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Sentence sought in GOP phone jam scheme

CONCORD, N.H. --Federal prosecutors recommended a two-year prison sentence for a former Republican National Committee official convicted in an Election Day phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats.

James Tobin of Bangor, Maine, was found guilty in December on two telephone harassment charges. He faces up to seven years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

"Overcome by his desire for success in the election, Tobin exercised his considerable authority to make the phone jamming scheme succeed, rather than stop it," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing document posted late on Wednesday.

Messages left Thursday with defense lawyers in Concord and Washington, D.C., were not immediately returned. Tobin is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday. His lawyers have asked for a new trial.

Tobin, 45, stepped down as New England chairman of President Bush's re-election campaign in 2004 when Democrats accused him of playing a role in the phone scheme on Election Day 2002. At the time of the jamming, Tobin was serving as regional political director for the RNC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

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