Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mississippi Chaos: McDaniel Charges Voter Fraud ~ Tea Party Leader Commits Suicide

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Previously Related Posts
Poutrageous: McDaniel Loses to Thad Cochran
Mississippi Courthouse Shenanigans


The chaos over the Republican Senate Run-Off Race in Mississippi continues. Seasoned politician Sen. Thad Cochran was declared the winner last Tuesday, but Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel refuses to concede amidst allegations of some type of voter fraud particularly aimed at Democratic black voters who crossed over for Cochran, although that is legal in Mississippi and this was an open election. In the midst of the election angst, a prominent Tea Party leader who was arrested for spying on Cochran's wife in a nursing home has committed suicide. He had been indicted by a grand jury and was facing a court date later in the summer. Many say he was devastated by the arrest and the effect on his legal career, but it's possible he somehow blamed himself for the loss of the election.

The outrage of the Tea Party in Mississippi isn't going away any time soon. They are going hyperbolic and nearly apoplectic over McDaniel's loss:

This is a win for the establishment, but it’s a win with an asterisk, because it’s so tainted that it might be one of those things where they’re going to be sorry they ever won the runoff in Mississippi.
~ Craig Shirley, a political consultant and the author of two respected biographies of Ronald Reagan, via National Review

This just threw gasoline onto the flames of the civil war. What happened yesterday in Mississippi will resonate for years to come. It will become the battle cry, just like the Alamo. We will remember Mississippi.
~ Richard Viguerie, the author of Takeover: The 100 Year War for the GOP’s Soul

And the McDaniel campaign is looking to find more votes, but local election officials in Mississippi say there is no proven voter fraud, which is refreshing to hear from a mostly Republican state.

From New York Times
The McDaniel camp charged that a partial review of the tallies in Hinds County had turned up nearly 1,000 ballots that were cast by voters who participated in the Democratic primary on June 3 and were ineligible under state law to vote in the Republican runoff. McDaniel aides said supporters were reviewing ballots across the state, although they have met resistance in about half of the counties they have approached.

Pete Perry, the Hinds County Republican Party chairman, said the McDaniel campaign’s claims were “wildly exaggerated.” In the Jackson precinct at Fondren Presbyterian Church, he said, the McDaniel campaign charged that 192 illegal votes had been cast by people who voted in the Democratic primary. But, he said, only 37 Democrats voted there on June 3.

“Instead of making wild accusations which stir up social media with cries of fraud and corruption, it would be much better for all involved — the voters, the candidates, the 500 poll workers in Hinds County — if we let facts enter into the conversation,” Mr. Perry said.

On Death of Tea Party Leader Mark Mayfield:

A prominent lawyer and leader of the Mississippi Tea Party, who was arrested in connection with photos posted online of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's bedridden wife, died on Friday of an apparent suicide, the man’s attorney said.
Mark Mayfield, 57, was a founding member of the state's Tea Party and had served as its vice chairman, the organization said.
. . . Police received an emergency call on Friday morning from his wife, saying her husband had just shot himself. Mayfield was found lying on the floor of a garage storage room with a single gunshot wound to his head, according to the police department in Ridgeland, Mississippi.
~ Reuters

Mayfield was one of three men charged with conspiring to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.
That incident was one of the most explosive events in the Mississippi Senate primary, which Cochran won in a runoff over Tea Party-backed Chris McDaniel on Tuesday. McDaniel has refused to concede the race and suggests that voting irregularities may have helped Cochran win.
Mayfield, 57, an attorney and state and local Tea Party leader, was arrested last month along with Richard Sager, an elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of "extensive medical conditions." All face felony conspiracy charges. Sager also was charged with felony tampering with evidence, and Mary faces two conspiracy counts.
~ USA Today

Regardless of recent allegations made against his character, Mark Mayfield was a fine Christian man who was always respectful and kind. He was one of the most polite and humble men I’ve ever met in politics. He was a loving husband, father, a pillar of his community, and he will be missed. We are saddened by his loss, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife, his family and friends.
~ Candidate Chris McDaniel on his friend Mayfield

They killed him. They sent a SWAT team to his office, six officers, just to arrest him.
. . . I'm just crushed. Mark's death just kind of puts an exclamation point on how out of control this has all gotten."
~ Pat Bruce, president of the Madison (MS) County Conservative Coalition, Via Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

“A good man is gone today [because] of a campaign to destroy lives,” Keith Plunkett, a Mississippi GOP operative, tweeted. “To all ‘so called’ Republican leaders who joined lockstep: I WILL NOT REST!”
Plunkett deleted the post after others on Twitter responded negatively and accused him of using a tragedy for political gain.
. . . McDaniel allies have argued that the whole nursing home incident was politicized to get sympathy for Cochran in what became one of the nastiest races in memory.
“The politicization of the incident was beyond the pale,” Plunkett said. “It was an attack on a good man that is well respected. I’ve never met a person that had a bad word to say about him. It’s shocking to those in the state who knew the demeanor and quiet dedication of the real Mark Mayfield. He wasn’t the character he was being cast, and he didn’t deserve that kind of treatment.”
~ Politico

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