Tuesday, May 30, 2006

GOP Hires Felon Phone Jammer For 2006 Elections

How's this move from that reform-minded Republican Party? Via Political Wire, the Concord Monitor has the story:

A major figure in the Election Day phone-jamming scandal that embarrassed and nearly bankrupted the New Hampshire GOP is out of prison and back in the political game.

Charles McGee, the former executive director of the state Republican Party, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and served seven months for his part in the scheme to have a telemarketer tie up Democratic and union phone lines in 2002.

He's back at his old job with a Republican political marketing firm, Spectrum Monthly & Printing Inc., and will be helping out at the firm's "GOP campaign school" for candidates.

Richard Pease, the firm's co-president, said McGee would be available to advise candidates at the two-day event, planned for next weekend in Manchester. McGee's role at the school was reported Thursday by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

"Chuck will work with the candidates in any way they want," Pease said. "If they want his advice, if they want his . . . experience, it's there for them to take or leave."

Pease said he had no problem with McGee, who is a vice president in the firm, returning to advise politicians. "He made a mistake. He admitted to it. He served his time,"Pease said.

"He's certainly not going to be standing there and advocating breaking the law," Pease said. He said McGee declined to comment about his role at the school.

In court, McGee acknowledged that the phone-jamming of get-out-the-vote drives by Democrats and organized labor was his idea, inspired by a lesson he learned in the Marine Corps: cut off your opponent's communications. The calls had the desired effect for two hours the morning of Election Day, but then the scheme began to unravel. Two other people have been sentenced to prison in the phone jamming.

The news of McGee's role in the campaign school was seized on by Democrats, who have charged that Republicans in New Hampshire and Washington have not done enough to repudiate the jamming scheme's authors. Christy Setzer, a spokeswoman for a Democratic group called the Senate Majority Project, said Spectrum's clients include many of New Hampshire's most prominent Republicans.

"The very fact that they continue to associate with him and give him their money ... speaks volumes," she said.

You just can't afford to lose talent like this guy's got. There are only so many phone jammers/political con men around these days, you know?

I wonder if the GOP will continue to use Karl Rove as their major political consultant after he's indicted in the CIA leak case and/or had his plea deal with special prosecutor Fitzgerald revealed?

Give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are just bringing him on board to give tips to GOP lawmakers on how to survive in prison.
Good point, praguetwin. Or maybe they brought him in to run a "Scared Straight" seminar.
How come we can't ever catch up to them in dirty tricks? He's gonna run a scumbag school? Maybe we oughta be attending instead of complaining.
School for Scumbags? Wasn't that a Sheridan play?
I'm still getting over the fact that you can actually phone people during a campaign.
My first experience was a Fed campaign I ran here in Canada.
The Australian experience was quite different, call would be greeted with an invitation to stick the phone where the sun don't shine.
But the guy my man ran against here used a robot phone message very succesfully.
It occurred then just how that system could be used in other ways.
Live and learn.
I wish the Australian reaction (stick the call where the sun doesn't shine) was the reaction the world over. The phone calling system really does get abused here. Think about all those push polls politicians you use (typical push poll in West Virginia: "Have you heard Hillary's in favor of rampant lesbianism in the public school system? What are your thoughts on that?")
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