Could it be that Thad Cochran and the Republican Establishment were soooooooooo desperate to win the primary runoff against Chris McDaniel that they actually bought votes. Please note, that’s not a question. It appears, appears, that they might have.
The story comes from Charles C. Johnson, a Daily Caller reporter, who has launched his own website news outlet and who paid the whistleblower for his story. Johnson has had some over-the-top exposes that backfired on him, so we take this at face value and are waiting for independent confirmation before we call it a “fact.”
The bottom line with this story is that a black associate pastor, Rev. Stevie Fielder, is claiming that Cochrans campaign told him to offer blacks $15 each to vote for Cochran. Fielder also says the campaign was supposed to pay him $16,000 for his efforts and they stiffed him.
Fielder said he helped distribute the Cochran cash for votes on a promise of eventually getting paid $16,000—and because a key Cochran campaign staffer convinced him that Cochran’s conservative challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel was racist.
“They sold me on the fact that he was a racist and that the right thing to do was to keep him out of office,” Fielder said.
But Cochran’s campaign never paid, Fielder said.
And yes, we are dealing with low information voters.
Fielder also now says he was wrong about McDaniel’s character. He said he “took a good look at the campaign ads” and came to understand that “McDaniel was not a racist.”
“Me and other people were misguided and misled,” Fielder said.
If you follow the link, you’ll get the whole story, at least Fielder’s story, and it’s interesting reading about vote buying.
Needless to say, Cochran’s campaign is denying the story. A spokesman said the campaign hired Fielder for “get-out-the-vote work. Fielder’s accusations are quite specific and he’s got texts from a Cochran campaign worker to back up his story. The Cochran campaign is working overtime to cast doubt on Fielder.
We don’t yet know what the facts are with this mess, but we’re sure we’ll find out. The Cochran camp pulled enough under-the-table stuff off in this campaign that the story certainly could be true. We certainly wouldn’t put it past either Cochran or a desperate Republican Establishment. The one thing we are sure of, is that if the story turns out to be true, or even mostly true, it’s going to be a black eye for the establishment from which they won’t soon recover. And if this helps McDaniel force another runoff election – a longshot, but a real possibility – we’re betting on Cochran getting his clock cleaned.