Sproul, who has operated a network of at least five Arizona-based consulting firms since 2003, said Republican National Committee officials asked him to establish a new firm to shield the party from earlier allegations against him, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Strategic Allied Consulting was incorporated in June in Virginia. Sproul’s name is not listed on corporate documents.
Spicer said he is “unaware that that ever occurred.”
(TOM HOOD/ASSOCIATED PRESS) - Nathan Sproul, right, former executive director of Arizona's Republican Party and the state's Christian Coalition branch, poses for a photo in his Phoenix office, Monday, Oct. 25, 2004. (AP Photo/Tom Hood)
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“We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us,” the president said.
Sproul grew up in Arizona Republican politics. He moved to Tempe at age 2 and graduated from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Minnesota in 1994, according to a 2004 Associated Press profile of him. After briefly interning in Washington for then-Rep. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), he returned to Arizona, where he headed the Christian Coalition and, starting in 1999, the state Republican Party.
“It was pretty obvious he was talented,” said Randy Pullen, the Arizona GOP chairman from 2007 to 2011, who praised Sproul for his hard-charging tactics and effectiveness. “You can’t say that he’s milquetoast.”
Several Arizona Republicans said Sproul is known for his zeal in bringing voters into the Republican camp.
“Nathan was one of those who was willing to do or say anything possible to get a job and get the job done,” said Sean McCaffrey, who took over as state party executive director in 2007. He said he kept files of reports of complaints in the media or to the state party against Sproul and said he would not support party candidates who worked with Sproul.
In 2004, former canvassers for Sproul’s firm came forward in four states alleging that they were told to register only Republicans, with some saying that registration forms completed by Democrats were thrown out. The Justice Department investigated the allegations but did not bring charges, according to congressional testimony.
At the time, Sproul accused Democrats of “having hysterical fits about how well we did our job” and showing their own “lack of integrity” by feigning anger when “they do the exact same thing every day of the week.”
In the statement Monday, Sproul’s spokesman, Leibowitz, called the 2004 allegations “isolated instances” and said the company was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Alice Crites contributed to this report.