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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Former Bush campaign chairman indicted for acts done while in that position

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Author Topic: Former Bush campaign chairman indicted for acts done while in that position
Zyne
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quote:
President Bush's former New England campaign chairman was indicted Wednesday on charges he took part in the jamming of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote phone lines on Election Day 2002.

James Tobin, 44, stepped down Oct. 15 - two weeks before Election Day - after the Democrats accused him of involvement.

"I am saddened to learn that this action has been taken against me," he said in a statement. "I have great respect for the justice system and plan to fight back to clear my name."

In 2002, six phone lines run by the Democrats and the Manchester firefighters union were tied up for 1 1/2 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.

Tobin was charged with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment and aiding and abetting. He could get up to five years in prison.

At the time of the jamming, Tobin was Northeast political director for the Republican Senatorial Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the Senate.

Among the races affected by the jamming was the Senate contest between Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Rep. John E. Sununu. Sununu won by about 20,000 votes.

The Democrats praised the indictment but questioned its timing.

"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."

Over the summer, Chuck McGee, former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted paying $15,600 to a Virginia telemarketing company that hired another business to make the calls. A GOP consultant with the telemarketing company also pleaded guilty. The two men are awaiting sentencing.

View an ad to see the source; I've quoted all there is there: http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2004/12/02/indictment/index.html

There appears to be no evidence that Bush knew about this, let alone endorsed it, and Tobin stepped down in a reasonably timely manner. Still, I find this interesting as an input on how low some people will go to prevent others from voting. Some people with very nice positions will go all the way, it seems, to try to make it where you don't get to vote.

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Ivan
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Zyne, I don't think he was working for Bush when he did this. It said he did it while being the "Northeast political director for the Republican Senatorial Committee" rather than the position he had with the President's campaign.

It is disappointing that anyone would have this done, but lets remember that Tobin denies the charges at his point.

-Ivan

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philnotfil
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It is interesting that they felt the need to mention President Bush when nothing in the article was relevant to him. The actions in question took place in 2002, that would be a non-presidential year, and they were an attempt to influence a senate race.

Why did it take two years to charge him?

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ed
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you did notice that the link is to a salon article, yes? i think that probably explains why it's in the first sentence.

i think that fact is salient, if not exactly key. and presumably, when this goes to trial, we'll all be a bit better informed about this.

ed

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Zyne
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Ahh, it was late, I went too fast--He wasn't working for Bush when he did the bad thing, only when he got caught. [Razz]
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philnotfil
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Sorry, let me clearly state my entire position on Mr. Tobin:

1. Trying to influence elections by breaking laws is bad.

2. If Mr. Tobin did this as is alleged, then he is a bad person.

3. Nothing in what he is being charged with has anything to do with Bush, it is unneccesary to bring that into it. (For those who don't like the way Bush tied Iraq to Al-Quaeda, this is the same thing)

4. Mr. Tobin stepped down from whatever position it was that he held when he was officially charged, good for him.

5. It took two years to bring charges against him, why is that?


I only mentioned point #3 in my previous post, because the other ones hadn't been commented on.

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Zyne
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As he is the leader of his party, everything a Republican does to advance the party's interests has to do with Bush.
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philnotfil
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And everything that a Catholic does to advance the church's interests has to do with the pope.
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