http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/379661/cochran-spox-mcdaniel-campaign-full-criminals-eliana-johnson Cochran Spox: McDaniel Campaign ‘Full of Criminals’
By Eliana Johnson
June 5, 2014 2:15
As Thad Cochran gears up for a difficult battle to win a June 24 runoff election, his campaign is coming out swinging against his tea-party opponent, Chris McDaniel, in the wake of a report that a county sheriff is investigating why three people, among them a McDaniel-campaign official, were found in a courthouse in Jackson, Miss. — where primary ballots were kept — after the building was closed.
Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell is charging that the McDaniel campaign is “full of criminals” who “cannot keep themselves out of trouble with the law.”
Russell warns that if McDaniel wins the runoff and becomes the Republican nominee, he will be “on the national stage embarrassing us.”
“They cannot keep themselves out of trouble with the law,” Russell says. “This is a campaign that is out of control.” He added, “We’ve had two separate criminal investigations into one campaign. Is this the kind of person that we want representing our party?”
Scott Brewster, McDaniel’s campaign coalition coordinator, was among the three people found locked inside the courthouse early Wednesday morning. He and two others — a tea-party activist and a consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s Christian Action Commission — allegedly entered the courthouse shortly after 2 a.m., and called the executive chairman of Hinds County Republican party, Pete Perry, a Cochran supporter, when they realized they were locked in, around 3:45 a.m.
Brewster was active on Facebook Tuesday evening, where he posted that the election was “going to come down to Hinds county.”
The vote count continued into the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, with just 1,386 votes separating the candidates. Hinds County is a Cochran stronghold where the six-term senator took over 65 percent of the vote. The McDaniel campaign said that it sent representatives to courthouse “to obtain the outstanding numbers and observe the count.” An adviser close to the McDaniel campaign says that Cochran, who has refused to debate his opponent, is attempting to distract from the substantive issues of the campaign.
A spokesman for the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger on Wednesday that he received conflicting statements from the three campaign representatives and that the investigation is going. “No official charges have been filed at this point, but we don’t know where the investigation will lead us,” he said.
It’s the latest turn in a bizarre campaign that for months now has been highly personal: McDaniel’s team has charged that Cochran is out of touch with Mississippi, pointing out that he has listed as his primary residence the basement apartment in Washington, D.C., that he rents from his executive assistant, Kay Webber. Conservative bloggers have raised questions about the nature of Cochran’s relationship with Webber, who has accompanied him on dozens of foreign trips and appears in pictures with him at society events in Washington and New York City. The Cochran campaign began intimating last month that, if nominated, McDaniel was apt to embarrass the party when a supporter of his campaign was arrested for breaking into the nursing home where Cochran’s bedridden wife resides. Three other people have since been indicted in connection with the incident.