According to AP, Democratic party chairman Howard Dean told a student audience in Miami that "some skulduggery in Washington" improperly led to Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett's decision to end his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Skullduggery or skulduggery. n. sneaky, dishonest behavior; trickery.
(Webster's New World College Dictionary)
So was skullduggery going on?
Hackett told Enquirer reporter Howard Wilkinson that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and other Democratic elected officials called potential campaign donors and asking them not to give to the Hackett campaign.
"I know there were calls to potential donors; people told me," Hackett said. "But that's OK. This is a big boy's game. I'm not crying in my soup over it."
According to Federal Election Commission regulations and an advisory opinion that FEC Chairman Michael Toner concurred with, it's actually illegal to use FEC reports to get names of donors so you can call them up and harass them or solicit them for donations in other campaigns. If Schumer or other officials used FEC reports to call donors, they could have violated the law.
DSCC: No skullduggery.
DSCC spokesman Phil Singer sent out this statement yesterday: "Neither the DSCC nor Senator Schumer reached out to donors to ask them to take sides in this race. Paul Hackett’s statesman-like decision will help us win one of the most important Senate races in the nation."