Tobin Turns To Appeals Court 

A former national Republican Party official

implicated in a 5-year-old phone jamming plot against New Hampshire

Democrats is asking a federal appeals court for the second time to

acquit him.

James Tobin of Bangor, Maine, has appealed U.S. District Judge

Stephen McAuliffe’s recent orders that set the stage for Tobin’s

new trial on phone harassment charges.

The trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday but is likely to be

delayed since the appeals court set a March 17th deadline for


Tobin was convicted in 2005 and faced 10 months in prison over

his alleged role in jamming get-out-the-vote phone banks run by

state Democrats and a union. Last year, an appeals court overturned

the conviction and sent it back to court in Concord, saying

McAuliffe’s jury instructions defining harassment were over-broad

and prejudicial to Tobin.

In September, Tobin’s attorneys asked McAuliffe to acquit Tobin,

saying his actions didn’t fit the statute and to try him again

under the same statute would mean double jeopardy. McAuliffe

instead issued orders scheduling a new trial.