Partisan Courts

Campaign finance reports filed today by the Show Me Better Courts committee show $225,000 in petition collection fees paid to Lincoln Strategy Group of Tempe, Arizona.  Show Me Better Courts is currently trying to get put a measure on the November ballot that, if passed, would overhaul the state's widely-praised judicial selection process.

The Vote Yes to Stop Double Taxation Committee has also paid the firm $195,000.  Realtors are pushing their own ballot initiative to block the creation of a real estate transfer tax in Missouri -- a tax which does not currently exist in the state.

Lincoln Strategy Group, formerly known as Sproul and Associates, has developed quite the reputation for its dubious practices on behalf of right-wing clients.  Think Progress summarized some of the firm's more notable activities in August:

- In Oregon and Nevada, Lincoln Strategies — then known as Sproul and Associates — was investigated for destroying Democratic voter registration forms. The Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign paid Sproul $7.4 million for campaign work. [CNN, 10/14/04; KGW News, 10/13/04; East Valley Tribune, 09/07/06]

- In Nevada, people who registered as Democrats with Lincoln Strategies — then known as Sproul and Associates — found their names absent from the voter registration rolls. [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/29/04]

- During the 2006 midterm elections, Wal-Mart banned Lincoln Strategies for partisan voter registration efforts in Tennessee. The Republican National Committee had hired the firm. [Associated Press, 08/24/06]

- In Arizona, Lincoln Strategies employed a variety of deceptive tactics — including systematically lying about the bill — to push a ballot initiative to eviscerate the state’s clean elections law. [Salon, 10/21/04]

- Lincoln Strategies, then employed by the Republican Party, was behind efforts to place Ralph Nader on the ballot in states such as Arizona.[American Prospect, 06/25/04]

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