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Former GOP leader convicted of phone jamming

Yesterday James Tobin, who was President Bush's New England campaign chief for a brief time last year, was convicted of jamming Democratic campaign phone lines on Election day, 2002.

I've covered this before, but a quick recap:

In 2002, then-Congressman John H. Sununu (R) was running against Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) for Bob Smith's US Senate seat -- Sununu had beaten Smith in the contested primary. On the day of the election, Tobin got his hands on the numbers for the Democratic phone bank -- set aside for get-out-the-vote work, such as reminding people to work and offering them rides to polling places -- and had a telemarketing firm call those numbers all day, tying up the lines. Sununu ended up winning, 51-45%.

Clever idea -- if you overlook that it's ILLEGAL.

Former NH GOP executive director Chuck McGee was convicted of approving the tactic, and just completed a seven-month stretch in jail. And the telemarketer, Allen Raymond, worked out a plea deal and is hoping to get less than five months.

Tobin was acquitted of the most serious charges, conspiring to violate voters' rights, but is still looking at up to seven years and $500,000 in fines.

But the most troubling aspect so far, for me, is that the Republican National Committee forked over $720,000 for Tobin's defense. They initially refused to say why they spent so much money on a former employee accused of a serious political crime, but now say that they did so because he assured them of his innocence.

A lot of Wizbang readers are Republicans, and a good chunk of those are contributors, I'd bet. I know a lot of you have said that you won't donate any more until the party starts being a bit more responsible on issues such as federal spending and illegal immigration. Might I suggest you add this matter to your list of questions to the fundraisers?


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Comments (10)

They initially refused t... (Below threshold)

They initially refused to say why they spent so much money on a former employee accused of a serious political crime, but now say that they did so because he assured them of his innocence.

If so, they should bill him for reimbursement.

Unlike the liberals and Dem... (Below threshold)
JD:

Unlike the liberals and Democrats, it seems the Republicans usually do not stand for this kind of garbage in their ranks. As McGeehee said, the GOP should be asking for repayment of their money from this guy.

Now, in order to throw in a bit of prevarication, how does this one instance of bad behavior compare to the Democrats election day antics ?

The GOP has been DoSing my ... (Below threshold)
jc:

The GOP has been DoSing my phone bank (1 phone) ever since I gave them $35. They call sometimes 2 or 3 times in a day.

I gave them $35 a year ago and they've spent all that and more in junk mail and telemarketers since. I think if they can spend $100 of PAC money to get $10 of soft money then they're getting what they want.

An interesting side note to... (Below threshold)
edmcgon:

An interesting side note to this: I checked CNN.com for this story. There was a VERY brief mention of it back in August. They are apparently aware of the story, yet they ignore it.

This story falls right in line with the liberal MSM conspiracy theories of many on the right (myself included), yet it is ignored by CNN, one of the alleged conspirators?

Intriguing...

"it seems the Republicans u... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"it seems the Republicans usually do not stand for this kind of garbage in their ranks."

Ha!

Right now, the top Republican officials in the White House, House and Senate are all under investigation. Usually don't 'stand for it'? Bush defended DeLay, DeLay defended Cunningham, Noe and his shiny coins, all of Abramoff's recipients, Frist defends himself all the time even though he's being constantly dishonest about his stocks. If they truly didn't stand for it, their would be barely enough people to run the party.

Hmmm.1. @ jp2... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1. @ jp2

yada yada yada. Don't forget all those Democrats associated with Abramoff.

2. Frankly I find it difficult to get all worked up about this. When you compare this to the shootings, bricks through windows, stolen laptops and dead people voting Democrat, this is small beans.

I know, it's real easy to y... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I know, it's real easy to yada yada the corruption. No big deal anymore.

Are you talking about stolen laptops and computer realted to Manuel Miranda, who was actually promoted within the Republican ranks?

Clearly my issue is with the often repeated statement "Republicans don't tolerate law breakers." They do, and actually, they promote and reward incompetence. Think Rumsfeld, Brownie, Gonzales, Tenet and the two Cheney staffers recently promoted even after being responsible for sanctioning torture and fradulent intelligence.

ed-When you com... (Below threshold)
scott:

ed-

When you compare this to the shootings, bricks through windows, stolen laptops and dead people voting Democrat, this is small beans.

Don't forget the paid employee of the Democratic Party- who is also the son of a former Democratic Congressman from Wisconsin- that was convicted of slashing the tires of a Republican "get-out-the-vote program' buses...

Perhaps if you didn't see t... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Perhaps if you didn't see things through such a one-sided prism then you'd know that both parties do this stuff. Interesting how there's all this chest-thumping about how the Right won't tolerate this kind of stuff. How quickly we get away from the theme of Jay Tea's post, which was that the Republicans are paying for Tobin's defense. They have a funny way of not putting up with something.

And I've seen several mentions on this and other sites about the Democratic operatives who got Steele's social security number and other personal information in Maryland. What never seems to be mentioned is that Schumer, the head of the Congressional campaign committee, fired both staffers the day he learned about it and voluntarily notified the US attorney's office.

Does this make the Democrats pure? No. But for every tire slashing in Wisconsin, there's a phone jamming in New Hampshire. To think that being Republican inherently makes your side more honest and upstanding is laughable. And I believe we'll see proof of that concept with the Abramoff scandal in the coming months.

That guy should be sent to ... (Below threshold)
notalentassclown:

That guy should be sent to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.




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