Nearly everyone with any interest in the Mississippi GOP Senate Primary and Runoff has seen or heard the racist radio ads, mailers which portrayed Sen. Thad Cochran's primary opponent, Chris McDaniel as the second coming of Byron De La Beckwith. Unfortunately for Team Thad, those ads were traced back to the circle of influencers who helped drag him across the finish line with votes which more than likely were bought.
In the latest chapter of this story Cochran ally, Henry Barbour, has shopped a unbelievable story of a few elderly women pooling the change from their sofas to launch one of the most offensive and racist group of political ads in the 2014 election cycle.
I assume that Barbour shopped this story around in a belated attempt to cover the tracks of all involved. But any reporter or writer who has paid attention will understand that this is a bit preposterous and clears Barbour of nothing.
Why do I say that?
The first reason is that a radio manager has already come out and stated that Greg Brand sought to get the ads placed just days before the primary runoff election. Greg Brand is a known associate of Pete Perry, who is on the Cochran payroll and the Hinds County GOP Executive Chairman.
Secondly, we have this from Eliana Johnson of National Review last month:
As it turns out, Crudup raised all of the $144,685 his PAC took in from exactly one source: Haley Barbour’s political machine. A report filed with the Federal Election Commission reveals that Mississippi Conservatives, the political-action committee founded by the former Mississippi governor and Republican National Committee chairman and run by his nephew, Henry, provided that money to Crudup’s group in four installments. The first, in the amount of $62,685, came on June 10, a week after the race was thrown into a runoff. Cochran and his allies were looking to increase voter turnout across the state, particularly among African Americans and Democrats who had not voted in the June 3 primary.
As noted by Johnson, FEC filings show that Barbour funded the Mississippi Conservatives PAC that pushed at least one set of the race baiting ads. This is indisputable.
What most people don't seem to understand is that two different groups ran these ads. First we have the Mississippi Conservatives group, then we have the Citizens for Progress group. From the Clarion Ledger:
Harris would not reveal the name of the treasurer, saying the group prefers that Harris speak for them and they be known only as Citizens for Progress.
Harris [Citizen for Progress Spokesperson and voice in race baiting ads - Editorial note] did confirm that the group has not registered as a PAC in Mississippi. She said they are in the process of doing that.
Barbour wants us to believe that be has nothing to do with Harris and Citizens for Progress, but there is an incredible coincidence here that Barbour may want to explain:
The PAC name Citizens for Progress is also the same one used by Mitzi Bickers, who received nearly $45,000 from the pro-Cochran group Mississippi Conservatives PAC to do phone banking to turn out votes in the June 24 primary.
The connection from the Citizens for Progress PAC, which is now claiming it is just 5 elderly women with a passion for politics, to the Barbour backed Mississippi Conservatives PAC isn't that hard to follow.
It is incredible that so many are willing to treat the claims of these five Democrats as gospel. This is especially funny, ironic, disturbing, when you consider these same people would never give that sort of pass to, say, a man who confessed that Cochran's people gave him money to buy black votes.