Well, friends, as the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis used to belt out on Saturday nights, down here in a dive known as Hernando’s Hideaway, there’s a “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” concerning the still-contested results of the Mississippi Senate Race Republican Run-off, which saw incumbent Thad Cochran narrowly defeat TEA Party Newcomer Chris McDaniel, thanks to Black Democrats, whom the Cochran Campaign paid to vote for the Senator, in the Open Primary Election.
McDaniel gained another vocal supporter in his quest to call for a formal investigation of the election results , yesterday.
Politico.com reported that
Sen. Ted Cruz is calling for an official investigation into the Republican Senate primary runoff in Mississippi between Sen. Thad Cochran and the challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
The Texas Republican on Monday evening called the runoff contest “appalling” and said that allegations of voter fraud need to be investigated.
“We’ve seen serious allegations of voter fraud,” Cruz said on “The Mark Levin Show.” “And I very much hope that no Republican was involved in voter fraud. But these allegations need to be vigorously investigated and anyone involved in criminal conduct should be prosecuted.”
Earlier in the program, Cruz criticized the Washington establishment for its meddling in the runoff: “What happened in Mississippi was appalling. Primaries are always rough and tumble, but the conduct of the Washington, D.C., machine in the Mississippi runoff was incredibly disappointing.”
And, of course, it was not very long after that, that the Vichy Republicans answered back, as rollcall.com reported…
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dismissed allegations from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of impropriety in the Mississippi Republican primary — but noted it’s an issue for state officials to decide.
“I assume the people in Mississippi will look at what ever complaints are filed,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday when asked to comment on Cruz’s call for an investigation in to voter fraud. “That is what typically happens in a post election situation if there are complaints filed they are dealt with at the state level.”
“I think it’s pretty clear who won. Sen. [Thad Cochran, R-Miss.,] ran a very successful runoff campaign and got the most votes,” McConnell added. “But anybody is entitled to contest the outcome and that well may happen in Mississippi.”
Cochran defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel by more than 7,000 votes in the GOP runoff on June 24. The senator did so, in part, by reaching out to African American voters, who tend to vote for Democrats in general elections.
Back on Capitol Hill, the Cochran-McDaniel feud has become a proxy fight between McConnell and Cruz. McConnell backed the incumbent, Cochran. Cruz, a tea party conservative, previously supported Senate Conservatives Fund, which backed McDaniel.
Meanwhle, down here in the Magnolia State, this war is being fought in the trenches…
A lawyer for Chris McDaniel said campaign canvassers started going through records at every courthouse statewide on Monday, and he’s confident McDaniel can successfully overturn the June 24 GOP runoff for U.S. Senate.
The Thad Cochran campaign countered that few voting irregularities are being found, and the vote should stand.
The state GOP on Monday delivered county-certified official results to the secretary of state’s office, and Cochran’s lead expanded from about 6,800 in unofficial results election night to 7,667. This delivery marked the start of a 12-day period for examination of ballots and a challenge of results.
“As you know there have been lots of allegations and lots of reports of voter fraud — all types of calls are coming into the campaign and coming into my law office, and we are following up on all those leads,” said Mitch Tyner, an attorney for McDaniel and former Republican candidate for governor. “In fact, as we’ve gone through this process, we are surprised by the amount of evidence that continues to come forward that shows us there has indeed been election fraud in this case.”
Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell on Monday refuted the McDaniel campaign’s claim there was fraud or thousands of illegal votes and says results appear to be within normal margins of election errors.
“We have representatives at all 82 courthouses today … and have been pleased with the results,” Russell said. “The county-by-county results reported thus far are revealing an extremely low number of crossover votes from the June 24 election. As the process moves forward, the conversation is shifting from wild, baseless accusations to hard facts. As we have said from the beginning, the runoff results are clear: the majority of Mississippians voted for Senator Thad Cochran.”
Cochran won the June 24 runoff, 51 percent to McDaniel’s 49 percent. McDaniel had led Cochran by less than 1,500 votes in the June 3 primary vote. Cochran wooed Democratic and independent voters for the runoff, and McDaniel’s campaign has alleged many ineligible voters — including those who voted Democratic on June 3 — provided Cochran his margin. McDaniel supporters have accused the Cochran camp of buying Democratic votes and usurping the GOP primary process. Cochran’s campaign has said the claims are baseless and McDaniel needs to “put up or shut up” and accept the results and move on.
Tyner said he is uncertain of the number of ineligible votes the campaign has found. McDaniel’s campaign reported 4,900 late last week, and McDaniel in television interviews over the weekend said 5,000.
The McDaniel campaign has said a majority of these are people who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary, then crossed over June 24 and voted in the Republican runoff, which is prohibited by state law.
“I know there are several thousand that are absolute ineligible voters,” Tyner said. “… Later this week we should have some idea what all they’ve found.”
Both campaigns had people at courthouses across the state Monday, going through poll books and other records.
Russell said he didn’t have totals, but listed the number of potential crossover votes found in four counties: Perry, 1; Lauderdale, 7; Pontotoc, 3; Leake, 5.
Neither Tyner nor McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch could say when a legal challenge would come. But Fritsch said “a challenge certainly does look likely … any day now.”
Last week, McDaniel offered up to 15 $1,000 rewards for people who provide information leading to voter fraud arrest and conviction.
Tyner said Monday the campaign is just beginning to look at the 19,000 absentee ballots in the race “we know that is very ripe for fraud.”
“I can’t remember the exact quote, but I think it was (Hattiesburg) Mayor DuPree who said that no way that voter ID is going to stop much fraud in Mississippi,” Tyner said. “In fact, he said if you want to stop fraud in Mississippi, you want to get on top of absentee ballots, that’s where the fraud is occurring.”
Both campaigns thanked the states’ circuit clerks, whom they say are helping them go through records.
A challenge would start with the state party, then go to circuit court.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, amid calls for him to step in as accusations of illegal voting fly, says his office doesn’t have a dog in the hunt — party primaries are run by the parties, not the state.
Hosemann said his office “has no prosecutorial authority” and doesn’t possess any of the voting records.
Hosemann said his office will issue a report on the runoff — as it does with all elections — to the Legislature and public. He wouldn’t give a time frame on when that report will come out. He said his office received about 700 calls on the runoff election day, and he had about 25 observers in the field statewide.
McDaniel supporters have also questioned Hosemann being paid $2,600 by the Cochran campaign, according to campaign finance reports.
Hosemann said the campaign paid him for research he did when he was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat himself.
“We had research that we had done in anticipation of the Senate race here, so the Cochran campaign purchased that from us, from our personal campaign,” Hosemann said. “We had paid for it, and they bought it from us.”
Also on Monday, a federal judge said he’s likely to send a lawsuit filed over access to records from the runoff from Oxford to Jackson.
Texas-based conservative group True the Vote and some Mississippi residents had filed suit July 1 against the state GOP and Hosemann saying it was denied access to voting records from counties and the party refused to delay certification of the vote.
U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills on Monday said it appears the suit should have been filed in the state’s southern district instead of northern, and gave the parties until July 18 to show why it shouldn’t be moved.
The reason that I have been getting requests from my readers to cover this story, is that it is still a national story.
The battle down here in Mississippi reflects the divisive battle being waged at a national level between the old guard “Moderate” (i.e., Liberal), Vichy Republicans and the Grassroots Conservative Political Movement, known as the TEA Party.
It is good to see Senator Cruz add his voice to this important battle for what is fair and just.
It has become very apparent to those of us in the Conservative Base of the Republican Party that the old guard Vichy Republicans, like Senator Thad Cochran, care more about their Capitol Hill way of life than their country and their constituents. It is time for them to get out of the way, and allow Sen. Cruz and these new TEA Party Conservatives, like Chris McDaniels, to lead the battle against Obama and his corrupt anti-American Administration.
Because, as the old saying goes,
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
Until He Comes,