New indictment against GOP official on '02 jamming

Posted Oct. 14, 2008, at 1:41 p.m.

PORTLAND — A former Republican Party official accused of taking part in a plot to jam Democratic Party phone lines on Election Day 2002 in New Hampshire is facing new charges.

James Tobin of Bangor has been indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of making false statements to an FBI agent in 2003. Each count carries potential jail time.

The indictment is the latest twist in the case of Tobin, whose conviction of telephone harassment charges was overturned last year.

Tobin was accused of helping arrange more than 800 hang-up calls that jammed get-out-the-vote phone lines set up by the New Hampshire Democratic Party and the Manchester, N.H., firefighters’ union for about two hours.

At the time, Tobin was a top regional official with the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, overseeing Senate campaigns in several states.

He went on to serve as President Bush’s New England re-election chairman in 2004, but resigned after the allegations surfaced.

Phone records introduced at Tobin’s trial show he made two dozen calls to the White House political office within three days around Election Day as the jamming operation was finalized, carried out and abruptly shut down.

Tobin did not immediately respond to a message left at his home Tuesday.

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