The Republican National Committee has fired a controversial consulting firm it was paying millions of dollars to conduct voter registration in five battleground states, NBC News has learned.
The move came after the Palm Beach County elections supervisor discovered 108 potentially fraudulent registration forms submitted by the GOP consulting firm, including suspected phony signatures and home addresses that matched those of a gas station, a medical building and a Land Rover dealership.
While Republican groups as a whole are still outspending Democratic groups, the gap is narrowing, in part to the individual donors finally stepping up on the Democrats' behalf. NBC News' Michael Isikoff discusses.
Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm run by veteran GOP consultant Nathan Sproul, had been retained by the RNC and state Republican parties to register new Republican voters in five key battleground states, said Sean Spicer, communications director for the RNC.
But Spicer said that the party's relationship with the firm -- which has been paid $2.9 million by the RNC so far this year, according to federal elections records -- has now been terminated in light of alleged voter fraud, linked to one of the firm's employees, that was reported this week to Florida prosecutors by election officials in Palm Beach County.
"We've made it clear we're not doing business with these guys anymore," said Spicer. "We've come out pretty strong against this kind of stuff -- and we have zero tolerance for this."Another firm run by Sproul, called Lincoln Strategy Group, has been paid about $80,000 by the Romney campaign to conduct "field consulting," according to election records. Asked for comment, Sarah Pompei, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, said by email: "We used this vendor for signature gathering services during the primary but have not used them since 2011."