This piece at National Review has quite a few interesting things to note about the involvement of Haley Barbour’s political machine in Mississippi.
The political-action committee that aired the ads raised eyebrows from the outset.
For one thing, it had the same address, phone number, e-mail domain, and leader — the bishop Ronnie Crudup — as the Jackson-based New Horizon Church International. Crudup told Mississippi’s Clarion-Ledger earlier this month that he founded the PAC and raised $200,000: “Some money from the Republicans,” some from African Americans. “I raised money from a number of sources,” he said.
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.
The most incredible quote in the entire story should be this one, however:
Henry Barbour says Crudup has told him the report contains a “mistake” but that, regardless, Barbour’s committee was “clearly the material donor.” And he is not distancing himself from the inflammatory ads. In fact, he says they were deserved because McDaniel and his tea-party supporters criticized Cochran’s outreach to black voters and “tried to intimidate African Americans from voting.”
“That conduct was reprehensible and was not good for Mississippi or the Republican party,” Barbour says. “Many Mississippians, who were already disgusted by McDaniel’s race-baiting talk-radio-show comments, heard the code words that insinuated that African Americans were not welcome in the Republican primary.”
Henry Barbour, and his uncle Haley, must think we are stupid. The fight in Mississippi has drawn critics from all circles, with nearly everyone involved taking blame for something (that the NRSC hasn’t come out to apologize for its involvement in the run-off is not surprising, but it is indicative that they, like the Barbours, think themselves above reproach… but that is a rant for a different day). Henry Barbour would very much like you to believe that the race baiting is Chris McDaniel’s fault. Somehow, with the Barbours’ money pouring into Democratic hands to attack a conservative, Chris McDaniel is the reason for everything that went down in Mississippi.What Henry Barbour will never say is that, in encouraging in questionable tactics in the primary, you invite questionable practice. Voter fraud is rampant in Mississippi as it is, and the Barbour Machine invited them to do it harder. Whatever happens in this case, be it a victory for McDaniel in court or Cochran retaining his spot (or, as some have called for, voting for the Democrat), this kind of behavior should not only be prohibited, but actively condemned by the people who run the party. If they can’t even pretend to be outraged by this, they are as out of touch as the Barbours.