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Bush campaigner acquitted in New Hampshire phone jamming case

[JURIST] James Tobin [SourceWatch profile], President Bush's 2004 campaign chairman for New England, was acquitted [opinion, PDF] Thursday of federal telephone harassment charges for his alleged role in a 2002 phone-jamming scheme. In his ruling Thursday, US District Judge Steven McAuliffe said he was "constrained" by an earlier appeals court ruling [text; JURIST report] overturning Tobin's previous conviction. Tobin was convicted and sentenced to 10 months' imprisonment [JURIST report] in 2006 for his involvement in jamming phone lines to block Democratic voting drives [JURIST report] during the 2002 Senate election in New Hampshire, but the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit remanded the case to the district court because no intent to harass was alleged, proved, or disputed by the parties. Tobin has maintained his innocence throughout the case, claiming to have no knowledge of the 800 hang-up phone calls that were placed to interfere with Democratic get-out-the-vote campaigns. Republican candidate Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) [official website] won the 2002 Senate election by less than five percentage points. AP has more. The Union Leader has local coverage.

Allen Raymond, former president of Republican consulting group GOP Marketplace, received a five month sentence, and Chuck McGee, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party was sentenced to seven months in prison and $2,000 in fines [JURIST reports] in 2005 in connection with the scheme. McGee admitted that he paid a Virginia telemarketing company more than $15,000 to jam Democratic Party phone lines with computer-generated calls. In 2006, Shaun Hansen, former owner of the telemarketing firm Mylo Enterprises Inc., pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to two federal counts of conspiracy to commit interstate telephone harassment. A civil lawsuit brought by the New Hampshire Democratic Party against the New Hampshire Republican State Committee was settled [JURIST reports] in 2006 for $135,000.

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