The Tobin Case: “How High Does This Go”

More news today on the James Tobin case of thwarting voters in NH in 2002, that I reported on yesterday. Questions have arisen as to why exactly is the RNC paying for Tobin’s legal bills, and there is speculation from some that their doing so suggests that the RNC are protecting others.

Paul Twomey, a volunteer lawyer for New Hampshire Democrats who are pursuing a separate lawsuit involving the phone scheme, said he was surprised the RNC was willing to pay Tobin’s legal bills and that it suggested more people may be involved.

The new development “really raises the questions of who are they protecting, how high does this go and who was in on this,” Twomey said.

Federal prosecutors have secured testimony from the two convicted conspirators in the scheme directly implicating Tobin.

Charles McGee, the New Hampshire GOP official who pleaded guilty, told prosecutors he informed Tobin of the plan and asked for Tobin’s help in finding a vendor who could make the calls that would flood the phone banks.

Allen Raymond, a former colleague of Tobin who operated a Virginia-based telephone services firm, told prosecutors Tobin called him in October 2002, explained the telephone plan and asked Raymond’s company to help McGee implement it.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean questioned Ken Mehlman’s (RNC chairman and former White House political director) commitment to zero tolerance on voter suppression yesterday. “This is just another example of his say one thing, do another strategy. Ken Mehlman tells crowds his party is against voter fraud and intimidation, while in the backrooms he supports Republican officials who engage in these dirty tricks,” Dean said.

A copy of the Tobin indictment is here.

NOTE: The buzz on this story was noted yesterday on CNN’s “The Situation Room”

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