23 March 2006

Did White House Direct Phone Jamming Scheme?

From the DNC - March 23, 2006

Washington, DC - A new report suggests that the national Republican establishment--including the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and even the Bush White House--may have had a role in the criminal Election Day phone jamming scheme that disenfranchised countless New Hampshire voters in 2002.

The Union Leader today reported that "court records show Ken Mehlman's office received more than 75 telephone calls from now-convicted phone-jam conspirator James Tobin from Sept. 30 to Nov. 22 of that year." At the time, Mehlman--the current RNC Chair--was White House political director. [Union Leader, 3/23/06] This raises the disturbing question of whether Tobin, who worked for the RNC and the NRSC at the time and has since been convicted on two criminal charges for his role in the scheme, discussed the plan with one of the President's most important political strategists.

Today's news also has important implications for other national Republican figures. At the time the phone jamming scheme was devised and implemented, Tobin's supervisor at the RNC was Terry Nelson, who Arizona Republican Senator John McCain recently hired as a senior strategist for his Political Action Committee. This means that McCain may have hired one of the key figures in the phone jamming scheme.

"Each new development in this case raises troubling questions about the extent to which key national Republicans had knowledge of or were involved in a criminal scheme to keep New Hampshire voters from getting to the polls," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Luis Miranda. "The revelation that, in the days leading up to the phone-jamming campaign, Ken Mehlman spoke regularly with a man who has been convicted of criminal charges in this case raises deeply disturbing questions about the Bush White House's commitment to protecting fundamental right of Americans to vote.

[...] McCain Strategist Terry Nelson Served As Middleman in DeLay TRMPAC Money Laundering Scheme, Named in Indictment and Had to Testify. Before the 2002 election, John Colyandro, the executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority, sent a blank check to Jim Ellis. According to the indictment, Ellis, who ran DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority, negotiated an exchange of corporate money for campaign donations with Terry Nelson, RNC Political Director.


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