Charges Filed in Republican Scheme to Thwart Fair Election

by TChris

James Tobin, President Bush's former New England campaign chairman, has been indicted for participating in a scheme to jam telephone lines used by Democrats in a "get-out-the-vote" drive on Election Day 2002.

In 2002, six phone lines run by the Democrats and the Manchester firefighters union were tied up for 11/2 hours by 800 computer-generated hang-up calls. Federal prosecutors said Tobin and other Republicans had hired a company to make the calls to disrupt the organizations' get-out-the-vote efforts.

This summer, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party "admitted paying $15,600 to a Virginia telemarketing company that hired another business to make the calls." Some are questioning why the Justice Department waited until now to indict Tobin.

"I think it's unfortunate the Justice Department delayed, for whatever reasons that it did, until after the election," state Democratic chairwoman Kathy Sullivan said. "I hope this was not delayed for political reasons."

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