April 17, 2007, 2:05 P.M.
The Omnipotent RNC: On Wednesday, March 21, 2007 the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the phone jamming conviction of James Tobin, a former Republican National Committee official. Tobin had been convicted in December of 2005 for his role in a plot to disrupt Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts by tying up phone lines in New Hampshire on Election Day in 2002. Tobin’s case has been sent back to Federal District Court in New Hampshire for a possible retrial.
Tobin’s conviction was initially significant because of his ties to the RNC, and because the RNC paid for Tobin’s defense. There was also evidence that the White House was told by former RNC chairman Ed Gilespie that the RNC intended to pay Tobin’s legal bills, and that Tobin made dozens of phone calls to the White House on the day before and on the morning of Election Day 2002.
Of course, the fact that the White House was informed by the RNC chairman, either before or after the decision was made to pay for Tobin’s defense, takes on new focus in light of recent revelations around RNC e-mail accounts used by White House officials, the investigation of Abramoff’s connections with the White House by the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney firings, and the notorious “lost e-mails.” The RNC has been used by Rove and others to continue to operate their political machine from the White House without the burden of public disclosure or accountability.
The common denominator in every political shady deal that has become a public crisis since Bush took office is the White House. Furthermore, one name keeps popping up in every one of these deals; Karl Rove. The e-mail mess just confirms that the RNC is just another political arm on a string controlled by the puppet master Rove. The lost e-mails themselves may only touch lightly on the Gonzales issue, in fact they are more likely to have gotten lost as a result of the Abramoff investigation.
The Justice Department has been investigating connections between the White House and Jack Abramoff for over a year. The inquiry has focused on allegations that Abramoff obtained political favors from the White House in exchange for bribes in the form of meals, travel and expensive tickets to sporting events. The fact that Rove's e-mil messages have been deleted is expected, according to Scot Paltrow’s April 16 article in the Wall Street Journal, to raise “…concern on Capitol Hill about possible destruction of evidence relevant to the Abramoff-White House inquiry.”
It’s not surprising that the White House, and Rove in particular, wants to so staunchly defend a partisan like Gonzales. After all, with Gonzales at the helm of Justice, the very same Justice that is investigating the missing e-mails, must give Rove, Cheney, the RNC, and Bush some comfort. This is also the same head of Justice who orchestrated the dismissal of 8 United States Attorneys because they failed or refused to toe the political lines drawn by Rove and company. Lest we forget, Gonzales began the process from the White House before he became Attorney General.
The use of the RNC e-mail accounts is but another method by which Rove and others in the White House have skirted, bent and most likely broken the law in order to attempt to preserve Rove's idea of a political dynasty. The tentacles of this monster are wrapped, like a cancer, around every aspect of government. The connections run in and through state party affiliates (like New Hampshire's) and into private businesses (like Halliburton). Every shady political deal uncovered, and finally investigated, since the Republican stranglehold on Congress was broken shows signs of running through the RNC e-mail accounts at the White House. We may never know, however, because someone accidentally pressed delete when Karl was preparing to turn over all of his e-mails in an effort to fully and completely cooperate with a co-equal branch of government in its investigation of possible wrongdoing.