The NRSC, Haley Barbour, Thad Cochran and Karl Rove wish they’d been more…clandestine in their behind-the-scenes maneuvering in this past primary election. In fact, I’ll bet they hope to survive their fiasco without spending time in the gray-bar hotel.
Yesterday, a black minister accused the Cochran campaign of vote buying. That is illegal at both the state and federal level.
A black Mississippi pastor has emerged to claim Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) campaign paid “thousands” of Democrats $15 each to vote in the June 24 GOP runoff – and that he was Rev. Stevie Fielder, an associate pastor at First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, says Cochran’s campaign “told me to offer blacks $15 each and to vote for Thad.”
Fielder, who was paid by freelance journalist Charles C. Johnson for the story, provided a new outlet launched by Johnson—GotNews.com—with four text messages from a person purporting to be Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird.
The messages cite an official Cochran campaign email address—Saleem@ThadForMs.com—and include detailed discussions of the campaign providing envelopes of money to distribute to people who vote.
“Send me individual names and amounts along with home address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll have money separated in envelopes at the office waiting for you,” one message, sent three days before the runoff, says.
Fielder said he helped distribute the Cochran cash for votes on a promise of eventually getting paid $16,000—and because a key Cochran campaign staffer convinced him that Cochran’s conservative challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel was racist.
“They sold me on the fact that he was a racist and that the right thing to do was to keep him out of office,” Fielder said.
But Cochran’s campaign never paid, Fielder said.
Today, it has been disclosed that Haley Barbour was behind the racial robot calls against McDaniel.
On the Tuesday broadcast of his FOX News show, host Sean Hannity played a radio ad that aired in Mississippi during the Republican primary which clearly pitted State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Miss.) as a racist that wants to take away government benefits. The group responsible for that ad, Citizens for Progress, is reportedly backed by Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
“He’s got some answering to do on that,” Hannity said. — Real Clear Politics.
Neither story bodes well for Cochran, Barbour, et. al. There appears to be concrete proof supporting the accusation. It does not bode well for the NRSC, either, nor the GOP Washington establishment. More reports from Mississippi by McDaniel supporters say they will not vote for Cochran if he is still on the ballot come November. It could well be that a democrat is elected to the Senate this year in Mississippi.