Throwing good money after bad

A while ago, I wrote about a New Hampshire Republican leader, one James Tobin, who was in legal trouble for a rather creative political tactic. Mr. Tobin knew, as all political activists know, that one of the keys to winning elections is getting your people out to vote — and, similarly, discouraging your opponents’s supporters from voting.

Every election, both parties call up their supporters to encourage them to vote, offering them rides if needed, and other such assistance. But Mr. Tobin decided to take it a bit further. He arranged for a telemarketing firm to do some other calling: they repeatedly called the Democratic phone banks, tying up their lines fora good chunk of the election day and effectively shutting down their “get out the vote” efforts.

A clever idea, only overlooking one minor detail: it’s illegal.

Several figures in on the scheme have already been convicted, and rightfully so. But Mr. Tobin’s trial is slated for December, and the legal costs have been mounting.

But he doesn’t seem too worried. He’s getting help on his legal bills from his old bosses — at the Republican National Committee.

According to public records filed by the RNC, they have forked over between $700,000 and $900,000 to Tobin’s lawyers since he was indicted last December. And when pressed for details such as who approved the money, what Tobin did while he was working for the RNC, just what he did for them, and the like, the RNC issued a clear, firm “no comment.”

So, in brief: a former RNC official is under indictment for election fraud. The RNC has paid close to a million dollars for his defense. And nobody wants to say anything about it.

Folks, this stinks. This stinks to high heaven. The stench of corruption, venality, and arrogance this case is giving off is almost to the point where I would use the term Clintonesque.

Unfortunately, there’s very little I can do about it. I’m not a Republican, haven’t been one for longer than ten minutes at a time in at least a decade, and have never given one cent to Republican causes. So I don’t really have any standing in this.

But I bet that a lot of Wizbang readers do.

So I’m asking you to take some action here. Get ahold of your Republican contacts and demand to know why they’re spending so much of your money defending James Tobin. Demand to know who signed off on defending someone accused of trying to rig an election.

This is the sort of thing that Democrats are always screaming about, while quietly committing their own versions of it. (You will recall that the only convictions for election fraud from 2004 so far have been among Democrats.) But both sides must be held to the same standards. The phone-jamming in New Hampshire in 2002 was wrong, criminally so, and there MUST be an accounting.

No matter how much money the RNC spends trying to avoid that.

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6 Comments

  1. joe August 13, 2005
  2. AnonymousDrivel August 13, 2005
  3. bullwinkle August 13, 2005
  4. Jewels August 13, 2005
  5. Jewels August 13, 2005
  6. Jewels August 13, 2005