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Parties tread carefully around probe

Man accused of dumping voter registration forms in Rockingham Co.

By Joe Beck

Local Democrats and Republicans reacted warily Wednesday to the widening investigation into a man accused by authorities in Rockingham County of discarding voter registration forms while working for a company hired by the state Republican Party.

The investigation gained momentum with a unanimous decision by the State Board of Elections to ask Republican Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli to investigate reports of voter registration forms being destroyed.

"In performing our duties in this matter, we look forward to working with local authorities and the state police to root out any and all violations of the law that may have occurred," Cuccinelli said in a written statement.

The investigation stems from the arrest last week of a Pennsylvania man working for a company Republicans hired to conduct voter registration drives. Colin Small, 31, a former employee with Strategic Allied Consulting, faces 13 felony and misdemeanor counts linking him to the disposal of eight voter registration forms into a trash bin on Oct. 15.

Small worked for a firm, Pinpoint Staffing, that was hired by Strategic Allied Consulting and the Virginia Republican Party to conduct voter registration drives and related tasks. He was working only for the state Republicans at the time he was charged.

The brewing scandal has brushed State Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Upperville, whose law firm, Holtzman Vogel Josefiak PLLC in Warrenton and Washington, D.C., registered Strategic Allied Consulting in June as a limited liability company with the state.

Authorities in Florida have been investigating Strategic Allied Consulting for submitting voter registration forms with similar signatures or false addresses linked to voters who have died or changed party registration. The National Republican Committee ended its relationship with Strategic Allied Consulting in late September after the accusations in Florida came to light.

Vogel said she could not comment on her firm's ties to Strategic Allied Consulting and denied having any knowledge of Small or his activities in Harrisonburg.

"I was not aware of what was happening in Harrisonburg," Vogel said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I have no association with any of those folks."

She refused to confirm whether her firm has worked for Strategic Allied Consulting,
citing attorney-client confidentiality.

Vogel said it was ironic to have her name linked to a company fending off accusations of election law violations in light of her own commitment to clean elections. She cited the prominent role she has played in changing election laws "in all 50 states," especially recently enacted requirements for more extensive verification of voter identification.

Democrats have criticized the changes as thinly veiled attempts to dampen turnout among voter groups seen as favoring their party - young people, the poor, and racial and ethnic minorities.

Vogel is also a member of a legislative committee that focuses on writing and enforcing election laws. Vogel described election law violations as a rarity in Virginia.

"I certainly believe this was an isolated event," she said of the case in Harrisonburg.

Tony Dorrell, chairman of the Shenandoah County Democratic Committee, said he was grateful that the county has "a very good history" of conducting trouble-free elections.

"We've been free of those kinds of things over the last 10 years that I've been involved," Dorrell said, referring to the investigation in neighboring Rockingham County.

Nevertheless, he called the accusations "something for all citizens to be concerned about."

He said the investigation raises questions about the ability of students at Democratic-leaning James Madison University in Harrisonburg to register and cast their votes without hindrance.

"We need to have more young people involved in elections and looking out for their interests and future," Dorrell said. "Anytime something like this happens, it should be something we worry about as citizens."

Andy Schmookler, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 6th District, which includes Harrisonburg, said he "did not want to prejudge the case."

But he also called the allegations of voter registration dumping disturbingly similar to accusations that have emerged in other states.

"This kind of cheating needs to be not rewarded, but punished," Schmookler said. "We've got to find out the truth of the matter in the next 12 days as much as we can."

Chris Leavitt, campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Schmookler's Republican opponent, issued a written statement: "It is very important for us as a nation that our democratic process remain above suspicion. The Republican Party is committed to protecting voter rights, and will not tolerate any acts that compromise those rights."

The U.S. Attorney's office in Roanoke released a statement last week warning that an assistant U.S. attorney has been assigned to guard against and prosecute violations of election laws pertaining to fraud, and acts of intimidation and harassment of voters.

"Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have that vote counted without it being stolen because of fraud," said U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy. "The Department of Justice will act aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process."

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said similar announcements are issued by U.S. Attorneys in every presidential election year, and the investigation in Harrisonburg was an unrelated matter.

Heaphy said anyone wishing to report voter fraud or interference with voting rights can telephone Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Burnham at 540-857-2250. They can also call the FBI field office at 804-261-1044. They can also report ballot access problems or discrimination to the Civil Rights Division Voting section in Washington, D.C. at 1-800-253-3931.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


its all bush's fault

I am very glad to see the State Board of Elections reverse course and support investigating this case of alleged voter fraud. I guess someone figured out that it looked very bad for the GOP controlled Board of Elections to not investigate this case when the GOP had spent so much effort in passing the new voter ID law even in the face of no evidence of any one attempting to vote in any way that would violate the Voter ID law.

msm. PROUD OF YOUR PARTY, aren't you? Personally, I'm convinced it was Cheney's fault; Bush just isn't smart enough to have an original idea.

"Eight Years Was Awesome, And I Was Famous And I Was Powerful" ~George W. Bush (July 17, 2012)

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have." ~James A. Baldwin

"Colo. girl registering ‘only Romney’ voters tied to firm dumped by RNC over fraud" In Colorado, the state GOP has spent $466,643 — roughly half its total budget — with Strategic Allied Consulting, The firm worked in Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada, and planning get-out-the-vote drives in Ohio and Wisconsin.


The company had a PAST REPUTATION of VOTER FRAUD and was told to RENAME ITS COMPANY prior to beginning work for the RNC. WOW! Sproul says that the RNC did not hire him unknowingly. “In order to be able to do the job that the state parties were hiring us to do, the [RNC] asked us to do it with a different company’s name, so as to not be a distraction from the false(sic) information put out in the Internet,” Sproul* told the Los Angeles Times.

*Nathan Sproul is a noted Republican strategist and political consultant for numerous campaigns. Sproul is currently the head of Lincoln Strategy Group, a national political consulting firm based in Arizona. He is a former leader of the Arizona Republican Party and the Arizona Christian Coalition. He has worked on the campaigns of many Republicans including Trent Franks, Andy Thomas, and Len Munsil.

The Nation magazine, on September 26, 2012, described Sproul as "infamous for accusations that his firms have committed fraud by tampering with Democratic voter registration forms and suppressing votes." It noted that the Romney campaign, from November of 2011 and ending in March 2012, had hired Sproul. The Nation also found that the California Republican Party had given $430,840 in payments to "Grassroots Outreach, LLC"** an organization which, based on the disclosure reported by The Nation, "shares the same address as Sproul's office in Tempe, Arizona." The Nation also found that "Craigslist job postings in California and Colorado use identical language as Strategic Allied Consulting's listings in North Carolina."(wikipedia)

**While Bell served in that capacity, the California Republican Party has paid at least $1.2 million since 2008 to Grassroots Outreach, LLC, a limited liability company registered with the California Secretary of State by a subsidiary of a foreign corporation, Wolters Kluwer of Amsterdam, which has operations in 35 foreign countries. By using an outside agent to register the firm, Sproul’s ties to the company were shielded from public scrutiny. Sproul has now confirmed to Brad Friedman of the Brad Blog that Grassroots Outreach is his operation. (http://wallstreetonparade.com/2012/10/nathan-sprouls-money-trail-leads-to-california-republican-party/)

I can just hear Romney saying: It would have been okay, Sweetie, if you just haven't been caught!

This is good news and bad news.

The good news is the Republican's war on widespread voter fraud is producing results.

The bad news is it's the Republicans who are always getting themselves caught doing the fraud.

The gods of irony are alive and well, thank you very much.


You know, ROFLMAO, the REAL irony is this won't make one bit of difference to conservatives. "The end justifies the means" is their motto.

Plese quit acting so sanctimonious MS. Vogel. You know that this voter ID requirement you have been behind is an attempt to discourage not encourage voter participation. If there isn't a cause why did you pursue the requirement even though you state that voter election fraud is a rarity in Virginia?

You assisted in hiring a firm that had a checkered background in this type of thing. Something smells MS. Vogel

Tagg, 42, told a radio interviewer what it was like to watch President Obama assail his dad's truthfulness, saying it made him want to "jump out of my seat and … rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him (Obama)." Tagg apologized; so what?

"Those are certainly valid points, but we question why Romney would continue to seize on such a strange factoid — and the campaign would feature it in an ad — especially after we gave the (Romney) claim Three Pinocchios, PolitiFact called it “Pants on Fire” and FactCheck.Org said it was “not true.”

Poor Tagg, so he goes out and purchases the Ohio voting machines...interesting! The Romney's really go out of their way to avoid the appearance of impropriety, don't they?

Yet another example of the RNC's dishonesty.

The mailer sent out to 2,000 voters instructed voters in three Danbury, Ohio townships that election day will be Thursday, November 8 rather than the actual day of the election, Tuesday, November 6. It also gave them the wrong instructions as to where to vote.

Ottawa County resident and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said, “There is no excuse for a board of elections or Secretary Husted’s office to botch their most basic job, notifying voters when and where to exercise their right to vote.”


The RNC is pulling every dishonorable stunt known to man to win this election. They probably will win in using all these underhanded tactics.

“Honor is the presence of God in man.” ~ Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline

Arizona (Maricopa) county gives wrong election date in Spanish voter cards (CNN)

"The OSCE is sending 44 observers to voting stations across the US at the request of various groups, including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, because of “an unprecedented and sophisticated level of coordination to restrict voting rights in our nation”. These include attempts by several states, including Texas, to introduce voter identification laws and other measures blocked by federal courts...." (Rawstory)

Bad enough the way GWBush/Cheney destroyed our place in the world; now RNC is doing all they can to re-enforce that American is not a shining example to anyone anywhere anymore. So sad.

In reality, there is no way for this guy to know whether he was throwing away republican or democrat registrations. In Virginia we don't declare a party when we register to vote. And we have always shown a state ID when voting in Frederick County, so I don't know what the big deal is about that. I do believe that there is voting fraud going on by both parties unfortunately. Desperate people do desperate things I suppose.

Not really Oh Conservative Me. You do understand he was working to register Republican's not Democrat? While it is true that Virginia's Registration form excludes party on the form there are ways to ascertain that information. First how did he represent himself? Perhaps as a polster? If you read the link below you will find he was a pretty devious guy and I'm sure he knew how to weed out the opposition.


Change Democrat to Democrat's above and polster to pollster.

This has happened in every election on both (all) sides I'm sure. I really wished we could blame Rove...but sadly it is just dribble to think so(maybe not). Glad someone is monitoring the situation and bringing the man in to investigate. Keep calm and move on.

Not to mention, we know that all the form-dumpers have to do is trash the forms filled out by persons of color, "hippie-looking" or "gay looking" people, and they will mostly get rid of the Democratic-leaning folks.
Thank you, Jane et al, for your comments!

Mitt Romney Lies To The Teabillies
See this weeks 36 lies, with reference links here:
889 searchable lies listed chronologically with comments and reference source weblinks

October 26, 2012 -- 36 New Lies This Week

854. At an event in Defiance, Ohio, last night, Romney told voters, "I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China."
Even by Romney standards, this was a rather brazen falsehood.

855. At a campaign event in Reno, Nevada, Romney said President Obama has been "unable to communicate an agenda" for a second term.
The day before, Obama published a 20-page agenda for a second term.

856. At the same event, Romney said, "The idea that the president would cut Medicare for current seniors ... is something which I don't think the American people understand."
The notion that Obama is cutting Medicare for current seniors is ridiculously untrue. Indeed, Obama is expanding benefits, not cutting them.

857. Romney added, "I will get America to finally be on track to a balanced budget."
No he won't. Romney's plan slashes tax rates (which makes the deficit worse, not better), increases defense and entitlement spending (which makes the deficit worse, not better), and every independent analysis reaches the same conclusion: Romney's numbers don't add up.

858. Romney also argued, "If I'm elected -- when I'm elected -- we're going to finally get this housing market going."
The housing market is currently seeing its strongest gains in several years. Romney, meanwhile, has said he intends to deliberately avoid any efforts to curtail foreclosures.

859. Romney said, "Under President Obama, you really don't have a jobs plan."
Romney doesn't have to like the American Jobs Act but he shouldn't get away with brazenly lying about its existence.

860. Romney went on to say, "Paul Ryan and I have a plan with five simple steps. These steps are going to get America's economy just cooking again."
The five-point plan -- oil drilling, trade, privatizing K-12 education, vague assertions about debt reduction, and ambiguous promises about doing nice things for small businesses -- is a rehash of Bush/Cheney promises. No credible analysis of the vague agenda has found it capable of boosting the economy.

861. At a campaign event in Henderson, Nevada, Romney blamed Obama for the "doubling of the gasoline prices you're paying."
This is wildly misleading. It's true that when Obama took office, gas cost about $1.81 a gallon, and it's more than double now. And how did gas prices get so low in late 2008 and early 2009? Because there was a global economic catastrophe -- gas was cheap because the economy had fallen off a cliff, and demand crawled to a stop. As the economy improved, demand went up, and the price of gas started climbing. It's Economics 101.

862. At the same event, Romney said, " We're gonna crack down on cheaters when they steal our jobs through unfair trade practices like China, we'll crack down. He has not."
Yes he has.

863. In a television ad debuted this week, Romney says a second Obama term would mean "the debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion."
If Romney's elected and the Ryan budget plan is implemented, the debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion.

864. In the same ad, Romney adds that if there's a second Obama term "20 million Americans could lose their employer-based health care."
No. Millions may get different insurance, but they'll have better and more secure coverage, not nothing. By Romney's reasoning, if you replace your old, unreliable car with a new one, you've lost your car.

865. Also in the ad, Romney says in a second term for the president, "taxes on the middle class will go up by $4,000."
That's absurd.

866. In the same ad, Romney whines about "$716 billion in Medicare cuts that hurt current seniors."
This is deeply silly. Obama strengthened the Medicare system's finances by reducing payments to insurance companies and hospitals. Benefits for seniors have been expanded, not cut.

867. In this week's debate in Boca, Romney argued, "Syria is Iran's only ally in the Arab world. It's their route to the sea."
Iran doesn't share a border with Syria, and Iran already borders two bodies of water.

868. Romney also said, "We need to have strong allies. Our association and connection with our allies is essential to America's strength. We're the great nation that has 42 allies and friends around the world."
The United States has more than 42 allies and friends around the world.

869. Romney argued, "When the students took to the streets in Tehran and the people there protested, the Green Revolution occurred. For the president to be silent I thought was an enormous mistake."
Obama wasn't silent, and the comment continues to reinforce suspicions that Romney is incapable of thinking strategically when it comes to foreign policy.

870. Romney also said, "The president said by now we'd be at 5.4 percent unemployment."
That's a favorite GOP talking point, but the president never said this.

871. "As a matter of fact, Latin America's economy is almost as big as the economy of China."
As a matter of fact, that's really not true.

872. Reflecting on his education record, Romney boasted, "While I was governor, I was proud that our fourth graders came out number one of all 50 states in English and then also in math, and our eighth graders number one in English and also in math -- first time one state had been number one in all four measures. How did we do that? Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education that focused on having great teachers in the classroom."
At a minimum, this is wildly misleading. It's true that policymakers from both parties instituted effective education reforms that improved Massachusetts schools, but this was done many years before Romney took office.

873. Romney argued, "Come on our website, you'll look at how we get to a balanced budget within eight to 10 years."
Aside from some vague platitudes, there is no balanced-budget plan on Romney's website. There's a good reason for that -- his numbers don't add up
874. Romney went on to say, "We [balance the budget] by getting, by reducing spending in a whole series of programs. By the way, number one I get rid of is Obamacare. There are a number of things that sound good but, frankly, we just can't afford them."
This is incoherent and absurd. "Obamacare" cuts the deficit to the tune of about $109 billion over the next decade. It's simply incoherent to say you'll cut the deficit by eliminating a law, which would in turn increase the deficit. That's like promising to put out a fire by using more kerosene.

875. Romney argued, "I was in the world of business for 25 years. If you didn't balance your budget, you went out of business."
That's both untrue and ridiculous. Businesses operate in the red all the time, and take out loans for capital improvements, expansions, acquisitions, etc. If Romney's background is in the private sector, how could he not know this?

876. Romney also said, "I went to the Olympics that was out of balance, and we got it on balance."
In context, Romney made it sound as if he balanced the Olympics' books through skill. In reality, he balanced his budget at the Olympics thanks to a massive taxpayer bailout, the largest in U.S. history for any Olympic games.

877. Romney argued, "Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917."
Oh, please.

878. Romney added, "[T]he president began what I've called an apology tour."
This is what I've called romney lying.

879. Romney also said, "[T]he president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel."
There's simply no record of Obama ever saying that or anything like it.

880. Romney argued, "I look around the world, I don't see our influence growing around the world."
There's ample evidence that respect and support for the United States around the world has improved under Obama.

881. Romney added, "Is al Qaeda on the run, on its heels? No."
Sure it is.

882. Romney complained about "our decision to cut back on our military capabilities -- a trillion dollars."
Romney appears to be referring to cuts, which have not yet kicked in, and which were crafted, not by the White House, but by Romney's own party. They were also endorsed and supported by his own running mate.

883. In reference to the rescue of the American auto industry, Romney argued, "I said they need, these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy, and in that process they can get government help and government guarantees."
That is absolutely not what he said.

884. Romney went on to say, "I want to invest in research. Research is great. Providing funding to universities and think tank, great. But investing in companies? Absolutely not. That's the wrong way to go."
We know Romney doesn't mean this because, as governor, he invested in companies all the time.

885. Romney added we're "heading towards Greece."
For those who have even a passing familiarity with the Greek crisis, this is painfully untrue.

886. Romney argued, "I'll get people back to work with 12 million new jobs."
Putting aside the pesky detail that Romney doesn't actually have a specific jobs plan, the claim about 12 million jobs has been definitely proven fraudulent. His own economic advisor was forced to concede the candidate's -- and the campaign's -- talking point was based on a falsehood.

887. Romney also said, "I was in a state where my legislature was 87 percent Democrat. I learned how to get along on the other side of the aisle."
No he didn't.

888. At a campaign event in Daytona Beach, Florida, Romney promised, "If I am elected, we're going to reduce taxes on middle income Americans."
There's ample reason to believe the exact opposite -- independent budget analysts have concluded that once Romney slashes taxes on the wealthy, increases defense spending, increases entitlement spending, and cuts corporate tax rates, all while promising to balance the budget, he'll have no choice but to ask more from the middle class. Indeed, there's no other way for Romney to keep his other promises.

889. "Look, the president wants to fundamentally transform America. He's making us more and more like Europe. I don't want to become Europe."
The irony is, Europe is trying to grow through austerity, just as Romney intends to do here. He's lying in a self-refuting sort of way.

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