Gina Miller
Thad Cochran's dirty dealings in Mississippi
By Gina Miller
June 30, 2014

It's been a week since we witnessed here in Mississippi one of the most dastardly, corrupt Republican run-off election schemes we've ever seen. By now, you know much of the story. 42-year Washington incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran was almost certain to lose the Republican primary run-off to conservative Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel. Cochran had already lost the first primary election to McDaniel, but sadly, McDaniel was just shy of the 50 percent of the vote needed to secure the win. So, former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a close ally of Cochran, and his Democrat surrogates, went to work on a despicable, lying, fear-mongering, "vote buying" scheme to deceive and entice black Democrats into crossing over and giving Cochran their votes, many of which are turning out to be fraudulent. Cochran was given the Republican nomination "victory" by Democrats, not Republicans.

Hoping to challenge the election results, the McDaniel campaign and volunteers are currently combing through voter rolls across the state to identify Democrat voters who illegally cast votes in the Republican run-off. While we have an open primary system in Mississippi, it remains illegal to vote in a primary election under one party and then turn around and vote in a run-off under a different party. It's also illegal – although difficult to enforce until after the fact – to support a candidate in the primary who you don't intend to support in the general election.

As of now, they have found 1,500 illegal Democrat votes in one county alone. There's also the question of potentially illegal absentee ballots, of which there was a much greater number in the run-off than the primary. As reported by Matthew Boyle at Breitbart's Big Government:

According to data compiled by GOP operative [Gregg] Phillips, there was a significant spike in absentee ballots for the runoff over the primary. Between both the Democratic and Republican primaries on June 3, there were a total of 18,036 absentee ballots cast. In the runoff on June 24 – between the statewide GOP runoff and the low-profile third congressional district Democrat runoff – there were 19,144 absentee ballots cast.

"When you look at what causes voting behaviors to radically change, in the absence of a demographic shift, in the absence of any single point of departure, in three weeks what could cause such a shift?" [Catherine] Engelbrecht asked.

"Here's the things that we know: We know that mail-in absentee ballots were not subject to Mississippi's new voter identification regulations," Engelbrecht stated, adding:

We know that, historically speaking, in the last several years, there have been numerous people jailed for absentee ballot harvesting and falsification of identities using absentee ballots. And we know of the Breitbart News video showing that absentees were again being harvested in the runoff and primary. I would go so far as to say when I tried to go and look at the absentee ballot applications this past week at two separate courthouses, I was not allowed to look at them.

Right now, Engelbrecht says, election officials and state GOP officials are not being forthcoming with absentee ballot applications. Her group has publicly called on Mississippi GOP Chairman Joe Nosef to refrain from certifying Tuesday's runoff election until all the absentee ballots and applications are verified. Nosef hasn't responded to a request from Breitbart News about whether he'll comply with the request to verify those votes before certifying the election. He also has not responded to a request about a call from McDaniel to intervene and order state party officials across Mississippi to cooperate with McDaniel's allies who seek to verify the election's outcome.

So, we can add obstructionist insult to election-stealing injury. And, it's not just the fraudulent votes and ballots and residents being denied access to view the voter rolls. There are the lying robo-calls and fliers distributed in black communities, and also numerous reports of money being handed out, "vote buying," as incentive for Democrats to support Cochran in the run-off.

Yes, we know election laws were broken, but what's just as bad is that we're seeing a Republican establishment that is so desperate to hold onto its power that there is literally no unethical thing it won't do. We're used to Democrats telling blatant lies to push their agenda and engaging in shady, criminal election activity, but we have not often seen Republicans stoop to such in-your-face dirty tricks, giving the proverbial middle finger to the will of their conservative base while viciously and falsely painting us TEA Partiers as racists to woo Democrats. It's hellish.

The Republicans in Mississippi voted overwhelmingly for Chris McDaniel in the run-off election, but Thad Cochran was chosen by black Democrats (many of whom voted illegally) who stupidly believed the lies the Barbour-Cochran Democrat surrogates spread about the intentions of the TEA Party movement. In the lowest form of slimy race-baiting, a flier handed out to black Democrats, falsely claimed the TEA Party intended to prevent them from voting in the run-off. It's an absurd, devilish claim. While no TEA Partier would dream of such a thing (we're not New Black Panthers, after all), we were naturally concerned that there would be illegal votes cast by Democrats who had already voted in the Democrat primary. Of course, we were right. Nor are we naïve enough to believe these "crossover" Democrats will support Cochran in the general election – further breaking the law with their fraudulent votes.

Writing at WorldNetDaily, Leo Hohmann quoted Chris McDaniel in his appearance on Sean Hannity's television show:

McDaniel said Cochran used "race-baiting, lies and distortions," to push out the Democrat vote.

"We've found widespread irregularities of ineligible voters that should not have been there in the first place," McDaniel told Hannity. "And they were pushed there – this is what's shocking, Sean – they were pushed there by an overt action, an aggressive action on the part of Sen. Cochran's campaign, that was filled with race-baiting, lies, distortions. He literally ran the latter three weeks on food stamps. He ran on voter suppression and he ran on pork. Mississippi is a conservative state, and one would think that our party was a conservative party, but this proves otherwise."

Mr. Hohmann concluded his WorldNetDaily piece:

Wesley Pruden, another longtime political analyst and editor emeritus of the Washington Times, concluded in a June 26 op-ed piece that the victory in Mississippi could cost the Republican establishment considerable collateral over the long run. Pruden saw the handiwork of former Gov. Haley Barbour all over the campaign to keep Cochran in Washington.

"K Street won a big one Tuesday night in Mississippi. ... After [Cochran] ran a close second in the preferential primary, he was widely regarded as a dead duck," Pruden wrote. "The men with the most to lose if the senator lost, led by Haley Barbour, the former governor and a big-time Washington lobbyist, went to work."

Whether they acted legally or not, "it was a breathtaking act of betrayal of the people who thought Thad Cochran was an honorable man," he continued. "The black preachers and politicians, Democrats all, now rightly claim credit for saving Cochran from the evil tea-party Republicans, and they're entitled to their reward, such as it may be. They should bear in mind that the senator is not likely to show any more loyalty to them than he has shown to his own party. He will likely disappoint everyone but the lobbyists who used race and resentment to aid his escape from oblivion. If he wants to do the really honorable thing, he would consider switching parties.

"Betrayal is a dangerous game," Pruden concluded. "The gains are nearly always for a shorter term than expected."

Whatever the outcome of this investigation and possible challenge to the election results by Chris McDaniel's campaign, and whether or not Chris decides to run as a third-party write-in candidate in the general election, Thad Cochran is foolishly deceiving himself if he believes for a minute that he will get the votes in November of the thousands of true conservatives upon whom he callously spit. We will NEVER vote for him!

© Gina Miller


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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