The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 December 2005

A presumption of sleaze

The Republican Party would like you to know that it, unlike its major competitor, doesn't round up felons or people from some other jurisdiction or the deceased on election day.

They would also like you to think that they, the Grand Old Party, are above such things. An example:

Attorneys for an accused conspirator in a 2002 Republican phone-jamming scandal want no suggestions made in an upcoming trial that the Republican National Committee or its U.S. Senate campaign affiliate paid for the illegal operation.

The request for special jury instructions to that effect and for deletions on certain documents was made yesterday by the RNC-paid lawyers for former RNC official James Tobin.

Which you might think is odd, since prosecutors weren't planning to suggest that:

[U.S. District Court Judge Steven J.] McAuliffe said that undisputed evidence shows a $15,600 check to pay for hundreds of hang-up calls to Democratic and union get-out-the-vote phone banks on election day morning, 2002, was drawn on the New Hampshire Republican State Committee's war chest.

Andrew Levchuck, the justice department prosecutor, said the RNC and NRSC contributed about $200,000 to the state committee prior to the election, but said he intends to present no evidence suggesting any of it was for the express purpose of funding the phone jam.

McAuliffe wanted to know why, then, Tobin's attorneys were concerned about it.

You know, it might just have something to do with the fact that the RNC has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Tobin's defense so far.

If this is taking the moral high road, I'd hate to see the back-alleys.

(Via Jay Tea.)

Update, 16 December: Tobin is convicted on two of the three charges.

Posted at 8:43 AM to Political Science Fiction

TrackBack: 10:40 AM, 4 December 2005
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