Ken, Ken, Ken. [shakes head]
In the days before and after the state Republican Party’s 2002 Election Day phone-jamming scheme, the man who now chairs the Republican National Committee was the White House director of political affairs.
And a Democratic-affiliated advocacy group [The Senate Majority Project] says that court records show Ken Mehlman’s office received more than 75 telephone calls from now-convicted phone-jam conspirator James Tobin from Sept. 30 to Nov. 22 of that year.
Former state GOP executive director Chuck McGee admitted masterminding the scheme and served seven months in jail last year for it. Tobin was found guilty in December of federal telephone harassment charges for acting as a middle man. An appeal is expected if the trial court in Concord turns down his request for a new trial.
“All we have is the phone number and the fact that calls were made to the White House,” says SMP executive director Mike Gehrke, a former high-level Clinton administration staffer. “But we also know from the court record that a lot of other calls about the scheme were going on. For a period of time, this was the hot topic.
“With that many calls, I believe it’s inconceivable that there wasn’t some knowledge of this at the White House,” Gehrke said. “At the very least, it is evidence that there needs to be a bigger net cast here before the end of this case.”