Late Monday night evidence surfaced which might prove that the Cochran campaign was buying Democratic votes for cash. The story was released by the website gotnews.com and it detailed how an African-America pastor, Stevie Fielder, associate minister of the First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian, was recruited by the Cochran campaign to be the "bag man" for delivering cash for votes. According to Fielder, who was interviewd by gotnews.com, he was approached by Saleem Baird, a campaign operative for the Cochran campaign as well as a full time staffer for Senator Roger Wicker, the other Republican Senator from Mississippi, and asked to help in a get-out- the vote campaign of Democrats for Cochran. He was allegedly given instructions to discuss and present a flyer to African-American Democrats stating that McDaniel was a racist and had to be stopped. Fielder was additionally told to entice their votes by providing them a small stipend of $15 per voter for their efforts. Sounds like a new rendition of the old Chicago and Philadelphia "walk around money game" used by political campaigns in bygone years.
Baird is not above shenanigans as he was charged in 2011 for operating an unlicensed strip club in Jackson, but the charges were later dropped after which Wicker's office retained his services. And Reverend Fielder stated that he believed Baird's charges of racism by McDaniel and that was his prime motivation for taking the action, however, he was also offered a $16,000 payment when the campaign was complete. He also stated that he would likely have been skeptical of the offer had not Baird also been an African-American.
Later, when Baird reneged on providing his agreed to payment, Fielder became upset and he also had remorse for his actions, saying he later realized that McDaniel was no racist and that he had been set up.
He provided several emails to Charles Johnson, operator of gotnews.com from Baird (Saleem@ThadforMS.com) which validated his statements,even indicating that he had talked with Kirk Sims, Cochran's campaign manager about his duties.
According to election law attorney Trey Traynor, a Mississipi-licensed attorney, if this information is fully validated and found to be true, Mississippi statutes against such action exist and they would likely apply to Cochran directly, as well as those who took the actions on his staff.
And there is also the matter as to whether or not those who voted were eligible to vote. Democrats are only allowed to vote for a Republican in a runoff if they did not vote in their own party primary previously. The McDaniel campaign has found a significant number of irregularities in this regard but they are having difficulty in some counties due to lack of cooperation by election officials.
This needs to stop immediately, and the Governor, a Republican, should also step in to demand that all of the details be investigaged fully and openly. Mississippi has had a sordid reputation for voting discrepancies over the years and she needs to fully and honestly insure that the election results reflect the true vote. And the efforts of Republican Establishment, both in Jackson and D.C. which contributed about a million dollars to this final effort are disgraceful. They clearly don't represent the tenet that millions of Americans claiming to be Republicans expect. Frankly, they look like dirty tricks stolen from a Democratic playbook.
If McDaniel doesn't get a fair hearing, I hope he might consider a write-in campaign or maybe a run as an independent. He is dynamic, young, and Conservative and I feel he would certainly make a great addition to the small nucleus of Conservatives like Ted Cruze and Mike Lee in the fight for liberty in the Senate. Perhaps a write-in effort, tailored after that done by Lisa Murkowski in Alaska when she defeated Republican primary winner Joe Miller by write-ins in 2012, would be the best route. I even have a twitter slogan for such a campaign, #JustMurkowksiCochran.
C'mon Mississippi, come clean for your voters and do the right thing. Bring fresh conservative blood to Washington and clear out the "stale and mossy" atmosphere. America needs all the conservative change it can get in our nation's beleaguered capital.