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June 23, 2014

Mississippi Senate Race Takes An Ugly Turn...Another Cochran Staffer Arrested

In a race marked by ugly accusations, dirty tricks and allegations of law breaking we have one more before tomorrow's runoff.

Lee Ellis Blair, a member of the DeSoto County GOP executive committee and Cochran campaign staffer, was arrested late Sunday and charged with “malicious mischief,” according to a partially redacted copy of the police report provided to Breitbart News.

“He's fired. Unlike Chris McDaniel, we don't tolerate that type of behavior,” said Cochran's spokesman, Jordan Russell, in an email.

The police report alleged Blair “did willfully, unlawfully and maliciously or mischievously disfigure, destroy, injure (or cause to be) a Chris McDaniel campaign sign, the personal property of Tea Party Express.

I suppose it's good news that the Cochran campaign fired the alleged miscreant but it does raise troubling allegations about Cochran and his judgement. After all, this isn't the first time a Cochran aide has found themselves in trouble with law enforcement.

While some Cochran supporters might try and draw parallels to the despicable video of Mrs. Cochran in her nursing home room, it's important to remember that none of the people arrested in that case actually worked for the McDaniel campaign.

Again, it's a question of judgement in the people one chooses to associate ones self with.

Speaking of which...if you wonder why all of the Mississippi GOP establishment is turning out for good old Thad, let's just say they have a stake in his continued success.

Pork, which Cochran is great at bringing back to Mississippi can actually retard economic activity while enriching lobbyists and cronies.

[Former Mississippi Governor Haley] Barbour and Cochran scored a big victory in 2008 when they brought $580 million in federal money for low-income housing, and then diverted it to an economic development project in the Port of Gulfport, promising 5,000 jobs.

Five years later, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development studied the project and found that the pork project has failed to deliver. "They're still spending money. Money is going out every month and nothing is being done,” Glenn Cobb of the Port's Pathways to the Port Jobs Program said on the local Fox affiliate. “It was told to us that they created something around 1,000 jobs," for port workers, but Cobb "found out it was only roughly 50 jobs.”

The federal money helped build up the port, but the project used up some resources, such as equipment and material, that could have gone to more economically productive activities in the state.

Yes, Mississippi will lose federal money when Cochran is sent home to, um, Washington, D.C (corrected from "suburban Virginia), in January. But instead of looking for more creative ways to milk federal taxpayers they should look to create a business climate that will produce real and sustainable economic activity.

Crazy idea, huh?

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posted by DrewM. at 12:02 PM

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