November 11, 2005
The Republicans: fixing an election near you
Just another day’s work for the party machine:
CONCORD, N.H. - A former national Republican Party official will stand trial on charges he conspired to jam Democratic get-out-the-vote phone lines on Election Day 2002, a federal judge said.
Ruling Thursday, Judge Steven McAuliffe rejected an argument by James Tobin that the conspiracy charges should be dismissed because the government’s allegations were insufficient.
… [Tobin is] accused of helping arrange hundreds of computer generated hang-up calls that paralyzed Democratic get-out-the-vote and ride-to-the-polls phone lines in New Hampshire cities for more than an hour on Nov. 5, 2002, the year of a closely watched Senate race won by Republican John Sununu against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.
Tobin’s lawyers argued the allegations against their client may have prevented some from mustering voters, but did not amount to blocking voters from their right to cast a ballot, a distinction McAuliffe agreed to consider.
Prosecutors countered that the intent to blocking voters outweighed the means of deterring them. “There is no reason to do it if it isn’t to keep someone from voting,” said prosecutor Nicholas Marsh.
Good point. But why aren’t the Dems all over this kind of thing? What seems to have been forgotten amid all the high-profile Republican scandals is just how deeply the sleaze permeates party roots. Fraud, gerrymandering, intimidation, whatever it takes … all are so entrenched in the Republican way of doing business that they barely get noticed these days.
And because nobody is focusing on the bigger picture, it enables Republicans to invoke the Enron defense—and get away with election fraud on a scale not seen for at least half a century.
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