Universal Citation: MS Code § 23-15-889 (2013)
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer to sell his vote and it shall be likewise unlawful for any person to offer money or anything of substantial value to anyone for his vote. Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than Fifty Dollars ($ 50.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00), or imprisoned not more than six (6) months, or both.
On Monday, news broke that new evidence had come out, regarding dirty politics being the cause of 40-year incumbent Thad Cochran’s narrow victory over TEA Party Favorite Chris McDaniel, in the race for Mississippi’s Senate Seat, a controversial victory, to say the least.
Word has already gotten out that the Cochran Campaign convinced Mississippi’s Black Democratic Voters to come to the polls in the recent Run-off Election, and vote for the ol’ cracka, a move hailed by Establishment Republicans as “brilliant political strategy” and denounced by Mississippi Conservatives as being “crooked as a dog’s hind leg”.
Breitbartnews.com reports that
Rev. Stevie Fielder, an associate pastor at First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, says Cochran’s campaign “told me to offer blacks $15 each and to vote for Thad.”
Fielder, who was paid by freelance journalist Charles C. Johnson for the story, provided a new outlet launched by Johnson—GotNews.com—with four text messages from a person purporting to be Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird.
The messages cite an official Cochran campaign email address—Saleem@ThadForMs.com—and include detailed discussions of the campaign providing envelopes of money to distribute to people who vote.
“Send me individual names and amounts along with home address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll have money separated in envelopes at the office waiting for you,” one message, sent three days before the runoff, says.
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.
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.
In a brief phone interview with Breitbart News, Fielder confirmed that he is an associate pastor at First Union Missionary Baptist Church and that he leveled the allegations in an interview with Johnson.
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics says, “Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.” Johnson defended paying for the story in an email, saying, “Why wouldn’t I pay for an awesome story?”
“Gawker, the Daily Mail, TMZ all pay for information (and they pay poorly, by the way). There’s also a long history of ‘checkbook journalism’ in America. I’m bringing it back. Indeed, every press baron in American history has relied on it. Pulitzer, Hearst, Luce, and, yes, Oprah are all supporters of it. David Frost paid for the Nixon tapes, goodness sake.”
Though Fielder himself has not been paid the $16,000 he claims he was promised for his services, he alleges he was given the enveloped cash to distribute amongst the black community in Mississippi in exchange for Cochran votes—and further alleges that others like him were similar given such cash. Fielder, a Democrat, says he has voted for Republicans in the past and that his motive to come forward with this information at this time is that he now thinks what he did was “wrong.” He says he was mostly motivated by the claims—which he now understands are untrue—that McDaniel was a racist, not by the money. “Definitely the election should not be allowed to stand,” Fielder said, adding that he’d support McDaniel in the event a judge orders a new runoff election as a result of alleged voter fraud. “He’s been done wrong,” Fielder said of McDaniel. “He’s not what they said that he is.”
In his interview with Johnson’s Got News outlet, Fielder says Baird was just one of the several Cochran staffers he interacted with about this matter pre-election. Fielder claims in his interview with Mr. Johnson that he also discussed the alleged vote buying matter with Cochran’s campaign manager Kirk Sims and a woman named “Amanda.”
Baird is a top legislative staffer for Cochran’s Mississippi U.S. Senate colleague Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). In 2011, Baird was arrested because a club he was the manager of allegedly featured a strip show and allegedly did not have a license to feature women stripping. The charges were later dropped and Wicker kept Baird on as an employee.
Both before and after the recent election, the Mississippi State GOP have been calling for unity, no matter who won the run-off, like an abusive husband, begging his wife not to leave him.
The following excerpt is from the Hattiesburg American, posted on 6/29/2014:
“The same guys who have ridiculed and mocked not just the tea party but true conservatives are calling for unity,” said Roy Nicholson, founding chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party. “The same people who so villainously stabbed us in the back now call on us to elect the same person who they stabbed us over? … In two to six years, (the tea party) will be at the head of some party or another … We want smaller government, less taxes and more freedom. Since our Republican leadership refuses to listen to that, they have brought on the destruction of the Mississippi GOP.”
Tea party leaders and Chris McDaniel say the GOP establishment “stole” the U.S. Senate nomination from McDaniel by bringing in thousands of “liberal Democrats” to sway Tuesday’s runoff for Cochran. The Southwest Mississippi Tea Party on its Facebook site refers to the GOP establishment as the “Republican Mafia.”
McDaniel says he won the true Republican majority and is investigating a legal challenge. As he made national conservative talk show rounds last week, he was asked whether he would support Cochran and the state GOP if results stand.
He said he’s been praying about it, but still could not answer. McDaniel, now the voice for a large number of Mississippi Republicans — at the least roughly half, it would appear — said the party leadership appears to lack principles and conservatism and is no longer “the party of Reagan.”
…State Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef has been at the center of the primary maelstrom. Before the June 3 vote, tea party leaders called for his resignation, claiming he was in the bag for Cochran. They’re now calling on him to help overturn the runoff results.
Nosef has insisted the Republican divide is being overblown, that only a small but vocal group of tea party leaders are responsible for “all the vitriol” and “shenanigans” and that the Grand Old Party can be reunified in the Magnolia State.
“I’ve always felt there’s a big difference between the grassroots tea party folks and the leadership,” Nosef said. “I want to bring together the other 180,000 people who voted for Chris, and the ones who voted for Thad. I think we can do that.”
I’ve got two words for ya, Joe: FAT CHANCE.
It’s bad enough that the members of the Northeast Republicans’ Club, up in the Beltway, look down their noses as us “poor, ignorant, hard-working, blue-collar, stereotypical Mississippi Conservatives”. We are used to their opinion. It means nothing to us. We just consider the source.
But, for you guys to take the advice of tight-sphinctered Vichy Republicans, like John McCain, and alienate your entire Conservative Base, just so you can put Haley Barbour’s nephew in Cochran’s Senate seat, after he retires in a year of so, due to his old and feeble condition, completely dishonors your Southern Heritage of honor and gentility.
In fact, it makes y’all seem no better than a bunch of carpet baggers.
C’mon back to you, so you can abuse us some more?
Not unless the election is overturned.
Until He comes,