Former State GOP Leader Charged In Phone Bank Conspiracy

CONCORD, N.H. — The former executive director of the state Republican Party has been charged with conspiring to jam six Democratic phone banks on Election Day 2002.

Chuck McGee faces federal charges that he hired the Alexandria, Va., firm GOP Marketplace to make repeated hang-up calls to the phone banks on Nov. 5, 2002, The Union Leader reported Saturday.

He is also accused of providing GOP Marketplace with the phone numbers to jam.

McGee declined to comment on the charges Friday. He is scheduled to enter a plea in U.S. District Court on July 28.

Federal law makes it a crime to conspire to make interstate calls “without disclosing the caller’s identity and with the intent to annoy … or harass any person at the called number.”

The former president of GOP Marketplace, Allen Raymond, pleaded guilty June 30 to hiring another firm, Milo Enterprises of Idaho, to make the computer-generated phone calls. Raymond was freed on personal recognizance pending a sentencing hearing in November.

The computer-generated calls went to lines set up for voters who needed rides to the polls in Manchester, Nashua, Rochester and Claremont. The Manchester firefighters’ union phone lines also were affected.

The calls lasted for about two hours before Verizon tracked down the caller and broke the jam.

Many state and federal races were decided that day, including the U.S. Senate race between outgoing Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Rep. John Sununu. Sununu won.

In early 2003, McGee resigned after Manchester police said they had alerted federal prosecutors to the phone-jamming operation. He denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of the contract.

At the time, state GOP chairwoman Jayne Millerick said the party had paid GOP Marketplace $15,600 for telemarketing services to encourage people to vote Republican, not to jam the lines.

Two months after resigning, McGee was named state director of the fiscally conservative lobbying group Citizens for a Sound Economy.

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