Anti-CFPB Front Group ‘Protect America’s Consumers’ Tied to Notorious Voter Fraud Org

It Appears That Steve Gates and Protect America’s Consumers Hired Lincoln Strategy Group to Assist Their Anti-CFPB Astroturf Effort

The Website Address ProtectConsumers.us Was Purchased by Dan Centinello and The Site Redirects to ProtectConsumers.com, The Website of Anti-CFPB Astroturf Group Protect America’s Consumers

Dan Centinello Is Executive Vice President of Lincoln Strategy Group

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Protect America’s Consumers CEO Steve Gates Was Spokesperson for a Group That Hired Lincoln Strategy Group to Run Its Astroturf Operation

Protect America’s Consumers’ CEO Is Steve Gates, Who Worked with The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity When “It Was Caught Feigning a Grass-Roots Campaign, Including Sending Forged Letter to Congressional Offices.” “The only person who has been identified with the group, spokesman Steve Gates, worked for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity while it was caught feigning a grass-roots campaign, including sending forged letters to congressional offices. Gates didn’t respond to requests for comment.” [Politico, 1/7/16]

  • The ACCCE “Subcontracted Its Astroturf Operations to Lincoln Strategy Group, A GOP-Tied Firm Notorious for Voter Fraud.” “The new project will use 225,000 volunteers dubbed “America’s Power Army.” They will visit town hall meetings, fairs and other functions attended by members of Congress and ask misleading questions about energy policy. Think Progress has discovered that ACCCE has subcontracted its astroturf operations to the Lincoln Strategy Group, a GOP-tied firm notorious for voter fraud. The LinkedIn profile for Lincoln Strategies staffer Courtney Forrester reveals that her employer is engaged in a massive effort to recruit supporters on behalf of the coal industry. Steve Gates, communications director for ACCCE, told Think Progress that Lincoln Strategy Group ran their grassroots campaign last year as well.” [Think Progress, 8/7/09]

Lincoln Strategy Group Is One of the Most Notorious Voter Fraud Organizations in the Country – and Has Been Caught Numerous Times in Multiple States Blatantly Violating Voter Registration Laws 

Think Progress: Lincoln Strategies Is “One of Most Notorious Voter Fraud Organizations in The Country.” “The new firm managing the “grassroots” campaign for the coal industry has a history that distinguishes it as being one of the most notorious voter fraud organizations in the country:” [Think Progress, 8/7/09]

In 2012, Lincoln Strategy Group Was Accused of Submitting Fraudulent Voter-Registration Forms to Florida Counties On Behalf of The RNC.  “Nathan Sproul and his Tempe-based voter-registration company, Lincoln Strategy Group, formerly known as Strategic Allied Consulting, is accused of submitting possible fraudulent voter-registration forms to Florida counties. Keith Kameg, spokesman for Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement, declines to specify how many counties, saying the case is an active criminal investigation that “precludes us from providing further information.” Sproul was working on behalf of the Republican National Committee to register voters to help presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a key battleground state before the committee fired Sproul. The Republican Party of Florida paid Sproul’s firm more than $1.3million. Sproul says his employees are trained on campaign-finance laws, and he says his company has turned in employees who break the law.” [Arizona Republic, 12/28/12]

  • Complaints Surfaced in 10 Florida Counties of Voter Registration Fraud by Lincoln Strategy Group Including Similar Signatures, False Addresses, And Names of Dead People; Similar Claims Also Arose Against Lincoln Strategy Group in Nevada and Colorado. “The tables have turned, however, and Republicans are now playing defense over the role of a well-paid operative, Nathan Sproul, in a voter registration scandal that emerged in Florida and has spread to other states. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it was reviewing ”numerous” claims involving a company that Mr. Sproul runs to determine if a criminal investigation is warranted. Complaints have surfaced in 10 Florida counties, among them allegations that registrations had similar signatures or false addresses, or were filed under the names of dead people. In other cases, party affiliations appeared to have been changed. In recent days, similar claims against Mr. Sproul have arisen in Nevada and Colorado.” [New York Times, 10/5/12]
  • Voter Registration Fraud Accusations Against Sproul and Lincoln Strategy Group “Seem to Fit a Pattern” And in Nevada a Woman Was Told by an Employee of Lincoln Strategy Group to Rip Up a Registration Where She Registered Democrat and Fill Out Another Where She Registered Independent. “Susan Bucher, the superintendent of elections in Palm Beach County, Fla., said that about 100 questionable voter registrations had been flagged there. Of those, more than half involved changing a voter’s party affiliation to Republican or independent. Ms. Bucher said that the revised registrations gave her ”the feeling that the person completing the application had not come in contact with the voter,” because they failed to include proper identifying information, like the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security number. The voter registration fraud allegations against Mr. Sproul’s companies seem to fit a pattern. In Nevada, a complaint filed last month with the secretary of state’s office alleged that a woman, Cathy Sue Yancey, was told to tear up a form in which she registered as a Democrat and fill out another one without marking her party affiliation. The complaint was filed by another woman who said she witnessed the event outside an unemployment office in Henderson, Nev., on Sept. 13. That woman, Gina Greisen, said she and a group of friends had been approached by a man who told them that they needed to update their voter registration. ”He talked about voter fraud and mentioned Acorn and illegals voting,” Ms. Greisen said. The worker then approached Ms. Yancey. ”He was sure a Republican, because he was totally against Obama,” said Ms. Yancey, who was reached by phone and verified Ms. Greisen’s account. ”I’m a Democrat. I’m certainly voting for Obama.” The election forms were traced to a Sproul operation.” [New York Times, 10/5/12]
  • In 2012, The RNC and All State Republican Parties Terminated Their Contract with Lincoln Strategy Group (DBA Strategic Allied Consulting) After The Voter Fraud Allegations and Reince Preibus Stated “There Is No Tolerance for Them at All.” “The Republican Party of Wisconsin contracted with Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting and had its workers in the state for about a week, according to Nathan Conrad, a spokesman for the Wisconsin party. Conrad said the contract was terminated last month when the problems in Florida emerged. The Republican National Committee and other state parties also terminated their contracts at the time. “There is no tolerance for them at all,” said Reince Priebus, the RNC’s chairman. Sproul has operated companies under a number of names, including Sproul & Associates, Lincoln Strategy Group and Strategic Allied Consulting, according to The New York Times. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/14/12]

Spoul’s Firm Was Accused of Throwing Out Democratic Registrations in Nevada and Oregon in 2004. “Sproul told the Times he formed Strategic Allied Consulting at the request of the RNC for publicity’s sake, given past negative media coverage of Lincoln stemming from past allegations going back to 2004, when employees in Nevada and Oregon signed up Democrats but threw out their forms instead of turning them in.” [Fox 31 (Denver), 9/28/12]

  • In 2004, Sproul’s Company Was Accused of Only Registering Republicans in Multiple States and A Worker In Las Vegas Said He Watched a Supervisor Tear Up Democratic Registrations. “In 2004, a company he started was paid millions by Republicans to register voters. Employees in several states alleged they were told to register only Republicans. A worker in Las Vegas said he watched a supervisor tear up Democratic registrations. A Justice Department investigation did not lead to any charges, Sproul said.” [LA Times, 9/28/12]
  • The Oregon Department of Justice Investigated Spoul Companies for Voter Fraud in 2004. “Similar allegations prompted an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice in 2004.” [New York Times, 10/5/12]
  • A Woman Told Investigators That She Was Paid by Sproul’s Consulting Firm Only When She Registered Republicans; The Claims Were Also Investigated by The Portland Office of The FBI. “The woman told investigators that she was paid only when she registered Republicans or those who said they would vote for President George W. Bush. The Oregon inquiry focused on more than 100 fraud complaints, many pointing to operations run by Mr. Sproul, but did not result in any charges. A lawyer for Mr. Sproul said at the time that the company had a system in place to prevent and detect fraud and forgery. Additional investigations of Mr. Sproul’s organization, including one by the Portland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also failed to produce any charges.” [New York Times, 10/5/12]

Officials at A Library in Pittsburgh Complained That Sproul’s Organization Got Permission After Using False Pretenses to Set Up a Voter Registration Desk Outside Their Building—Only After Visitors Complained Did They Learn That the Canvassers Represented the Republican Party. “Around the same time, officials at a library in Pittsburgh complained that Mr. Sproul’s company had used false pretenses — claiming to represent the nonpartisan America Votes — to get permission to set up a voter registration desk outside their building. It was only after visitors began to complain that the library learned that the canvassers represented the Republican Party.” [New York Times, 10/5/12]

Former Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party Said Nathan Sproul, Head of Lincoln Strategy Group, Was “Very Controversial” In Arizona Republican Circles. “Mike Hellon, a former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, said that Mr. Sproul had been considered ”very controversial” in Arizona Republican circles before the recent allegations, partly because of past voter registration investigations. ”There are questions among a lot of people in the party about how he gets these contracts and why he gets contracts,” Mr. Hellon said.” [New York Times, 10/5/12]

Election Law Expert: If Sproul’s Firm Appears On Filings It “Would Immediately Raise Red Flags Among Democrats.” “But the record of allegations makes Sproul a lightning rod in political circles. “There’s no question if the name Sproul & Associates appeared on any filings, that would immediately raise red flags among Democrats,” said Rick Hasen, an election law expert who teaches at UC Irvine.”  [LA Times, 9/28/12]

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