Election-related phone jamming traced to White House

News & Politics

Back in 2002, Bush's New England campaign chairman James Tobin plotted to "jam another phone bank being used by the state Democratic Party and the firefighters' union for efforts to turn out voters on behalf of then-governor [Democrat] Jeanne Shaheen on Election Day."

For that dastardly deed, which may have been the difference in the narrow Republican victory, Tobin was convicted of telephone harassment. Worry not, for Tobin's legal bills were picked up by the Party.

Now it turns out that Tobin had maintained consistent phone contact with the White House, having made "two dozen calls... within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 — as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down."

So the timeline goes like this.

  • 2002: in contact with the White House Tobin plots to help a Republican win a senate seat.
  • 2004: Tobin is promoted to New England Chairman of the Bush campaign.
  • 2005: Tobin is indicted on charges of telephone harassment and conspiracy to violate voters' rights for which the national Republican Party "paid millions in legal bills."
  • 2006: "phone records show that most calls to the White House were from Tobin, who became President Bush's presidential campaign chairman for the New England region in 2004."

According to Larry Margasak: "the Republican National Committee said it paid for Tobin's defense because he is a longtime supporter and told officials he had committed no crime." And they believed him.

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