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Dirty (tricks) Phone Calls

Salon's War Room has a bit on the 2002 New Hampshire phone jamming case, which has suddenly taken a turn toward RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman. Seems Mehlman received 75 calls between Sept. 30 and Nov. 22 from convicted jammer and GOP operative James Tobin. Mehlman, who at the time was the White House director of political affairs hasn't commented on the matter yet, but one has to wonder if details of the scheme, which can fetch get up seven years in prison and $500,000 in fines, didn't somehow come up during those 75 calls.

For his part, Tobin was acquitted of the most serious charge of conspiring to violate voters' rights.

Phones at Democratic phone banks in New Hampshire were jammed with hang-up calls on election night 2002. According to the San Francisco Gate, "Tobin, who at the time was New England chairman of Bush's re-election campaign and a top regional official of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, was accused of orchestrating the phone-jamming."

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UPDATE: From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12424467/site/newsweek/

"Tobin was represented by one of Washingtonís white shoe law firms, Williams & Connolly, and his legal fees were $2.5 million. The Republican National Committee picked up the tab, which suggests this may not have been a rogue operation. Was Tobinís high-priced defense an effort to keep him from ratting out his contacts in the Bush White House? The RNC has said it paid Tobinís legal fees because he is a long-time supporter and because he has maintained his innocence. Tobin is appealing his conviction."

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