There are strange goings-on in Mississippi politics. In Hinds County on Election night, June 3, 2014, three people connected to the campaign of Chris McDaniel were somehow locked into the County Courthouse, along with boxes of supposedly secure ballots. They were Scott Brewster, McDaniel's campaign coalition director; Janis Lane, a Director of the Central Mississippi TEA Party; and Rob Chambers,a consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Commission.
Hinds County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Pete Perry, who's supporting Cochran, said Lane called him at 2 a.m. Wednesday, saying she and a friend were locked inside the courthouse, that nobody else was inside and they needed help getting out.
Perry said Lane, who is on the GOP county committee, told him that when she was trying to get into the courthouse, she spoke to a man she believed was a police officer and that he showed them a door that appeared to be ajar.
Perry said he called the Hinds County Sheriff's Department. Cain, the department spokesman, said a deputy sent someone to let Lane, Brewster and Chambers out of the locked building.
"I told the deputy: 'I hope you don't just let her out. I hope you ask her what she was doing there,'" Perry told the AP.
From Washington Post
. . . What was the group doing in that courthouse? Brewster was joined by Janis Lane and Rob Chambers. They appear to all be McDaniel supporters: Lane, the Clarion-Ledger reports, is a board member of the Central Mississippi Tea Party; Chambers is a consultant who has worked with McDaniel. When questioned by the sheriff, the three gave "conflicting stories" about their presence in the courthouse.
Janis Lane is famous for saying that women don't really need to vote.
I’m really going to set you back here. Probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote. Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how than can skewer a person. I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I’d much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.~ Janis Lane, Central Mississippi Tea Party, 2012
I guess she was projecting her own "deviousness" onto "all" women, right? She certainly proved that she herself wasn't trustworthy.
What's also disturbing is that she was a "precinct worker" who was in charge of voting materials that night! Why is this obviously partisan woman in charge of votes?
Lane was a precinct worker during Tuesday's primary election and had dropped off her ballot materials about 8:30 p.m. and then left, Perry is reported as saying.
Lane, Brewster and Chambers were contacted by WAPT-TV for comment but none of them answered.
Then there's Scott Brewster, who works for McDaniel:
Via Talking Points Memo
"Going to come down to Hinds county. We will win the night but might be runoff," Brewster wrote in one Facebook comment thread at 11:16 p.m. on Tuesday night.
"Friends, thank you for all your messages and support," Brewster also posted on Facebook at 12:06 p.m. on Wednesday. "I didn't get until 4 this morning. I'll do my best to get back to everyone today. All of your encouragement has given our campaign family such positive energy. Thanks!!!"
My favorite Shakespeare play has always been "Much Ado About Nothing". What's your favorite.— Scott Brewster (@shotwave) June 6, 2014
Rob Chambers is associated with the Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Committee, a lobbying group that fights against Common Core Educational standards. Here is an excerpt from his bio on their website:
With training in theology, ethics, and philosophy, Rob Chambers brings both intellectual perspective and practical ideas to churches and Christian organizations who seek leadership in understanding and communicating applied biblical ethics to moral, cultural, philosophical, and political issues.
Rob is a Senior Consultant with the Christian Action Commission – the agency of the Mississippi Baptist Convention dedicated to providing resources on social and moral concerns and their implications on public policy issues from City Hall to Congress.
Maybe one type of action that Jesus would approve of would be to not be locked inside the Courthouse on the night of the election? I'm sure Chambers can understand why people have "moral concerns" about he and his buddies.
Official McDaniel Campaign Statement, via Biloxi Sun-Herald
"Last night with an extremely close election and Hinds being one of the last counties to report, our campaign sent people to the Hinds courthouse to obtain the outstanding numbers and observe the count.
"In doing so, they entered the courthouse through an open door after being directed by uniformed personnel. They were then locked inside the building. At this point they sat down and called the county Republican chairman, a close Cochran ally, to help them get out. Eventually a Sheriff's officer showed up and opened the door to let them out."
This is actually the second time the McDaniel campaign got into hot water for strange activities:
From the Clarion Ledger
Brewster's name popped up during the first days after conservative political blogger Clayton Kelly was arrested and charged in a photo scandal involving U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife, Rose. Kelly was accused of sneaking into Rose Cochran's Madison nursing home and taking photos of her for a political video.
After Kelly's arrest, three other McDaniel supporters were charged with conspiracy in connection with the nursing home case. Those include state tea party leader and attorney Mark Mayfield and a former radio talk show co-host of McDaniel's.
From Liberal America Blog
The Hinds County Mississippi Sheriffs Department is disputing the account of three Tea Party activists in regard to how they gained access to the county courthouse after hours early Wednesday morning shortly after ballot counting stopped in the Tuesday primary election. Hinds County was one of the last Mississippi counties to post returns in the very hotly contested race between Chris McDaniel and Senator Thad Cochran.
Key to their account of how they entered the building is that when they arrived they were let in or shown where to enter by “uniformed personal “. Hinds County Sheriffs Department Spokesperson Othor Cain it that the department does do security for the courthouse during business hours. He also told the Clarion-Ledger that off duty officers are hired to do security during elections but that at the time that Lane, Brewster and Chambers gained entry all security would have been long gone.
“It’s a fabrication that someone pointed them to a door. I think that’s a total misrepresentation of fact,” Cain said. “None of our guys let anybody in.”
Cain stated there are attorneys and courthouse employees with access to the courthouse that are not “uniformed personnel.”
Even if there was no criminal activity, it still doesn't account for why these three individuals were in the county courthouse afterhours with no county employee. We have no information whether they had criminal intentions or not. We don't know how long they were in there…We need to have a total accounting."
~ MS District I Supervisor Robert Graham via the Clarion-Ledger