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Official Denies Link to Phone Plot

April 12, 2006|From the Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A former White House political director denied Tuesday that he or anyone on his staff spoke with New England Republicans about a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002.

Ken Mehlman, now chairman of the Republican National Committee, acknowledged that local GOP officials had called a White House operative in the days surrounding the election. But he said none of the talks involved the phone-jamming incident.

"My staff and I regularly communicated with competitive congressional campaigns and Republican Party organizations," Mehlman said.

On Nov. 5, 2002, repeated hang-up calls jammed telephone lines at a Democratic get-out-the-vote center during a New Hampshire Senate race in which Republican John E. Sununu defeated Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, 51% to 46%.

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