felony counts and five misdemeanors after allegedly having been found to have tossed at least eight registration forms into a dumpster in Harrisonburg, Va. (Rockingham County), was reportedly working for an operation named PinPoint on behalf of the Virginia GOP, according to Reilly at TPM.
In an earlier report on the matter at TPM, before Small’s arrest later in the day, Reilly noted that “Virginia does not register voters by political party, so it would be difficult for someone to discard forms from their political opponents.”
Reilly’s assessment does not take into account the very specific and purposely deceptive process used by Sproul’s companies — and, as suggested by evidence we’ve collected, perhaps other Republican-based voter registration outfits across the country — to identify and register only Republicans to vote, while attempting to filter out Democratic-leaning voters.
In an investigative report earlier this month, the BRAD BLOG detailed video-taped and other evidence from nearly half a dozen states, demonstrating a deceptive, national Republican voter registration strategy where voter registration workers purposely misrepresented themselves as pollster to potential registrants.
Essentially, as detailed in video clips and other testimony in that report, the GOP voter registration workers hired by Sproul were trained to pretend to be taking a poll and to ask voters if they supported Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. If the answer was “Obama”, the potential registrant was thanked and sent on their way. If the answer came back as “Romney”, they were given the opportunity to register to vote. In that way, the thousands of workers employed by Sproul, the former head of the Arizona Republican Party and Christian Coalition, kept many Democratic-leaning voters from registering to vote at all.
In one YouTube video that went viral last month, a young Colorado registration worker — who, it turned out, had been working for Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting on behalf of the state GOP — is seen doing exactly that. Another videoposted by Las Vegas ABC affiliate Action News 13, shows a worker there playing out the same pollster scheme in Nevada. Sproul shared an email with The BRAD BLOGin which he had boasted to other company officials that the Vegas video tape captured their worker carrying out her training “perfectly”.
In Virginia, where the Pennsylvania man working for the state GOP was arrested Thursday, Chesterfield County’s General Registrar Larry Haake was seen explaining to Richmond’s CBS 6 in late September that he had received complaints of Strategic employees discovered doing the same thing in a library last month.
“They were responsible for people that appeared in some libraries in Chesterfield County, supposedly to conduct voter registration drives,” Haake said, “but they were asking voters for whom they are going to vote.”
Haake says he informed the GOP of the incident at the time, but, apparently, no action was taken.
If, in fact, Small, or the workers he is said to have supervised, were using the same technique of misrepresenting themselves to voters about being a pollster, rather than being a registration worker, it’s likely he would have been able to glean whether those registrations he was allegedly seen tossing into a dumpster were for Democratic or Republican-leaning voters.
The ‘PinPoint’ piece of the puzzle
In that same story on the Sproul/RNC voter registration deception, we cited a 9/28/12 report by the Los Angeles Times that tied PinPoint Staffing to Sproul.
The article quoted William T. Hazard, the Strategic employee said by the company to have turned in the original fraudulent registration applications in Palm Beach County, Fla. He says he “did nothing wrong”, but told the paper that he was trained “to approach people and ask whom they supported in the presidential election. When people answered with President Obama, he said, he wished them a good day. If someone said Mitt Romney, he asked if they were registered to vote. If not, he handed them forms to fill out.”
He says that it was a help wanted ad placed by PinPoint that led him to the work for Strategic, Sproul, and the Republican Party.
“He got the voter registration job after responding to a Craigslist ad placed by a company called PinPoint Staffing seeking people to do ‘voter surveys’,” the Times reported at the time. “The ad specified that all applicants had to be registered Republicans and active voters.”
Further, the paper says, “Although he reported to a PinPoint Staffing office in West Palm Beach, he said, ‘I thought I was dealing with the Republican Party.’”
PinPoint was key to Sproul’s operations. So who are they?
Over our three-week long investigation of Sproul and the GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, we had collected dozens of help wanted ads posted by PinPoint Staffing that were nearly identical to others published on behalf of Strategic. Some of those ads placed in North Carolina had proved instrumental, originally, to theBlueNC blog’s Greg Flynn in late August when they were key to his uncovering Sproul’s previously-secret ownership of Strategic Allied Consulting.
Many of the PinPoint ads on Craigslist and other sites — seeking “VOTER REGISTRATION SUPPORT” by “REPUBLICAN PARTY SUPPORTER(S)”, for example — were hastily removed from the Internet at nearly the same time that Sproul and Strategic were being outed and supposedly fired. The BRAD BLOGcaptured many of them before they were taken down, some with the message: “This posting has been flagged for removal.”
We discovered ads by PinPoint Staffing in dozens of cities, in Virginia, North Carolina and Washington D.C., as well as all across Florida, from Pensacola in the panhandle, down to Palm Beach County where the first fraudulent registration forms were discovered in late September.
More recently, PinPoint ads for “Political Jobs” or “Campaign” or “Canvassing” operations began to no longer include references to “Republican Voters” or “Romney” or the “Republican Party”. Instead they might read “ARE YOU LOOKING FOR YOUR BIG BREAK INTO POLITICS?”. Such ads have been found this month in Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Arizona and Florida.