I’ve written somewhat regularly about the 2002 efforts to jam the Democrats’ phone lines during the 2002 election here in New Hampshire. The last time, the judge in the matter was debating the punitive damages to be inflicted on the Republicans.
Well, there hasn’t been a ruling yet, but the judge is showing some indications of where he’s leaning.
In brief: he’s tossed the Republicans’ low-ball figure out the window, but said the Democrats’ pie-in-the-sky dream number is no good either. And he’s looked at the Democrats’ sole “expert witness” and found his work solely lacking — apparently the guy just took the number the Democrats fed him and said “yup, sounds good to me.”
As a previous commenter pointed out, there really isn’t a solid, indisputable way to set a dollar figure on the damages in this case. But I think my earlier formula strikes a fair balance. And if that doesn’t work for some people, take the annual salary of a United States senator ($162,100), multiply it by six for the length of the term of office ($972,600), double it to balance out that it very well might have swayed the election and paid unfairly to Republican John Sununu and not Democrat Jeanne Shaheen ($1,945,200), and round it up to reflect the intangibles lost and you’ll get my $2,000,000 figure again.
(When I’m “selling’ at my day job, I point out that if the client does the job in-house, they should not only calculate what they’re paying their person, but double it — because that person is NOT doing the job they would normally. The same principle applies here.)
Yeah, it’s gonna hurt the New Hampshire GOP, and they’re already reeling from getting thoroughly stomped in the last election (failed to re-take the governorship, lost both US house seats, and lost both houses of the legislature). But as the old saying goes, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”