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May 23, 2014

More Mudslinging In Mississippi

Earlier this week I wrote about the charges and counter-charges being thrown around in the Mississippi GOP Senate primary race. In addition to the arrest of the blogger who took and posted a photo of Senator Thad Cochran's wife in her nursing home room, 3 other men have been arrested in connection with the case.

Naturally Team GOP has continued it's McCarthyite guilt by association tactics claiming that Cochran's challenger is connected to the men arrested and to the alleged conspiracy.

The National Republican Senatoral Campaign spokesman went so far to say it was "false" of me to say there was nothing connecting Cochran's opponent, State Senator Chris McDaniel, or his campaign to the alleged wrong doing.

Well, you can believe a paid hack or the prosecutor in the case.

Michael Guest, the district attorney for Madison and Rankin counties, told Simmons that he doesn't believe anyone with the McDaniel campaign is involved.

The Republican spokesman's response is that the DA has "not cleared" McDaniel or his campaign. FTR...the DA also has "not cleared" Thad Cochran either. You see DA's don't "clear" people, they investigate and they either charge people with a crime or they don't. It takes a particularly perverted mind to turn that basic fact into not only guilt by association but also a presumption of guilt which is rather antithetical to the American sense of justice.

But let's talk about associations.

And you'd think someone with this association in his past would be a little more discrete in making guilt by association arguments.

Meanwhile, the Republicans really think they have something because one of the guys arrested replaced McDaniel in a radio station job when McDaniel quit after winning his state senate seat. It seems McDaniel occasionally appeared on the show with the guy who followed him so obviously...yeah I don't know.

Don't worry though Team GOP, apparently the radio guy isn't the big, damning connection McDaniel has to the arrested men. No, the connections go much deeper than that according to the paper that broke the story and continues to carry Cochran's water on it. Be prepared to be shocked at how connected McDaniel is to one of the arrested men.

[Mark] Mayfield's connection to the McDaniel campaign seems to be the strongest. Mayfield is listed as the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, which was quick to endorse McDaniel when he announced his candidacy. Mayfield was also one of the more active volunteers with the campaign. He helped distribute literature and yard signs. The Ridgeland attorney repeatedly posted in Facebook comments about where people could pick up campaign material and about upcoming events. Mayfield apparently volunteered in a campaign office on Lakeland Drive in the shopping center behind Mugshots. And Mayfield contributed $500 to McDaniel's campaign.

But Mayfield's political involvement also extended into McDaniel's work as a state senator. Mayfield was at the Capitol often during legislative sessions, and he helped organize political events aimed at fiscal issues pushed by the Senate Conservative Coalition, which McDaniel started. In 2009, Mayfield helped organize the first Tax Day Tea Party event in the state with WJNT radio host Kim Wade. One of the headliners of that event was McDaniel.

Whoa! Stop the presses ladies and gentlemen. The man McDaniel is most connected to in all of this handed out yard signs and posted things on facebook. Well, that's an open and shut case if ever there was one.

And while we're smearing politicians for tenuous connections to tea party activists, let's remember Cochran's very real connections to convicted felon Jack Abramoff. Not only did Cochran's aide of 29 years plead guilty of selling his office to Abramoff, Cochran himself received tens of thousands of dollars from Abramoff related sources.

We cover this race on the podcast and Ace makes a point I haven't seen anyone else making...the charges represent an unethical use of law enforcement in order to stifle a legitimate act of journalism. The podcast is up and linked in the sidebar.

This race is pretty much the "tea party's" last chance this cycle to beat an incumbent GOP Senator. The race maybe getting tighter based on a single poll or maybe it's an outlier. You have to think though that given the length Team GOP is going to destroy McDaniel they are more than a little worried.

The primary is June 3rd.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:38 AM

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