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In today's post some background is needed on the little known and littler heard story of Republican felonious activity in the 2002 election in New Hampshire. I still find it curious that the 2002 felony convictions for vote suppression activity by the Republican Party is still kind of a secret to the American people.
Read this account, then watch the video......then we'll talk.....
The 2002 New Hampshire Senate election phone jamming scandal involves the use of a telemarketing firm hired by that state's Republican Party (NHGOP) for election tampering.
During that state's 2002 election for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Robert C. Smith, the NHGOP hired GOP Marketplace, based in Northern Virginia, to jam another phone bank being used by the state Democratic Party and the firefighters' union for efforts to turn out voters on behalf of then-governor Jeanne Shaheen on Election Day. John E. Sununu, the Republican candidate, won a narrow victory. In addition to criminal prosecutions, disclosures in the case have come from a civil suit filed by the state's Democratic Party against the state's Republican Party (now settled).
Four men have been convicted of, or pled guilty to, federal crimes and sentenced to prison for their involvement as of 2008.
Police in Concord, the state capital, were notified by Democratic workers on the day of the election that they were receiving repeated telephone calls, terminating after five seconds, which were interfering with their efforts to reach voters and offer rides to the polls. For at least an hour and a half at midday they were unable to make any outgoing calls. Verizon was later able to stop most of these calls, but whoever had made them had violated state laws against telephone harassment.
State authorities found the calls came from out of state, and so brought in their federal counterparts. They were eventually traced to Mylo Enterprises, a Pocatello, Idaho-based company that ran phone banks.
James Tobin, then Northeast field director for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC), put McGee (GOP executive director) in touch with GOP Marketplace, a Northern Virginia firm run by Allen Raymond, which had been hired by the New Hampshire party for similar voter-turnout efforts. McGee had lied in claiming to be unaware of this.
Todd Hinnen, the prosecutor in Raymond's case, indicated to the court that Raymond had been contacted about the phone jamming idea by "a former colleague who was then an official in a national political organization." Later on that month, both he and the Union Leader reported that this unnamed third individual had a significant role in the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.
In an op-ed for the Concord Monitor, Smith called the phone-jamming "an outrage" and deplored the lack of Republican anger over "this despicable action by pathetic political hacks." He also implied that the phone jamming may have denied Shaheen victory.
Allen Raymond was sentenced to five months in federal prison on February 8, 2005, for his role. Link...worth reading
This little known story depicts the standard operating procedure of the Republican Party when elections are the topic. Republicans suppress Democratic votes, it's what they do.....like Florida 2000, Ken Blackwell's interference in Ohio 2004, the U.S. Attorneys' firing in 2006 because of their refusal to bring cases of voter fraud against Democrats where no evidence existed, or John Roberts rush to rule on new voter ID scams before the 2008 election.
All of this is part of the same singular strategy. Republicans don't much care if it's illegal, they simply know that if Democratic votes are not suppressed, the GOP doesn't have much chance of winning elections. While Democrats focus on registering new voters, Republicans focus on schemes and methods to suppress votes.
This activity by Republican operatives attempting to change the outcome of close elections through criminal means has now become so accepted and mainstream that Chris Matthews can invite a vote suppressing convicted felon, like Allen Raymond, onto his show and chatter with him about "the dark arts of dirty tricks" as if he's chatting about the weather.
Matthews seems comfortable giving national book-selling face time to a felon whose crime was illegally suppressing Democratic votes, attempting to control the outcome of a Senate race. The Hardball moderator says to Raymond, "you're great to come on". Meanwhile, Matthews is reciprocally pimping Raymond's new book, "How to Rig an Election".
Chris Matthews calls the felony act that Raymond carried out, "bare knuckle campaign tactics." Without the least self-awareness of how this all sounded to viewers, Tweety asks, "tell me how you rigged that election?" up in New Hampshire. Raymond goes on to speak very casually about how the Republican National Committee hired him to carry out the crime and what he did to suppress Democratic votes.
In the same way that establishment-right media people praised Scooter Libby for committing four counts of obstruction and perjury as he covered up for a White House crime against a political critic who told Americans that Bush lied.......
....in the same way that these establishment-right media people so wanted Bush to pardon the Scooter after he had been convicted and then praised their Leader when he did commute the prison sentence....
....is the same way establishment-right media members, like Matthews, take it for granted now that even if a guy like Allen Raymond was convicted and sentenced as a Democratic vote suppressing felon......he's always welcome on their programs to hawk books that tell the world how he did it. As long as the crime committed was AGAINST Democrats.
For the last number of years I have repeatedly stated that the Republican Party has become a criminal party that needs disbanded and re-organized. It isn't just a few bad apples here and there.....the criminality is now systemic.
Libby, Rove, Gonzales, Mukasey, Roberts, Alito.....on and on....are now EXPECTED to lie to Congress when asked questions under oath. Lying to Congress while under oath has become a badge of honor to Republicans.
In the case of Bush or Cheney.....flatly denying Congress any right to executive branch information during their term, or destroying potentially damaging computer tapes, e-mails, whatever.....all violations of the Constitution and our rule of law.... are just actions regarded by Republicans and media members as outward expressions of "resoluteness" and "toughness", .....but never what they really are, criminal or traitorous acts.
With this Allen Raymond appearance to hawk a book entitled, "How to Rig an Election", and the casual way in which Chris Matthews dealt with the topic of felonious vote suppression.....it now seems that another crime can be added to the list of crimes ACCEPTED and EXPECTED by Republicans and their supporters.
Just as calling for justice in the Libby case was pooh-poohed as only an attempt to "criminalize politics", so too, any felonious attempt to suppress Democratic votes is now being called "bare knuckle campaign tactics" and the "dark arts of dirty tricks"....but never a crime or a violation of the Constitution.
In other words, for Republicans and for those who serve Republicans, crimes.....any crimes.....that are committed to stop or impede the Democratic Party are not crimes at all. It's the same philosophy we've seen exposed in the torture episodes as well. The ends justify the means. Simple lawlessness.
While it is true that all politicians are not to be trusted.....when it comes to criminality, Republicans are now quite openly, casually and unashamedly, for it.