Imagine that. Back a year and a half ago, we here at TPM went on for several days telling you about the case of Allen Raymond, once head of GOP Marketplace LLC, a phone bank operation, and all-around GOP jack-of-all-trades.
As we reported back then, the New Hampshire GOP had hired him to do phone banking work on election day 2002 when Senator John Sununu pulled off his close-call victory over out-going Governor Jeanne Shaheen.
Somehow, though -- and it's always amazing how these things happen -- that innocent effort turned into a campaign to jam the phone lines of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote operation on election day, with a phone bank out in Idaho making 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 Executive Director of the New Hampshire GOP, Chuck McGee, resigned -- not because he hired Raymond but because he lied about it to the local paper. McGee, of course, had no idea how things had gone so terribly awry. And before long he had resurfaced as the state head of Citizens for a Sound Economy, C. Boyden Gray's anti-tax outfit that the old Bushie now runs with Dick Armey.
In any case, the hunt was on to find out how this dreadful misunderstanding had taken place.
We did our own bit of sleuthing and found out that Raymond was also the Executive Director of the Republican Leadership Council -- an outfit run by a long list of Republican worthies -- and that his company had done phone banking for them on election day too. And Steve Kornacki of PoliticsNJ.com found out that Raymond also seemed to be behind another phone banking scandal in New Jersey.
(If you're interested in all the gory details, go to the TPM seach page and stick in Raymond's name.)
In any case, as you might expect, Raymond denied the whole thing. Until today that is, when he copped a plea in U.S. District Court in Concord.
In a statement out today, the Executive Director of the state Democrats, Michael Vlacich, says, "While Allen Raymond of GOP Marketplace was charged in this case, the US Attorney makes it clear that there are co-conspirators, both known and unknown. We urge the U.S. Attorney to continue working to bring all of the people involved in this matter to justice."