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Shop Talk: Failing to Register

With five weeks until Election Day, the biggest news in the campaign consulting world is the Republican National Committee and Florida GOP firing a consulting firm that had been chosen to help register voters.

The Palm Beach Post first reported a week ago that the state party had dumped Strategic Allied Consulting over concerns regarding more than 100 "questionable" registration forms the firm turned in to Palm Beach County. Subsequent updates from NBC News and others revealed that election officials in six Florida counties had reported allegations of suspected voter fraud by the firm. And the New York Times reported over the weekend that the number of Florida counties investigating fraud had increased to 10.

By Thursday, the Republican National Committee had fired the firm, which was also conducting voter registration activities for the RNC in Nevada, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia, all battleground states.

In a statement on the Strategic Allied Consulting website, the firm defended its work over the past eight years and, regarding the RNC cutting ties, stated that it understood "the logic of ending distractions and winning elections."

"In the eight years that our company and affiliated companies have existed, we have registered over 500,000 voters across the country," the statement reads. "We have conducted voter registration and grassroots projects in over 40 states."

Nathan Sproul, who owns the firm, is also the managing partner of the Tempe, Ariz.-based political consulting firm Lincoln Strategy Group and is a former executive director of the Arizona Republican Party.

Down to the Battleground

The Republican National Committee is moving its top spokesman in Missouri to the more competitive state of Florida, the Missouri political website
PoliticMO.com reported.

Tom Brandt, the RNC's communications director in the former bellwether state, left his St. Louis base for Fort Lauderdale, the website reported and Roll Call confirmed.

Missouri, which Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried in 2008, has not been considered a battleground state this cycle, with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney expected to defeat President Barack Obama there.

"We're confident that Missouri will deliver it's [sic] electoral votes to Governor Romney in November," RNC spokesman Matt Connelly told PoliticMo. "Accordingly, we have made the strategic decision to shift our Missouri Victory Communications Director to Florida where his efforts will have a greater impact on ensuring we elect Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States."

Break Through to the Other Side

Bill McQuillen, a former Bloomberg senior trade and labor reporter, joined JDA Frontline's Washington, D.C., office as vice president of public affairs, the firm announced Monday.

McQuillen most recently covered international commerce, free-trade agreements, the World Trade Organization, global markets and unions. He previously reported on foreign and domestic policy during President George W. Bush's second term, and he traveled with both 2004 presidential nominees as Bloomberg's wire service pool reporter.

"Bill's experience proves him to be one of the most talented reporters covering economics, international trade and labor issues," JDA Frontline President Jim Dyke said in a statement.

"JDA Frontline is proud to have some of the country's finest political and communications strategists already among our ranks and Bill will be a phenomenal asset to our firm, adding great depth to our ability to serve our clients as we continue to grow."

Ticket to Paradise

Alyssa Pivirotto recently joined the campaign of Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker (R) in Arizona's competitive Phoenix-based 9th district.

Pivirotto, who worked for 10 years in television news in Arizona and California, was the spokeswoman for Arizona Senate candidate Wil Cardon, who lost to Rep. Jeff Flake in the late August GOP primary. Parker faces former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in a race that has attracted outside money from both parties.

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