Chris McDaniel is the tea party Republican who just won’t go away. After losing his primary election to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran a few weeks ago, McDaniel has been engulfed in what’s best described as the political equivalent of a hissy fit.
McDaniel has accused the Cochran campaign of several campaign violations. But the main point McDaniel is pushing is the allegation that the Cochran campaign illegally paid voters (specifically black Democratic ones) to vote against him.
Well, in an interesting turn of events it seems one of the pastors, Stevie Fielder, who had accused the Cochran campaign of telling him to buy votes for their campaign is now saying that the McDaniel campaign actually paid him to make up the story.
The attorney general for Mississippi, Jim Hood, confirmed that Fielder, “admitted he got paid $2,000 to lie. We hadn’t seen the source of the funds yet.”
Fielder is alleging that one of the spokesman for McDaniel’s campaign, Noel Fritsch, was the source of the funds.
This allegation by Fielder is especially troubling for the McDaniel campaign considering his now retracted statement concerning Cochran buying voters is featured prominently in his motion to have the election results thrown out.
An effort that took an even bigger blow when the Mississippi GOP denied McDaniel’s challenge to the results of the primary election. Though this doesn’t mean that this story is over. McDaniel’s can still take this case to court, which is what the Mississippi GOP told him to do.
This entire story is one giant mess. It’s clear McDaniel isn’t going to be successful, but he doesn’t seem ready to just admit defeat. I’m not really sure what his “goals” are here. Well, outside of trying to build name recognition for his next run at political office.
There’s practically no chance that the results of this primary election will be thrown out. Furthermore, any “evidence” McDaniel seems to have looks to be circumstantial at best. For a court to take on this case, and throw out the election results, the evidence would have to be so absolutely conclusive that there’s not a shadow of a doubt that Cochran’s campaign paid voters to vote for him.
And if that evidence existed, I highly doubt the Mississippi GOP would have refused to hear the case.
Either way it seems McDaniel is simply delaying the inevitable because his ego simply can’t accept the reality that he lost.