I Question The Timing

Last November, as part of the Democrats’ overall victory at the election, New Hampshire voters turned out our two Republican Representatives and replaced them with a couple of Democrats. Carol Shea-Porter, a full-blown moonbat, has garnered most of the attention, while her colleague, Paul Hodes, has been quieter. (Although both have been quietly working on their own “earmarks” as part of their commitment to ending the Culture Of Corruption and being part of the Most Ethical And Transparent Congress In History.)

Well, last week, Hodes came out with a statement that kinda threw me for a loop. He wants a Congressional investigation into the 2002 New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal — when GOP officials arranged for a telemarketing firm to call in and clog up the “get out the vote” phone bank the Democrats had set up for the election between then-Representative John E. Sununu (R) and then-governor Jeanne Shaheen (D). Sununu won by 4%.

This scandal is a pretty hefty black mark on New Hampshire politics in general, and the GOP specifically. Several people went to jail, and the Republicans ended up forking over a fairly hefty hunk of change to the Democrats.

Personally, I thought it was handled too lightly. I would have preferred to see the convicted guys spending more time in jail, and I thought the Republican’s fine should have been roughly 4 times what the Democrats settled for.

But while everyone else thought it was over, Hodes disagrees. He wants a full and thorough investigation by Congress into the matter. (I guess he thinks that the 300-odd investigations they already have going into the Bush administration isn’t enough to keep them busy.)

I didn’t quite get what this was about, though, until I read this article by my colleague Alexander K. McClure. Let me quote the relevant portion of his piece:

In New Hampshire, the polls indicate that a re-match between former Democratic Governor Jean Shaheen and Republican incumbent Senator John Sununu would be a landslide for the Democrat. In no state was the 2006 carnage worse for the GOP than in New Hampshire. Sununu, of course, has to take heart that Shaheen has not yet committed to running. He is unquestionably the most vulnerable GOP incumbent this election cycle.

Right now, Shaheen is sitting on the sidelines, weighing her options. But three Democrats have already announced their candidacy — a former astronaut, a former mayor, and the wife of a former congressman who’s run unsuccessfully before. And it’s that third one that could be the toughest challenge — Katrina Swett (wife of Dick Swett, who held a US House seat for six years before barely losing an attempt to unseat Bob Smith, the Republican Sununu pushed out of office) is the daughter of California Congressman Tom Lantos.

Factors against Swett are that she was a strong supporter of Joe Lieberman, both when he rand for president in 2004 and for re-election to the Senate in 2006. Also, she’s a member of this odd, kooky, scary cult called “Mormonism,” and considering how Democrats are treating Mitt Romney over that, that could be her political death knell.

(For the clue-impaired: yes, that was sarcastic.)

So, just as John E. Sununu is getting ready for what is likely to be one hell of a political fight, Hodes wants to make certain everyone knows that his first election to the Senate was seriously tainted — and, possibly, toss some mud on Sununu himself by implying he was personally involved in the crime.

And if Shaheen herself runs, then the idea of “re-doing the 2002 election, and this time doing it HONESTLY” could be one hell of a strong campaign message.

If there is evidence that the conspiracy behind the phone-jamming goes beyond those who’ve already been tried, then by all means I want a further investigation. And one into the state Attorney General’s office as well, for not pursuing them. But if this isn’t, then Hodes is just grandstanding and ought to knock it off.

Especially since he’s a former state prosecutor. He really ought to know better.

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