Saturday, August 13, 2005



In 2004 James Tobin was the BushCheney campaign manager for all of New England. Keep in mind that Bush campaign managers seem to have stealing elections as their primary functions; think about crooked Secretaries of State in Florida in 2000 (Katherine Harris) and Ohio in 2004 (Ken Blackwell), both of whom were able to rig the elections in their state to declare that Bush had won, although he had less votes than his opponents in each case. Tobin's crime, in contrast, is practically mickey mouse and run-of-the-mill GOP trickery of the kind that first brought current Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist to public attention in Phoenix when he was caught trying to keep minority citizens from voting in a 1964 bit of GOP thuggery called Operation Eagle Eye. Well Republicans have long promised to stop doing that. Of course, they lie every time they open their mouths. Most recently their living-lie, closet case Ken Mehlman, the Republican Party Chairman, swore to the press that the GOP has a "zero-tolerance policy" for any GOP official caught trying to block legitimate voters. (He didn't actually say he wouldn't pay their legal fees-- which in this case are rapidly heading towards $1 million-- nor did he promise that they wouldn't be appointed to the Supreme Court.) "The position of the Republican National Committee is simple: We will not tolerate fraud; we will not tolerate intimidation; we will not tolerate suppression. No employee, associate or any person representing the Republican Party who engages in these kinds of acts will remain in that position," he blatantly lied.

Tobin has been charged in Federal Court with 4 serious felony counts of conspiring with a state GOP official and a GOP consultant in Virginia to jam Democratic and labor union get-out-the-vote phone banks in November 2002. The telephone firm was paid to make repeated hang-up phone calls to overwhelm the phone banks in New Hampshire and prevent them from getting Democratic voters to the polls on Election Day 2002, prosecutors allege. Far Right Republican John Sununu won a close race that day and became a New Hampshire U.S. Senator. Tobin was the Republican National Committee's regional director for New England at the time, later rewarded for his successful manipulation of the electoral system with the job of heading Bush's re-election campaign in the region. A top New Hampshire Party official, Charles McGee, and a GOP consultant, Allen Raymond, already have pleaded guilty and cooperated with Federal prosecutors. Tobin's indictment accuses him of specifically calling the GOP consultant to get a telephone firm to help in the scheme. Tobin's indictment points out that "the object of the conspiracy was to deprive inhabitants of New Hampshire and more particularly qualified voters ... of their federally secured right to vote." So far "Zero-Tolerance" Mehlman has forked out over $722,000 in legal fees for Tobin-- with no end in sight.

Head scratchers are head scratching and wonderers are wondering why the Republicans are paying so much to defend this obviously guilty criminal, the only defense being based on procedural matters, not on disputing the facts about him committing the crimes, which have already been proven beyond reasonable doubt. It is widely believed that the legal fees are hush money to keep him from pointing out the other RNC and BushCheney campaign officials involved with the conspiracy. The volunteer lawyer for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, which is also suing Tobin, Paul Twomey, is not unaware that the Republicans are trying to cover-up something a lot bigger. "It originally appeared to us that there were just certain rogue elements of the Republican Party who were willing to do anything to win control of the U.S. Senate, including depriving Americans of their ability to vote," Twomey said. "But now that the RNC actually is bankrolling Mr. Tobin's defense, coupled with the fact that it has refused some discovery in the civil case, really raises the questions of who are they protecting, how high does this go and who was in on this."

The New Hampshire GOP official who turned state's evidence when he pleaded guilty admits he and Tobin conspired to flood the Democratic phone banks and prevent the party from driving car-less, elderly and handicapped voters to the polls on election day. Raymond, a Republican colleague of Tobin's from way back, ran the Virginia-based telephone service and was approached by Tobin to implement the illegal scheme. Raymond's lawyer told the court that Tobin made the request for help in his official capacity as the top RNC official for New England and his client believed the RNC had sanctioned the activity. So who exactly is "Zero Tolerance" Mehlman trying to protect and what is worth over a million dollars for the RNC to cover up? Just wondering.


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