by a Guest Contributor
Blue Virginia has reported how former VA GOP Chair John Whitbeck, is attempting to mislead Loudoun voters through his social media and his campaign literature. This deception is the cornerstone of his campaign for Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair. The recent VPAP expenditure reporting, however, is further proof of the depths that Whitbeck will go to win in Loudoun. Whitbeck’s financial disclosure shows expenses of close to $20,000 to Lincoln Strategy Group. These consulting fees represent his top expenditure to date for his campaign.
Lincoln Strategy Group is led by Nathan Sproul. Sproul has a long history of questionable campaigning practices. Over the past 15 years, Sproul has run different consulting firms, seemingly changing names once his methods are discovered. His methods drew enough questions in 2012, that even the Republican Party severed ties with him. But apparently there is no tactic too unethical or even potentially illegal for Whitbeck to undertake.
So what are Sproul’s typical tactics? In Florida, in 2012, Sproul’s firm conducted voter registration drives that included false addresses, dead people (sound familiar Scott Taylor?) and altered party affiliations. In Nevada, an employee of Sproul’s told a woman to tear up her voter registration form and complete another form leaving party affiliation blank. Even here in Virginia, where we don’t register by party, a Sproul employee was charged with dumping voter registration forms. Sproul has admitted that his firms have a pattern of illegal activities. He’s acknowledged that the number of criminal activities conducted by people working for him “is closer to 100 than it is to zero” . Beyond voter registration fraud, Sproul has used the standard tactic of promoting third party candidates to split Democratic votes. In 2004, the FEC found “there is reason to believe” that Sproul violated election law in order to get a third-party candidate on the ballot in Arizona.
What does this mean to voters living in Loudoun County? It’s further evidence that John Whitbeck continues to find new lows in his quest for power. More importantly though, it’s a call to action. Nathan Sproul is recruiting an army of paid canvassers to spread Whitbeck’s lies. Democrats need a volunteer force to respond in kind. We need to talk to our neighbors and friends to inform them of Whitbeck’s history as VA GOP Chair. There is also an Independent (Bob Ohneiser) running in the Loudoun County Board Chair race. We should expect an active campaign by Sproul to pull votes away from Chair Phyllis Randall (D) and towards the Independent. Voters should be on the look-out and report questionable voter registration efforts to the Loudoun Elections office.