But the man who once accused his Democratic critics of having “hysterical fits” now finds himself isolated politically. Nine Florida counties reported to the state that hundreds of voter-registration forms submitted by Sproul’s firm contained irregularities such as suspicious signatures and missing information. State law enforcement authorities are investigating the allegations. A spokesman for Sproul denied any improprieties, saying Sproul’s firm “has never tolerated even minimal violations of election law when registering voters.’’
Late last week, the party that Sproul has worked so hard to build severed ties with him. GOP officials in Florida, who had paid Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting $1.3 million this election cycle to help register and turn out voters, filed an election complaint against his firm with state officials.
Sproul and firms linked to him also were paid $1.6 million from state parties in North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado, and Mitt Romney’s campaign paid him $72,000 for “field consulting” in this election.
“We take the integrity of elections extremely seriously,’’ Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said Monday. “We have zero tolerance for even the mere allegation of impropriety.”
Voter registration is an especially sensitive issue this year as a series of restrictive voter-access laws have become a flash point in the presidential campaign. President Obama’s supporters say the measures target minorities and other pro-Obama groups. Republicans say they are needed to combat voter fraud, and it was a law passed last year in Florida that enabled the probe of Sproul to move forward: It requires groups that register voters to put their organization’s names on every application they submit.
On Monday, Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested an interview with Sproul about the allegations.
Sproul, 40, declined to be interviewed by The Washington Post but a spokesman, David Leibowitz, said in an e-mailed statement that Sproul’s firm is cooperating with election authorities and “will continue to do everything within our power to uncover any unethical or illegal activity in Florida.”
“Obviously, everyone at [Sproul’s firm] is disappointed by the end of a years-long fruitful relationship” with the Republican Party, Leibowitz added, “but they understand why this was done. There can be no distractions right now.”