Here's a story that deserves a lot of attention. Did this happen anywhere else?
The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican party, Chuck McGee, has just resigned because the state party hired a telemarketing firm to jam the phone lines of the Democratic get-out-the-vote operation last election day. The immediate cause of his resignation actually appears to be the fact that he lied to The Manchester Union Leader for the article they published breaking the story in this morning's paper.
Now, in the free-for-all world of political telemarketing, there's what you might call an evolving standard for what's just playing hardball and what's way out of bounds. (What sounds criminal to some, is just ... well, 'innovative' to more creative minds.) But I think this clearly qualifies as way, way out of bounds. Indeed, it may have broken New Hampshire state laws against phone harassment. And New Hampshire authorities, in addition to pursuing the matter themselves, have passed the case on to the Justice Department.
The New Hampshire GOP hired 'GOP Marketplace' -- a Virginia-based telemarketing firm run by a Republican operative named Allen Raymond -- to do the deed. Actually, they subcontracted the deed to a phone bank shop out in Idaho, Milo Enterprises.
Now the New Hampshire GOP still seems to be claiming that they hired GOP Marketplace for their own get out the vote efforts. The argument seems to be that the state party paid for get-out-the-vote. But by the time the word got passed on to Milo Enterprises it had turned into instructions to make countless five-second hang-up calls to phone numbers of the Democratic coordinated campaign offices as well as the offices of the Manchester firefighters union, which was also doing get-out-the-vote work that morning. The state party's story still seems to be evolving.
Now, to refresh my memory, I went back and looked up the point spread on Senator John Sununu's close-call victory over out-going Governor Jeanne Shaheen. He won with 51% to her 47% with a Libertarian candidate picking up the other 2%. Honestly, that's too big a spread to overcome with solid phone banking, especially because this effort seemed to get cut short after a couple hours when Verizon intervened.
But cheating isn't okay just because you probably would have won anyway. What's more, was the New Hampshire GOP really the only state party getting these services from 'GOP Marketplace'? This sounds like an 'innovation' that a go-getter firm like 'GOP Marketplace' would want to peddle all over the place. There were a lot of close races last November. Did this happen anywhere else? Who else got help from 'GOP Marketplace'?