Vote Watch 2004
Vote/Election fraud, vote suppression, voting irregularities, voter intimidation in Election 2004

 

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Here, I use the definition of Swing States by the Swing State Project

Please select your state of interest to proceed. (If there is no link, that means there is no content for that state yet).

NEW HAMPSHIRE

11/16/04 [Permalink]
Kerry supporters in New Hampshire who had Kerry-Edwards signs found roofing nails in their driveway on election day

Via Votersunite, we have this report:

The election is over, but police are still investigating criminal acts in Wolfeboro that may have been politically motivated.

Several residents found roofing nails scattered in their driveways the morning of the election.

"I didn't really think much about it until the next day, and we heard other people had nails in their driveway, too," resident Steve Davis said.

Davis and his wife, Joyce Davis, said they realized that all the victims had Kerry-Edwards sign in their yards.

"To put nails in a driveway -- that just crosses the line," said Joyce Davis, who is also vice chairwoman of Wolfeboro Democrats. "I just don't understand. If the object was voter intimidation, that didn't work. It's just not funny."

Police said the nail incidents started right after a number of Kerry-Edwards signs were reported missing. Some residents reported that the nails were thrown directly underneath their back tires.

Police said it's fortunate no one got hurt. The 1-inch nails have a flat head and stand up easily, making it possible to puncture a tire or someone's foot. Many of the nails were discovered over the weekend when kids were out trick-or-treating.

"Everybody is passionate about their candidate, but this is just too much," Lt. Brian Black said. "It's not right."

Police said they are continuing to investigate the incidents.

 

11/2/04 [Permalink]
Bogus phone calls in New Hampshire tells Kerry supporters he is leading and that they don't need to go and vote

Via Campaign Desk, a report in TNR:

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE, 2:05 p.m.: First dirty trick of the day up here: The New Hampshire Democratic Party says somebody is making bogus phone calls that advise voters to sit out the election because Kerry is already so far ahead. According to a transcript of the call provided by the Dems: "So, if you're going down to vote you don't have to bother, because he's doing so well that we feel that there are enough people that have already voted in the state of New Hampshire."

The call is so ridiculous, it's hard to believe that anyone would take it seriously [eRiposte note: Really? Don't be too sure]. But Kathy Sullivan, the ever-quotable chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, described the calls as an "assault on our democracy" and said she's alerted the New Hampshire attorney general.

 

10/15/04 [Permalink] UPDATED 10/26/04
New England Chair of Bush-Cheney 04 - Jim Tobin - reported to be unindicted co-conspirator in 2002 GOP phone-jamming vote fraud scandal in New Hampshire which has already produced two felony guilty pleas; Bush Justice Department intervenes to prevent further depositions and delays fact finding, but Tobin resigns from current post (while denying wrong-doing)

Here's Josh Marshall:

Ya heard it here first.

And now the Manchester Union Leader comes on board.

The unindicted co-conspirator in a 2002 election fraud case, which has already yielded two felony guilty pleas, is none other than Jim Tobin, New England regional chair of Bush-Cheney 2004, according to court documents filed Thursday by the New Hampshire Democratic Party and now reported by the Manchester Union Leader.

Tobin is named, according to the Union Leader and TPM sources, in the plea agreements of Allen Raymond and Chuck McGee, the two men who have already pled guilty to felonies in the case.

Tobin, says the article, did not return calls requesting comment from the Union Leader Tuesday or Wednesday. Tobin has also not returned repeated calls over the last three months from TPM requesting comment on his alleged involvement in the case. TPM last attempted to contact Tobin on Sunday and Monday of this week.

Now the Justice Department is intervening to delay discovery and depositions that would almost certainly bring more of the facts to light before election day.

Tobin's alleged role has been an open secret for some time within the Bush campaign, political and journalistic circles in New Hampshire and, of course, among the lawyers involved in the case. But late Thursday the state Democratic party, which has been trying for months to get more information on what happened in this case, identified Tobin by name in a new court filing and the Union Leader ran the story.

A few questions ...

1. Why do Justice Department officials in Washington seem to be interfering in the legal proceedings surrounding this case to push depositions and discovery past November 2nd? (See the Union Leader article and today's court filing.)

2. When did the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign first learn of Tobin's alleged involvement in the phone-jamming case?

3. Does the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign believe that Tobin is an appropriate person to oversee the Bush campaign in New Hampshire and the rest of New England when his alleged involvement in this earlier election fraud case is still being investigated.

UPDATE 10/16/04:

Josh Marshall has a couple of updates. First, this:

Bush-Cheney New England campaign chair Jim Tobin resigns over election tampering scandal.

A few suggested questions for national political reporters needing to do catch-up on this story.

Tobin was named by the two men who've pled guilty in the case as part of their plea agreements. The Bush campaign has known for months of Tobin's involvement in this case. The only reason he resigned today is that this information was finally pried free from court documents. Why did they keep him in such a senior post if they knew of his role in such serious wrongdoing?

At the time the incident happened Tobin was the Northeast political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. This was under Sen. Bill Frist's tenure as chairman. Did anyone else at the NRSC know about this at the time?

Next:

Beside the Bush campaign angle to Jim Tobin's resignation today, there's the connection to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

At the time the election-tampering incident happened, Tobin was Northeast political director for the Committee. What now seems clear from the offers of proof of the two men who've pled guilty in the case is that the scheme was not a local affair but arranged through the NRSC or at a minimum through its regional political director, Tobin. This is, again, what the first man to plead guilty in the case, Allen Raymond, told prosecutor Todd Hinnen during his plea negotiations.

Which raises the question, is Tobin the only person at the NRSC who was aware of the scheme? And was this the only such scheme Tobin was involved in during his tenure at the NRSC, given that he had responsibility for several other hotly contested senate races that year?

During the 2002 election cycle, the Executive Director of the NRSC was Mitch Bainwol; the Political Director was Chris LaCivita. Bainwol is now Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). LaCivita now works for push-poll king Tom Synhorst's DCI Group and is also a senior advisor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Asking them might be a good place to start.

UPDATE 10/21/04:

Via reader PT, here's a report in the Nashua Telegraph:

Why is it taking the U.S. Justice Department so long to get to the bottom of the phone-jamming incident in the 2002 New Hampshire election?

The phone jamming, initiated by Republican campaign operatives to suppress Democrats from voting in that heated state election, doesn’t involve an entangled international conspiracy. Nor is it a plot with a cast of thousands.

Yet, two years later, the Justice Department is still plodding along in its investigation. So far, two of the parties in the phone-jamming incident have pleaded guilty.

Chuck McGee, the former executive director of the state Republican Party, pleaded guilty a few months ago to paying $15,600 to a Virginia telemarketing company to make the calls that jammed the get-out-the vote lines of Democrats the morning of the 2002 election.

The Virginia company then hired another firm to jam the lines. Allen Raymond, a GOP consultant and president of the Virginia company, has also pleaded guilty in the phone-jamming incident.

McGee and Raymond, in pleading guilty, said they had spoken about the phone-jamming operation with an unidentified official of a national political organization. Now the question is whether the responsibility for this abuse goes farther up the Republican campaign ladder.

Unfortunately, we’ll probably only know after Nov. 2. But the state Democratic Committee thinks there are other Republicans involved and, frustrated by the investigation’s slow pace, took matters into its own hands last week by going to the state Superior Court to get permission to question Republican officials believed involved in this incidence.

One of them is James Tobin, the New England campaign chairman for the re-election of President Bush.

Two years ago, Tobin was the northeast political director for the Republican Senatorial Committee. He stepped down Friday as New England campaign chairman for the Bush-Cheney ticket, but said it was only to prevent distractions in the campaign effort.

The 2002 race between then Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Rep. John Sununu for the U.S. Senate was the most heated of the contests that year and the dirtiest. The phone-jamming blocked get-out-the-vote efforts by Democrats in Nashua, Manchester and several other places for a couple of hours. That in itself may not have tilted the election, but it’s a blatant abuse of election laws.

Give credit to the state Democratic Committee for keeping the heat on this phone-jamming case. The Superior Court OK’d the committee’s request last week to obtain depositions, but the federal Justice Department then stepped in and brought the effort to a halt. It said allowing the taking of depositions now would mess up testimony from potential witnesses in criminal proceedings the department is working on and also in ongoing action before a federal grand jury.

It would be easy to accept the pleas from McGee and Raymond, punish them with fines and jail time, and call the case closed. Once an election is over, voters forget and move on to other controversies.

But if others were involved in this phone-jamming, they, too, ought to be brought to justice, except, it ought not to take years for this to happen.

Voter suppression tactics are the occasional topic of rumors on the political circuit. The 2002 incident in New Hampshire is one of the few that has led to convictions. Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan, in pressing for accountability in this incident, has rightfully refused to roll over and let bygones be bygones.

Vote suppression tactics interfere with the right of political parties to get out the vote and, in extreme cases, could intimidate people from voting. This case should be a warning that in New Hampshire that kind of chicanery won’t be considered business as usual.

Yet, it shouldn’t require many more months before the Justice Department gets to the bottom of this particular case and the identity of all the law breakers is made known. By then, the department’s findings may only produce yawns and suspicions of foot-dragging.

UPDATE 10/22/04

Josh Marshall notes this:

Back on July 1st a source first told me that Allen Raymond, the man at the heart of the New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal, had fingered Jim Tobin as one of his accomplices. (Tobin's role was reported first on TPM on October 11th.) Tobin, as we've noted earlier, was the New England regional director of the Bush-Cheney campaign until he resigned last Friday.

That's more than three and a half months ago. The Bush campaign has known at least since then. And I suspect much longer. And yet they left him in the post.

That means the campaign kept in place a man implicated in an election tampering scam that took place in the same part of the country over which the campaign had given him oversight.

What does that tell you?

Another point ...

To the best of my knowledge no political reporter covering the Bush campaign has asked a campaign spokesperson 1) when they found out about Tobin's role in the election tampering scheme and 2) why they didn't remove him from the campaign after they learned.

What does that tell you?

If anyone knows of a reporter who's asked or an article where an answer has been published, please let me know.

In other phone-jamming news, yesterday the Justice Department again went to the mat to prevent New Hampshire Democrats from gaining access to evidence about Tobin's role in the case.

 

UPDATE 10/26/04

Via Dailykos, Former NH GOP Senator Bob Smith flays the GOP for its actions:

I personally witnessed Mel Thomson, a Republican, ill and in severe pain, force himself up from his seat to shake hands with then recently elected Democrat Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. He did it because he was a gentleman, but he also did it to show respect for the governor and for the people who elected her in a fair election a few months before.

That was yesterday.

Today we hear news that Charles McGee, the former executive director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, and Allen Raymond, a GOP consultant, pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from their involvement in the jamming of telephones on Election Day, Nov. 5, 2002. Democrats' computer-generated calls to get out the vote were blocked and thus voters did not receive the intended message due to illegal action by some in the Republican Party [...]

This is a far cry from the party of Lincoln that proudly and correctly stood on principle to outlaw slavery. It is a far cry from the party of great and principled statesmen like Mel Thomson, Norris Cotton, Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt. What a contrast between those great Republicans and current party leaders, who refuse to speak out against this despicable action by pathetic political hacks.

James Tobin, President Bush's 2004 New England campaign chairman and the Northeast political director of the Republican Senatorial Committee in 2002, said, "These allegations date back to years and have absolutely nothing to do with the present campaign."

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Mr. Tobin, these allegations have everything to do with the present campaign because the people must feel confident that the 2002 election fraud will not be repeated. The best way to restore confidence is for all those involved to tell the truth now.

Both parties have a right to expect a fair election result even if it is not always a favorable one. Tobin also said, "It is disappointing, indeed, to see the opposition party (Democrats) manipulate the court system in a blatant attempt to influence the election."

What a mind-numbing hypocritical answer that is! Who is trying to influence elections, Mr. Tobin? Please do not insult us further.

New Hampshire Democrat Party Chair Kathy Sullivan said, "The public should know Tobin's role in this, along with the roles of any other high-level GOP officials."

Kathy and I have not agreed very often, but she is absolutely correct. We need the truth now to restore confidence in the coming election. She has a right to be angry. Can you imagine the Republican outrage if the Democrats had been guilty of similar conduct? Does a party that refuses to tell the truth before Election Day deserve our vote on election day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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