Searchlight To Rig an Election

Fox Searchlight has acquired Billy Ray’s fact-based “How to Rig an Election” reports Variety.

The “Shattered Glass” and “Breach” helmer penned and will direct the story which traces GOP operative Allen Raymond?Äôs downfall following a campaign to jam phone lines at Democratic Party headquarters in an effort to swing a 2002 Senate election in New Hampshire.

After rising through the ranks by using such tricks as calling voters during the Super Bowl to hype a rival candidate, Raymond made his boldest move during a tight New Hampshire race between Democrat Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Rep. John Sununu.

Raymond enlisted a telemarketer vendor to dump so many automated calls into phone banks at Democratic HQ that outgoing calls were impossible. Shaheen lost by about 20,000 votes, and other local candidates lost by less.

The ruse drew federal scrutiny, and Raymond eventually pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in federal court and served three months. His alleged accomplice, a high-ranking Republican campaign operative named Jim Tobin, pleaded not guilty, was convicted and had the verdict overturned.

Searchlight, which acquired the rights to the Raymond memoir in January, is eyeing a 2009 production start.