Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rob Sobhani's Shady Signature Gatherers

Add shady political consultants to the list of “independent” U.S. Senate Candidate Rob Sobhani’s growing list of questionable relationships.  

According to Sobhani’s July FEC filing, his campaign paid California-based Arno Political Consultants over $47,000 for signature gathering fees and expenses.  

According to a 2007 report from the left leaning Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Arno has been involved in several fraud cases in seven states. Allegations include submitting petitions with forged signatures, using bait and switch tactics to get signatures, and submitting petitions with signatures from deceased voters.

In Massachusetts, a paid signature gatherer for Arno duped petition signers into thinking they were petitioning to allow grocery stores to sell wine, when in fact they were signing a petition to put Massachusetts’ law allowing gay marriage on the ballot. 

Sobhani hired Savanna Communications to manage his petition campaign, which subcontracted signature gathering to Arno according to Tony Marsh, a partner at Savanna Communications.  Marsh said he was unaware of the history of fraud allegations against Arno.  In the video above, the Massachusetts group that hired Arno gave the same answer when asked about fraud allegations against the company.

Here is a copy of the talking points petitioners used to pitch for signatures.  The sheet contains many of the same wildly implausible promises as Sobhani’s television ads.  It also states that Republican candidate Daniel Bonigno has less than $50,000 in the bank.  However, Bongino’s latest FEC filing shows he has raised nearly $500,000. 

Sobhani needed 37,128 valid signatures to get on the ballot.  According to the Maryland State Board of Elections he turned in 77,376 signatures. The board rejected 22,792 signatures, a 30 percent rejection rate. Of those rejected signatures over 14,000 were from people not registered to vote. 

These numbers alone don’t prove fraud has occurred.  However the rejection rate is significantly higher than three of the petitions that made it to the ballot this year, the Dream Act, gay marriage, and redistricting. 

Given Arno’s shady past it might be worth a little bit of the Bongino campaign’s time to inspect the signatures on file at the board of elections.


Dolends said...

Why is it shady? The signatures are legitimate, he just needed the man power to gather them.

Michael Swartz said...

Interesting...the petition pitch shows he's for gay marriage and is pro-choice, but somehow that's never made it to his "issues" page. One would think that, with the Question 6 issue on the ballot, he might just mention that fact.

College Republican said...

Brilliant. That's exactly what the Bongino campaign needs to do with its time. Read through 77,000 names gathered by the Sobhani campaign to ensure no fraud was committed by the several times over millionaire center-right Independent candidate. Because that's how you take down a hyper partisan liberal U.S. Senator. So glad Red Maryland has figured all that out.

Heather said...

I witnessed some his signature gatherers this summer in Dundalk. One woman had absolutely no idea what she was doing - she was just trying to earn a little money. She didn't know who he was; nor did she share any information about him or his positions with potential signers. The other woman present was incredibly aggressive. She did not present any information about the potential candidate either. She would yell at people from across the street and tell them they needed to sign the petition. Neither of these women offered any information about Mr. Sobhani; they just wanted signatures. I don't know if they were doing anything wrong, just posting my observations as these women left me with a negative impression.

Unknown said...

It's pretty disgusting about the tactics used by Rob Sobhani to get his name on the ballot. Just buy an election. He is so full of himself. I hope people are able to see right through him and his money. One word spells it out for me: "ARROGANCE". If this is what he is like before he is elected, could you imagine? the way, this guy has no chance. He has no real support, only money. His only purpose is to hurt someone else. Voters, don't be fooled. The 2 millionaires in this election - CARDIN & SOBHANI - are not going to protect the middle class. There is only one to protect the middle class..our middle class candidate, Dan Bongino.

sotired oflies said...

You want to know a bit more about the shady characters this guy brought out there to knock on the doors of your daughters and grandmothers? Arno's partner in the "video production business" got caught trying to commit a rape and tape of a little kid.This group is full of pervs and whackos. I just about fell over when I read this one. 11 pages of misdeeds, starting and ending with SEXUAL VIOLENCE TOWARD CHILDREN Gross! and yes, the last one listed in this photoslide was one of the MAIN COORDINATORS for Arno, trying to be all sanctimonious about family values even though he thinks it's funny to verbally molest 14 year old girls (and younger) online with violent and cruel sexual language. Arno's a real sicko. Oh, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.