James Tobin

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James Tobin, of Bangor, Maine, President George W. Bush's New England campaign chairman, was convicted December 15, 2005, on telephone harassment charges "for his part in a plot to jam the Democrats' phones on Election Day 2002." Tobin was acquitted by the federal jury on "the most serious charge against him, of conspiring to violate voters' rights." [1]

Tobin was sentenced May 17, 2006, "to 10 months in prison (minimum security recommended); 2 years probation, and a $10,000 fine. Bail pending appeal was denied and Tobin is scheduled to report on June 23, 2006." [2]

As New England campaign chairman for Bush-Cheney '04 Inc., Tobin stepped down two weeks before the election when state Democrats accused him of involvement in a phone-jamming scheme on Election Day 2002. Tobin was later indicted for conspiracy.

Tobin served as national political director for publisher Steve Forbes' Presidential campaign. He is an employee of the Washington, D.C.-based, DCI Group and also has his own consulting firm, Tobin & Co., based in Bangor, Maine. During the 2004 election cycle was a Bush Ranger, raising at least $200,000 for the Bush 2004 reelection effort. [3]

History

In November 2002, Tobin was regional director of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. On election day, computerized hang-up calls jammed phone lines set up by the New Hampshire Democratic Party and the Manchester firefighters' union. Over 800 phone calls were made to a get-out-the-vote phone bank over the course of two hours. The Senate contest in New Hampshire was between Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Rep. John E. Sununu. Sununu won by about 20,000 votes.

"Tobin reported to NRSCC executive director Mitch Bainwol and political director Chris LaCivita. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist chaired the NRSCC at the time," The Manchester Union Leader wrote. "Subsequently, Tobin and LaCivita worked together at DCI Group, a Washington GOP lobbying and public relations firm, along with Brian McCabe, a GOP activist who formerly worked in several roles in New Hampshire, including as a campaign manager for former U.S. Rep." Bill Zeliff.[4]

During the summer of 2004, Chuck McGee, former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and admitted paying $15,600 to an Alexandria, Virginia telemarketing company, GOP Marketplace, that hired another business to make the calls. Republican consultant Allen Raymond, GOP Marketplace's former president, also pleaded guilty in the summer to a conspiracy charge in federal court.[5] McGee sentencing date is Feb. 8, 2004; Raymond on March 7.

On December 1, 2004, Tobin was indicted by federal grand jury on four counts related to the get-out-the-vote phone-jamming. Tobin pleaded innocent to the charges. The indictment describes Tobin as the go-between who put McGee and Raymond in touch with each other. "The four-count indictment charges Tobin with conspiracy to commit telephone harassment and aiding and abetting telephone harassment. He is the highest-level Republican official to be implicated in the case and faces up to five years in prison if convicted," the Manchester Union Leader reported. [6] Tobin's trial was set for February 1, 2005, but has since been pushed back.

NB

Not to be confused with the Nobel Prize winning economist, James Tobin, who died in 2002.

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