Case set­tled

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

State and na­tional Repub­li­cans will pay $135,000 to settle a suit in­volvin­gascheme­to­jamDemo­cratic get-out-the-vote calls in New Hamp­shire on Elec­tion Day 2002, of­fi­cials said Dec. 2.

“Al­though we be­lieved our case was very strong, the cost of the trial as well as ex­pected ap­peals by the New Hamp­shire Demo­cratic Party would have eas­ily matched or ex­ceeded the present value of the set­tle­ment,”stateRepub­li­canChair­man Wayne Sem­prini said.

Repub­li­cans had hired a tele­mar­ket­ing firm to place hun­dreds of hang-up calls to phone banks for the Demo­cratic Party and the Manch­ester fire­fight­ers union, a non­par­ti­san­groupof­fer­ingridestothe­p­olls. Ser­vice­was­dis­rupt­ed­forn­ear­lytwo hours.

Democrat­shad­want­ed­morethan $4 mil­lion in dam­ages — the cost of seven months’ work for the get-out­the-vote ef­fort. Repub­li­cans main­tainedthattheyshoul­don­ly­have­had to pay about $4,000 — the cost of rental and use of the phones.

Mr.Sem­prin­i­saidtheRepub­li­can StateCom­mit­teede­ploredthe­p­hone­jam­ming in­ci­dent and does not en­dorse il­le­gal or im­proper elec­tion tac­tics.

The state party will pay $125,000 over five years, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports. The Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee and the Na­tional Repub­li­can Sen­a­to­rial Com­mit­tee will pay $5,000 each. Half of that money will go to a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion ben­e­fit­ing Manch­ester fire­fight­ers, and halftoa­groupthat­sup­port­spo­lice­of­fi­cers, who in­ves­ti­gated the case.

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