One of the key figures in the 2002 election day phone-jamming scheme has found out his fate. Former National Republican Committee official James Tobin, helped state Republican officials find a telemarketer who was willing — for a fee — to make repeated calls to the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote phone bank, preventing them from calling out to registered Democrats to remind them to vote, and would-be voters calling in to get a ride to the polls. In the end, Congressman John E. Sununu (R) defeated Governor Jeanne Shaheen (D) by a very narrow margin.
Tobin is the third official to be sentenced in the scam, and a fourth is awaiting trial.
I am deeply ashamed that this happened in New Hampshire, and it’s only small consolation that Tobin is actually from Maine, another is from Maryland, and the telemarketing company from Idaho. It still happened here, in OUR Senate race, and we are the ones who should bear the stigma.
But I am still wondering why the hell the Republican National Committee has spent (at last count) about two and a half million dollars defending the scumbags who pulled this off. “Follow the money” has always been good advice when investigating political corruption, and while that $2,500,000 (most likely more now, since that figure dates from February) is “chump change” in politics, it’s still a hell of a lot of money.
In 2002, I voted for Sununu, but I was nominally a Democrat and as such was a potential victim of this crime. More to the point, I don’t like anyone screwing around with our electoral process in such a flagrantly illegal manner. I thought the assholes who slashed the tires on Republican-leased vehicles on 2004’s election day in Milwaukee were miserable scum who ought to be locked up and the keys thrown away, and I think the scum behind the phone-jamming deserve the same treatment.
And I really, really want to know what vital interest the RNC is defending when they spend all that money to keep them out of jail.
(Previous roundup, with links to prior coverage here)