From Roll Call, the defecation has begun to hit the rotary wind device:
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has sent a Request For Additional Information (RFAI) to Mississippi Conservatives, a Super PAC supporting the re-election of Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. The committee has until August 1st to respond, or the failure to do so “could result in an audit or enforcement action.”
Not only do we have allegations of vote buying in the Mississippi GOP Senate runoff, we now have the federal agency in charge of elections looking into whether this SuperPac with ties to the Barbour clan violated the law.
Roll Call also noted an IE to a group called Winning Edge.
The FEC also sought answers for an independent expenditure paid to Winning Edge that was reported on a 24-hour report, but was not correlated with the committee’s Schedule E for the 12-Day pre-runoff report covering 5/15 through 6/4.
I did a cursory look for Winning Edge in Mississippi, and what I found is that they are a direct mail group with ties to Haley Barbour going back to at least 2003.
I will note here that the local news reported tonight that deputies of the Hinds County Sheriff Department were outside of the GOP Headquarters as leaders discussed the allegations of fraud.
We are told deputies are checking the identification of anyone wishing to enter the building.
In addition, State Senator Michael Watson tells WJTV News Channel 12 that the McDaniel camp has found 3,300 “irregular votes” from last Tuesday’s election.
The Cochran campaign has denied it participated in a vote buying scheme. In fact, the Cochran campaign has gone so far as to say they are looking into taking legal action against a member of their own paid staff who has alleged fraud.
This isn’t the week Thad Cochran thought he would be having after such a glorious electoral victory. To have the possibility of over 3000 votes in just a single county half the counties being classified as “irregular” isn’t something you see often. [Corrected as per this tweet]
**Update** A friend directed me back to this story from May about Trustmark Bank giving the Mississippi Conservative Super PAC an unsecured loan of $250,000, which led to an FEC complaint filed by Cleta Mitchell and the Tea Party Patriots Fund. **Update**