The campaign signs are out in abundance in New Hampshire, and I noticed that there were many more signs for Hillary at key intersections than for Obama or any other candidates. Seeing the signs brought back memories of volunteering in NH for other campaigns in years past – replacing signs that had mysteriously disappeared overnight; having to move to another venue when phones weren’t working on election day in 2002.
Just for kicks, I googled “new hampshire phone elections republican jammed convicted” just to find out whatever happened to the Republican guy convicted of jamming phone lines in New Hampshire. Well, was I surprised to find out the following:
Federal dirty tricks?
The US Justice Department delayed prosecuting James Tobin, the Northeast regional coordinator for the Republican National Committee, who was responsible for jamming the phones of the Democrats on election until after the 2004 Presidential election. For those who don’t recall – the election was between Sununu (R) and Shaheen (D), it was very close, and the subsequent election of Sununu helped the Republicans gain control of the Senate.
“While there were guilty pleas in the New Hampshire investigation before the 2004 presidential election, involvement of the national GOP wasn’t confirmed.
A Manchester, N.H., policeman had quickly traced the jamming to Republican political operativesin 2003 and forwarded the evidence to the Justice Department for what ordinarily would be a straightforward case.
However, senior Justice Department officials slowed the inquiry, the official told McClatchy Newspapers. The official didn’t know whether top department officials ordered the delays or what motivated those decisions.
The official said that Terry O’Donnell, a former Pentagon general counsel who was representing Tobin, was in contact with senior department officials before Tobin was indicted. In October, the House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation to determine whether partisan politics undermined the federal inquiry.”
Senior Repubs were involved?
In a book set to come out in January 2008, Allen Raymond, one of the four operatives convicted and imprisoned for the phone-jamming scheme, charges that Tobin would not have acted without the approval of the Bush white house.
Now, I gotta say that Raymond does not sound like the most reliable of witnesses, given his history. However, Dems are calling for an investigation of the US Justice Department actions surrounding the delay in prosecuting Tobin. Is this another example of the Republicans politicizing an institution of our government? If so, I predict that it will drive even more voters away from the party that chose self-perpetuation over the country.
And there is no question that this will be an issue as Shaheen takes on Sununu for his US Senate seat in 2008.