Nathan Sproul, in case you didn't know, is The Enemy.
Formerly the head of the Arizona Christian Coalition and executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, Sproul is often called Arizona's Karl Rove.
Sproul runs the political consulting firm Sproul and Associates, and works closely with Lee Petitions. He is 'regional president' of Voyager Learning, a private educational company focusing on literacy programming that was founded to take advantage of NCLB's over $1.0 billion in funding for the Reading First Initiative, and which has been implicated in political kick-backs to election officials. Sproul also has ownsership interests in several corporations that now run charter schools in Arizona under the Franklin tradename, busily indoctrinating children with character and civic values education (and which don't apparently teach science courses, btw) on the taxpayer's dime. Check out the website for this one: looks like junior is a Republican running for office. Desert Rat Democrat has Mr. Sproul's resume, should you wish to hire him.
In 2004, the RNC contracted with Sproul for an $8+ million voter registration drive which the RNC attempted to hide. A campaign during which it is alleged that Sproul's employees intentionally destroyed Democratic citizens' registration forms at Sproul's command. This occurred in swing states across the country - Sproul must be so proud of his ability to subvert democracy.
Sproul was behind the Nader petition drive in 2004, in attempt to siphon votes off from Kerry in Arizona, and the effort to kill Arizona's Clean Elections system by initiative. No doubt, Sproul was also involved with his bossom-budy, former Arizona Speaker, Jeff Groscost (don't you love that Dickensian name?) in the $100 million alt-fuels boondoggle. In fact, I've heard it alleged by people in the know that Sproul had a stake the company that originally developed the 'conversion' package installed to collect the tax benefit, convinced Groscost to sponsor the program, and made mad money from selling conversions before the wheels came off. Now Sproul is in bed with right-wing Gubernatorial challenger Les Munsil, and may have illegally donated services to that campaign in violation of Arizona law. Sproul is also behind the divisive and bigoted Protect Marriage Arizona initiative.
Are you loving this guy, yet?
Sproul is also a major contributor to Arizona's federal campaigns. Considering how wealthy his political connections, dirty tricks, and corruption have made him, it's only fair he give some back. In the last several years Sproul has given almost $33,000 to Arizona candidates and the Republican Party. Almost everyone got a taste (apparently, Mr. Sproul didn't cotton to Rep. Kolbe):
- John Kyl: $3,975.00
- J.D. Hayworth: $1,000.00
- Dick Renzi: $2,750.00
- Trent Franks: $2,200.00
- John Shadegg: $1,200.00
- Jeff Flake: $5,000.00
- AZ GOP: $16,789.00
Sproul also contributed to many state and local candidates and campaigns. Perhaps the least surprising of which, given his clear pecuniary interest in Arizona educational policy, is the $920.00 he and his wife Tiffany have contributed to the campaigns of Tom Horne, the current Republican Superintendant of Public Instruction.
The scary thing about Nathan Sproul is that he meets the ethical standards of our current system of institutionalized bribery and influence pedaling. He has not yet been proven to have broken any law, nor violated any rule that would bar him from acting as a lobbyist in good standing. Despite the volume of sleaze dripping off everything he has ever touched, Sproul is a model businessman, entreprenuer, and political operative in the eyes of the GOP establishment; and, were Democrats in power, I seriously doubt they would refuse to do business with him, either. Mr. Sproul is not some inherently perverse or evil person, he's simply playing the game by the rules provided - though, granted, he may bend them more than some. Ultimately, this is the problem; not Mr. Sproul.