Arrest of GOP Operative Raises Questions of Hypocrisy
Washington, DC - On a conference call today, the National and California State Democratic Parties called on the Republican Party to end their hypocrisy on voter registration fraud and sever all ties with long-time GOP Operative Mark Jacoby. Jacoby is the owner of Young Political Majors (YPM) who was arrested in California last weekend on two counts of voter registration fraud and two counts of perjury. Jacoby faced allegations of voter fraud in 2004 when he worked for Arno Political Consultants. YPM is currently under contract with the California State Republican Party to register voters. John McCain's California Co-Chair is also a leading supporter of the CA Republican State Party's voter registration efforts. Just yesterday, campaign finance reports revealed that the MCCain-Palin campaign and the RNC have paid Nathan Sproul, a Republican operative who has faced numerous charges of unethical and potentially illegal activity surrounding voter registration.
"We've made it clear that we don't and won't tolerate voter registration fraud," said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney. "But this exposes the absolute hypocrisy of John McCain and the Republican Party and their same-old Washington tactics. Over the past few weeks we've heard John McCain denounce voter fraud on the campaign trail while the RNC hurls false attacks, so the question is: where is the outrage now?"
"One month ago I called on state and local law enforcement authority to investigate a report that voter fraud being committed by a firm hired by the Republican Party of California called the Young Political Majors," said CA Democratic State Party Chairman Art Torres. Most importantly, what did the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee know about this voter fraud ahead of time? These are the same "repeat offenders" we've had collecting signatures for the Republican party... in 2004, 2006, and 2007. The California Republican Party and the National Republican party need to immediately terminate its relationship with YPM or any other firm that is committing voter fraud."
"The Republican National Committee, the Republicans, the McCain campaign have been hammering away for weeks with the same old Washington politics, said DNC Legal Counsel Joe Sandler. "In fact, none of the charges that they've been talking about have actually panned out. In Montana they were forced to withdraw challenges, baseless challenges to 6,000 new voters. On a call yesterday, the RNC's communications director was forced to admit that he was unable to come up with a single example, of actual voter fraud. And today, on another McCain campaign press conference call, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, said he did not believe that voter fraud would be an issue, a problem of any kind in the state of Florida this year. It's the height of hypocrisy for the Republicans to harp on this theme."
The following are the facts on the McCain campaign and RNC's connection to Questionable GOP Operatives:
MCCAIN CAMPAIGN STEERED $175,000 TO COMPANY NOTORIOUS FOR SUPPRESSING THE VOTE:
McCain's Campaign Directed $175,000 To Lincoln Strategy, Whose Managing Partner Nathan Sproul Has Been Investigated On Multiple Occasions For Suppressing Democratic Voter Turnout. "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 firm is 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." [Huffington Post, 10/20/08]
Lincoln Strategy Is Paid By California Republican Party/V8 Committee That Is Funded By McCain Victory California. Lincoln Strategy is paid by the California Republican Party/V8 committee that has been funded by McCain Victory California. McCain Victory California is a joint fundraising committee of the RNC, the McCain campaign and the CA GOP. [FEC]
MARK JACOBY ARRESTED ON "SUSPICION OF COMMITTING VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD:"
Young Political Majors Owner Mark Anthony Jacoby Arrested On "Suspicion Of Committing Voter Registration Fraud." "Mark Anthony Jacoby, who owns the firm known as Young Political Majors (YPM), was arrested after allegedly registering himself to vote, once in 2006 and again in 2007, at an address where did not live. An investigation by the Secretary of State's Election Fraud Investigation Unit revealed that Jacoby twice registered to vote at the address of a childhood home in Los Angeles although he no longer lived there. The Secretary of State's fraud unit and the Ontario Police Department arrested Jacoby near an Ontario hotel just before midnight Saturday [...] On October 3, the Public Integrity Unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office charged Jacoby with four felonies: two counts of voter registration fraud and two counts of perjury. A warrant was issued for his arrest and bail was set at $50,000." [California Secretary of State Press Release, 10/19/08]
Jacoby Was Charged With Two Counts Of Voter Registration Fraud And Two Counts Of Perjury. "Jacoby was charged with four felonies: two counts of voter registration fraud and two counts of perjury." [AP, 10/20/08]
In 2004, Jacoby's YPM Worked For Arno Political Consultants, Which Itself Was Paid By The RNC. Young Political Majors LLC, or YPM, is a company registered by Mark Jacoby at a Town 'N Country residence...Jacoby could not be reached for comment. His company worked for a company called JSM Inc., which in turn worked for Arno Political Consultants, a Sacramento, Calif., firm that qualified 300 ballot initiatives in 20 states. The firm's largely conservative clients include the Bush/Quayle campaign, the National Rifle Association and RJ Reynolds. The company has also worked for Florida's class size amendment. The Republican National Committee hired Arno for a voter registration drive, said Mindy Tucker Fletcher, a senior adviser to the Florida GOP. Campaign finance reports show the RNC paid Arno $450,000 in one reporting period in September... Owner Bill Arno said the firm was registering voters in Florida, Ohio, Oregon and Nevada for the RNC. He declined to say what he was paid for the Florida effort, except to say he earned a monthly flat rate. [St. Petersburg Times, 10/23/04]
JACOBY'S COMPANY ACCUSED OF VOTER FRAUD IN SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY:
San Bernardino County Democrats Charged That Young Political Majors Used Petition Drivers Throughout The County To Register Residents As Republicans Without Their Knowledge. "The San Bernardino County District Attorney's office is still collecting information regarding claims that a political group has fraudulently registered Democrats as Republicans to pad the voter rolls, officials said. 'To say it's under investigation is a bit of an overstatement,' said John Goritz, deputy district attorney for the public integrity unit. 'We're still receiving documents and evaluating it as it comes in.' Local Democrats have charged that a political firm, Young Political Majors, has used petition drives throughout the county to register residents as Republicans without their knowledge. The allegations arose when a substantial amount of registered Republicans were submitted to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters over a period of just two weeks. The group's owner and operator, Arizona-based Mark Jacoby, has denied any wrongdoing." [Daily Press, 9/28/08]
YPM HAS A HISTORY OF VOTER FRAUD ACCUSATION IN CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, ARIZONA AND MASSACHUSETTS:
Young Political Major Has A History Of Fraud Complaints Nationwide And Have Been Accused Of Voter Fraud In Massachusetts, Florida And Arizona. "A company hired by the Republican Party denies it used deceptive practices to register 70,000 new Republican voters in the United States this year. Young Political Majors, has a history of fraud complaints nationwide, most recently in California where some new Republicans allege they were tricked into changing their registration, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. The Times said it randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of California voters the firm recently registered and 37 of them -- 80 percent -- said they thought they were signing petitions for tougher state law enforcement penalties, not changing political parties, the Times reported. Voters in Massachusetts, Florida and Arizona have made similar accusations against Young Political Majors, which is paid $7 to $12 for each GOP registration it secures, the Times reported." [UPI, 10/18/08]
YPM A SUBCONTRACTOR TO THE CA GOP:
Young Political Majors Is A Subcontractor Of The CA Republican Party. "The San Bernardino County Democratic Party pressed its case Wednesday that the recent surge in Republican registration in the county is fraudulent. Democratic officials gathered in front of the county registrar of voters office and accused a company that specializes in gathering signatures of duping voters into switching their party affiliation. 'I am appalled at the deceptive and probably illegal tactics used by these crews operating in our communities,' said Carol Robb, chairwoman of the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee. But California Republicans say Democrats are just dusting off old tactics to attack the GOP in advance of a planned celebration next month marking the county becoming predominantly Democrat. 'They were going to have a party, and now they are upset they are having to put their cake on hold,' said Hector Barajas, a California Republican Party spokesman. The county issued 7,000 voter-registration forms to Young Political Majors, Registrar of Voters Kari Verjil said Wednesday. She has turned over information to the district attorney and secretary of state. Young Political Majors is a subcontractor to the California Republican Party, Barajas said. California Grassroots Mobilization is the vendor, he said." [Press Enterprise, 9/18/08]
Young Political Majors Asked People To Sign A Phony Petition To Increase Prison Time For Sex Offenders Of Outside Of Wal-Marts And Chaffey College, According To Democrats. "Democrats are demanding an investigation into a recent surge of Republican registrants in San Bernardino County, claiming voter registration fraud belies the numbers. Members of the San Bernardino County Democratic Party are holding a news conference today to discuss their claims and urge authorities to take action. Mark Kirk, an executive committee member of the county's Republican Party, denied his party was involved in any illegal or unethical action. 'Their claims have more to do with their disappointment in the registration numbers than anything,' he said Tuesday. 'It still wouldn't make a difference. We'd still be a red county.' The county has long been dominated by Republicans. In 2002, they outnumbered registered Democrats by 60,000. That gap narrowed to 30,000 in 2006. By May, it was down to 5,000. As of Tuesday, county Registrar Kari Verjil said there were 303,531 registered Democrats and 307,132 registered Republicans. ... Verjil, who turned the complaint and supporting documentation over to the California Secretary of State's Office and the district attorney's Public Integrity Unit, said she is doubtful voter registration fraud has been occurring because she hasn't received calls from upset voters. Most of the alleged voter-registration fraud occurred when members of Young Political Majors asked people to sign a phony petition to increase prison time for sex offenders outside of Wal-Marts and Chaffey College, according to the Democratic Party. Voters were either asked to sign as a Republican after being promised it wouldn't change their political party or were asked to sign in two places, one of which was a Republican registration form, Robb said." [San Bernardino County Sun, 9/16/08]
CA GOP Spokesman: Young Political Majors Is A Subcontractor Of The CA Republican Party; California Grassroots Mobilization Is The Vendor. "The San Bernardino County Democratic Party pressed its case Wednesday that the recent surge in Republican registration in the county is fraudulent. Democratic officials gathered in front of the county registrar of voters office and accused a company that specializes in gathering signatures of duping voters into switching their party affiliation. 'I am appalled at the deceptive and probably illegal tactics used by these crews operating in our communities,' said Carol Robb, chairwoman of the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee. But California Republicans say Democrats are just dusting off old tactics to attack the GOP in advance of a planned celebration next month marking the county becoming predominantly Democrat. 'They were going to have a party, and now they are upset they are having to put their cake on hold,' said Hector Barajas, a California Republican Party spokesman. The county issued 7,000 voter-registration forms to Young Political Majors, Registrar of Voters Kari Verjil said Wednesday. She has turned over information to the district attorney and secretary of state. Young Political Majors is a subcontractor to the California Republican Party, Barajas said. California Grassroots Mobilization is the vendor, he said." [Press Enterprise, 9/18/08]
YPM Is Paid $7 To $12 For Each Registration It Secures And Claims To Have Registered 70,000 Voters For The CA GOP. "The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime. The 70,000 voters YPM has registered for the Republican Party this year will help combat the public perception that it is struggling amid Democratic gains nationally, give a boost to fundraising efforts and bolster member support for party leaders, political strategists from both parties say. Those who were formerly Democrats may stop receiving phone calls and literature from that party, perhaps affecting its get-out-the-vote efforts. They also will be given only a Republican ballot in the next primary election if they do not switch their registration back before then. Some also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote. The Times randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them -- more than 80% -- said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge." [Los Angeles Times, 10/18/08]
MCCAIN CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR MAJOR SUPPORTER OF CA GOP VOTER REGISTRATION EFFORTS:
Steve Poizner, The McCain Campaign's California State Co-Chair, Is Supporting The CA Fund That Is Paying Young Political Majors. "U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today announced that Steve Poizner, California Insurance Commissioner, has endorsed John McCain for president. Commissioner Poizner will serve as a State Co-Chair for the McCain campaign in California." According to the Ventura County Star, California "[s]ignature gatherers are paid from a fund partially supported by Republican gubernatorial hopeful Steve Poizner, a Silicon Valley multimillionaire who has offered Young Political Majors $5 per new GOP voter." [States News Service, 2/9/08; Ventura County Star, 10/20/08]
California GOP Chair Ron Nehring Praised Poizner For "Commitment To Building The California Republican Party." "Steve Poizner continues to demonstrate his strong commitment to the Republican Party in California. Steve led the effort to defeat Proposition 93 and protect voter-approved term limits, and has recognized the importance of party building efforts. Moreover, he has backed it up with direct support for our volunteers in the field," said California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring. "Our partnership in expanding Republican voter registration is the latest example of Commissioner Poizner's commitment to building the California Republican Party." [California Republican Party Press Release, 8/30/08]
Poizner Announced Plan With California GOP To Increase Bounty For Voter Registrations. "The California GOP and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, the second-highest elected Republican in the state, today announced the reauthorization and expansion of the Poizner-underwritten bounty registration grant. (The original grant provided by Poizner, providing an additional $3 per verified registration, will be extended beyond the August 31 program date through the October 20 registration deadline. The CRP's existing bounty payment will also be augmented by an additional $2 from Commissioner Poizner, bringing the total available bounty to $8 per verified registration for volunteer organizations and county Republican committees. [California Republican Party Press Release, 8/30/08]