GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkThe Possible Link Between Tom Delay And NH Election Tampering Scandal
04:27:03 PM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : News And Comment
Location : Nashua, NH

I haven't been following either the Tom Delay or Jack Abramoff cases all that closely, I've been aware of them both, of course, but not much more than to the level of understanding that the Delay case is about alleged illegal contributions to Texas campaigns that gave the GOP control over congressional redistricting, locking in GOP control of Texas; and that the Abramoff case involves lobbying, conflict of interest, Indian casinos, and money being redirected to campaign contributions.

Meanwhile, up here in New Hampshire we've had something going on for a few years now, revolving around the fact that GOP operatives conspired to jam the get-out-the-vote phone banks of the state Democratic party during the 2002 mid-term election that decided the successor to Bob Smith's seat in the Senate. This is not mere allegation. The state GOP chairman and the head of the telemarketing firm that did the jamminng have both been convicted on felony counts, and the Northeast field director for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is under indictment. (And by the way, the last of these fellows, James Tobin, was also New England Regional Director for the Bush campain in 2004.)

So what's the connection between these seemingly disparate bits of political misbehaviour? The Nashua Telegraph ran an AP article today that Americans for a Republican Majority, which is Delay's Political Action Committee and is at the heart of in the Texas charges against him, gave $5000 to the NH GOP just four days before the phone jamming occurred. And four days before that, two Indian tribes that have no direct interest in New Hampshire but were both clients of Abramoff each made identical $5000 donations to the NH GOP. That's $15,000 in last minute contributions, and guess what the fee paid to the convicted telemarketer was? $15,600.

I think I should start following both the Delay and Abramoff cases a little more closely. I understand that one of Delay's counter-claims is that the prosecutor in Texas is "trying to criminalize politics"... but it seems that we've already established beyond a reasonable doubt that politics was indeed being conducted criminally here in New Hampshire. So here at least it's the other way around: the GOP operatives criminalized politics, and Delay and Abramoff may be the ones who funded their criminal activities. Of course, it could all be a coincidence.

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