Don't jam the line if you can't do the time

Former GOP official convicted in telephone dirty tricks scheme.

Published December 16, 2005 3:36PM (EST)

So James Tobin isn't exactly Bill Frist or Tom DeLay, and a conviction on telephone harassment charges isn't exactly the second coming of Fitzmas. But still, if you're looking for some sense of justice today, you could do worse than casting your eyes upon New Hampshire.

That's where a jury has just convicted Tobin on criminal charges related to a scheme to disrupt a Democratic get-out-the-vote effort in 2002. As the Boston Globe explains, the charges on which Tobin was convicted Thursday stem from his role in a Republican plot to "bombard Democratic Party offices in New Hampshire with hang-up calls on Nov. 5, 2002, as the state's governor, Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, faced off against US Representative John Sununu, a Republican, for an open Senate seat."

Tobin, a former official with the Republican National Committee, was the New England chairman for George W. Bush's reelection campaign.

Tobin was acquitted on the most serious charge prosecutors filed -- that of interfering with voters' rights -- but the charges on which he was convicted seem plenty serious themselves: They carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

War Room