Republican Voter Registration Firm turns in thousands of fake registration cards
The California Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Division is now reportedly investigating a GOP firm hired by the Sacramento County Republican Party charged with submitting thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms. According to a report today from Sacramento ABC affiliate News10, a private, for-profit firm calling itself Momentum Political Services, hired by the local Republican Party “to boost GOP registration ranks in key battleground communities” has turned in more than 3,100 hundred invalid voter registration cards during their recent drive.
This is one more crime in the GOP’s long and shameful history of voter registrtion fraud and vote suppression, documented below
This dwarf’s the untrue charges made against ACORN by Republicans in their smear campaign. It turns out that it is Republicans who are defrauding voters on a mass scale, pat of their ongoing Republican War on Democracy
The California GOP voter registration firm turned in forms allegedly with fake addresses, voter names that don’t exist, duplicate Social Security numbers, and party affiliations that seem to have been changed “by someone” to Republican. The head of the firm has admitted she has hired workers with criminal backgrounds, as found via Craigslist. This makes any mistakes in voter registration charged to ACORN look small by comparison as this is registration fraud for the GOP on a mass scale in California.
The charges of serial voter registration fraud seem similar to those leveled in 2008 against another outfit hired by the California State GOP to register Republican voters before that year’s Presidential election. In that case, the head of the firm was arrested, and eventually pleaded guilty to voter registration charges himself. In 2006, another firm hired by the CA Republican Party turned in thousands of registration forms with fake names and an error rate as high as 60 percent. And in 2004, a firm hired by the GOP was investigated in several states for shredding Democratic voter registrations and tossing them into dumpsters. The same folks were later hired by the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008 to run voter registration drives before the Presidential election.
This contrsts with Repbnulican smears of ACORN aboaut a few CORN workers — no actual ACORN officials, who were were never hired by the Democratic Party, and never led to a fraudulent vote — turning in fraudulent registration forms in past years. Nobody who ever worked for the non-profit ACORN has ever been accused of what these Republican firms continue to do on behalf of the Republican officials who hire them, paying them per Republican registration, year after year.
Thousands of Fraudulent Applications
State and federal campaign records show Momentum was paid some $49,000 by the Sacramento County Republican Party to boost GOP registration ranks in key battleground communities. Sacramento County elections officials estimate that the firm submitted 3,100 fruadulent registration forms.C ards were submitted with street numbers or names that can’t be found and with names of fake voters and with names that all had the same last four Social Security digits. And in some instances, the voter’s party affiliation appears to have been changed, by someone, to Republican, a felony.
The owner of Momentum Political Services, Monica Harris has admitted to News 10 that “some of her contractors had been ‘sloppy’” and that she has now fired 16 of them. Moreover, Harris says that she finds workers via advertisements on Craigslist and that some of them have criminal records. ACORN has been criticized, over the years, for doing the same thing, even though part of their mission had been to help those with difficult pasts get back on their feet and become productive members of society.
The non-partisan ACORN was apparently much more careful that n the CA GOP in that ACORN developed a system to spot suspicious cards and flag the ones they could not be confirmed as “potentially fraudulent,” before turning them in (as required by law), along with the names of workers who had defraudedthem to election officials and law enforcement agencies. None of these facts mattered to John McCain, Fox News, Red state and other conservative candidates and blogs who just lied about ACORN while keeping mum about GOP fraud and “bounties” illegally paid for for Republican-only registrations. Momentum Political Services appears to have actually signed voters up as Republicans whether they wished to be affiliated with the party or not, according to News10:
Two voters registered during the GOP drive said neither had any idea that they had been registered as Republicans. “He never asked me about my party affiliation,” said Folsom resident Malinda Cruse, who said the man that registered her filled out the entire form on her behalf, offering to mail it in after letting her sign it.
“I was shocked that I was a registered Republican,” said Cruse, who said she would have registered as a Democrat if given the chance.
Fraud by voter registration firms hired by the Republican Party in California seems to be a serial problem, occurring in very similar patterns election year after election year. In 2008, according to a press release from the CA Secretary of State’s office, the head of an outfit calling itself Young Political Majors (YPM), a firm which had been hired to register voters by the state GOP was arrested for fraud.
Jacoby’s arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department comes after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by his firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM. The voters said YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP.
Jacoby, who had previously gotten into similar hot water in both Florida and Arizona in 2004, was nonetheless hired again by the CA GOP in 2008 before he would eventually be forced to plead guilty to voter registration fraud in 2009.
At the time of his arrest, a man claiming to be a former friend and colleague of Jacoby’s, posted video of him threatening one of his workers in Arizona, before describing YPM’s scheme for hoaxing citizens into registering as Republican voters:
[Jacoby's] strategy for getting republican registrations is genius, although i can see how it might be illegal. here’s what his guys do:
* they make a fake petition, usually something involving tougher laws on sex offenders.
* they use these petitions to stop people, setting up in front of big box stores, on college campuses, etc
* once they have a person signing their petition, they start asking them questions on the voter registration form (what’s your date of birth, which state/country were you born in, what’s your drivers license/state ID number, etc).
* by the time they get done with these basic questions the person is usually done signing the petition. they then hand the voter registration form to the person, telling them to fill out their name and address and signature at the bottom.
* last step, they either ask them to mark ‘republican’ because it ensures future funding for their petition, or they don’t tell the person anything and mark in republican themselves once the signer leaves.
using this strategy you can easily get over 100 republican registrations in a day. pay ranges from $5 – 10 per registration, so the people doing it definitely have the incentive to get as many registrations as possible.
The YPM scheme sounds very similar to the scheme that has been alleged against Momentum Political Services. But wasn’t even a new scheme when YPM did it in 2008. A Republican firm named Sproul & Associaties, headed up by a long-time GOP donor named Nathan Sproul was charged with “tricking Democrats into registering as Republicans, surreptitiously re-registering Democrats and Independents as Republicans, and shredding Democratic registration forms” back in 2004. The firm was paid more than $8 million dollars for the effort by the RNC and the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign, who subsequently attempted to hide those expenditures from the public.
In 2008, Sproul was, nonetheless, hired once again by the McCain campaign to register voters in California, according to Sam Stein at Huffington Post, who reported at the time:
John McCain’s campaign has directed $175,000 to the firm of a Republican operative accused of massive voter registration fraud in several states.
According to campaign finance records, a joint committee of the McCain-Palin campaign, the RNC and the the California Republican Party, made a $175,000 payment to the group Lincoln Strategy in June for purposes of “registering voters.” The managing partner of that firmis Nathan Sproul, a renowned GOP operative who has been investigated on multiple occasions for suppressing Democratic voter turnout, throwing away registration forms and even spearheading efforts to get Ralph Nader on ballots to hinder the Democratic ticket.
That Sproul would come under the employment umbrella of the McCain campaign — the Republican National Committee has also separately paid Lincoln Strategy at least $37,000 for voter registration efforts this cycle — is not terribly surprising. Sproul, who has donated nearly $30,000 to McCain’s campaign, has been in the good graces of GOP officials for the past decade despite charges of ethical and potentially legal wrongdoing.
As well, in 2006, GOP voter registration firms in California were reported by the LA Times to have turned in thousands of invalid registration forms, as well as signatures on petitions, in San Bernardino County. In once instance, “About 4,800 of more than 5,600 signatures submitted [by John Burkett Petition Management] were found to be invalid and were tossed out by election officials,” the paper reported.
‘Mistake’ or GOP Election Strategy?
All-in-all, the rates of invalid and/or fraudulent registration forms and signatures by these firms, often as high as 60%, have proven far in excess of the “greatest frauds in voter history,” as the disingenuous McCain had described ACORN. For the record, after being pressed on that fraudulent claim in the days just prior to the Presidential Election in 2008, a member of what McCain had laughably called his “McCain-Palin Honest and Open Election Committee” was forced to concede that he was unable to cite a single instance in which a fraudulent ACORN registration had led to an illegal vote.
“Do we have a documented instance of voting fraud that resulted from a phony registration form? No, I can’t cite one,” said the former election official turned member of McCain’s committee.
It’s a time-tested Republican scam. Claim Democrats are committing voter fraud, even while you’re doing it yourself, use the false claims to deny Democrats their right to vote (via disenfranchising polling place Photo ID laws or voter caging) and then, if someone in the media actually bothers to press you on it, admit you can’t cite any actual examples of any of it.
Candidate Gingrich submitted thousands of admittedly fraudulent signatures to the state of Virginia in his unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the GOP Presidential Primary in his home state last March. When asked about it, he referred to those 1,500 fraudulent signatures as little more than a “mistake” on CNN. Gingrich’s rate of fraud was far higher, once again, than anything ACORN was ever accused of, even though they were forced to shut their doors after the phony Breitbart/O’Keefe videos which Gingrich had lauded.
This entry condensed from a story on Brad’s Blog. For the full story and news video, click here. Thanks to Brad Friedman for his excellent and unrelenting reporting. Brad has appeared on our show and will hopefully appear again.