Author Topic: Meridian man dials back vote-buying claim  (Read 179 times)

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Meridian man dials back vote-buying claim
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:15:30 AM »
http://www.clarionledger.com/story/politicalledger/2014/07/10/fielder-votes-buying-election-cochran-mcdaniel/12500655/

A Meridian man has recanted — sort of — his story that he helped U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign buy votes for $15 each in Lauderdale County.

Stevie Fielder now says he was asked to buy votes — by someone he won't identify — but that he refused because "I would be in jail because that's illegal." He says he has talked with the state attorney general's office.

"I haven't done anything illegal," said Fielder, who made national news after a lengthy interview with GotNews.com. In that audio-recorded interview, Fielder said he received thousands of dollars in envelopes from Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird and paid hundreds of people in the African-American community around Meridian $15 each for their votes. He also indicated he had discussed the issue with then-Cochran campaign manager Kirk Sims and operations manager Amanda Shook.

    Listen to a full interview with Fielder here

The Breitbart news site, after the GotNews report, said Fielder in a brief phone interview reconfirmed the allegations.

Now Fielder is claiming he was talking "hypothetical" and the recording of the interview must have been selectively edited. But then he appeared to contradict this at one point, saying, "Maybe I got out there and said, gave an interview to somebody that I shouldn't have talked to … I'm not trying to take away the recording."

Charles C. Johnson with GotNews said the audio of the interview was not altered.

"What was said and what was recorded on that tape was not meant to show in any way that I took anyone to the polls and voted," Fielder said Thursday, "nor did Mr. Cochran and them ask me to do that, not Kirk or any of his other people … in the upper echelon (of the campaign)."

But Fielder danced around the issue when asked if Baird, minority outreach director for the Cochran campaign, asked him to help buy votes.

"I was aware of a person who wanted to do that," Fielder said. "I don't think that right now is the time (to say who). I'm giving them the opportunity to tell it themselves. I know it was mentioned to me and I refused to do it, and my interview was only a hypothetical …."

Fielder said he would name the person if they don't soon "clear this up," and "Right now I am not saying it was someone with the campaign and I'm not saying it was not." He said Baird is "one of the people that should be talking to some of you all and not me."

Baird, on leave as a staffer for U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker while he works on Cochran's campaign, has been unavailable for comment through repeated attempts for more than a week. The Cochran campaign said he was unavailable Thursday and would not likely be making any comments.

The Cochran campaign has called allegations of vote buying "baseless." But state Sen. Chris McDaniel claims Cochran "stole" the June 24 GOP primary runoff from him through illegal voting by "liberal Democrats." In a letter to supporters asking for donations to help his challenge, and offering cash rewards for evidence of voter fraud, McDaniel said "Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign allegedly paid $15 per vote to steal the June 24 primary election."

The Cochran campaign has called on McDaniel to "put up or shut up" about illegal voting allegations.

Asked this week whether Attorney General Jim Hood was looking into allegations of voter fraud, a spokeswoman said, "It is our policy to neither confirm nor deny what we may or may not be looking into."

Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell on Thursday said: "As we've said from the beginning, we would not, and have not been, involved in any vote buying, and I'm glad that Mr. Fielder cleared that up … There is no evidence of that. We didn't do it. Saleem didn't do it.

"There is one guy, in the whole state, who said something, then turns around and recants. If we were buying votes, others would be saying it."

The Cochran campaign says it hired Fielder for get-out-the-vote work, and agreed to pay him $600, half up front. Russell said Fielder didn't follow through, and was only paid $300.

Fielder claims the campaign agreed to pay him $16,000, but stiffed him. On Thursday he stood by that claim.

Fielder says he was paid for the GotNews interview, but wouldn't say how much or by whom.

Fellow church members at First Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian, including a longtime county Democratic Party official, said they doubted Fielder's story of vote buying, saw no evidence of it, and question his overall veracity.

(((Yair Rosenberg))) ‏@Yair_Rosenberg 15 hours ago

I was completely wrong about Trump becoming president. So I'm hoping I was also completely wrong about him being a terrible one.

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Re: Meridian man dials back vote-buying claim
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 05:35:38 AM »
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/06/new-bribery-claims-in-mississippi-senate-race.html

A man who accused Senator Thad Cochran of engaging in voter fraud now claims that he was bribed by Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel.

Just like a Law & Order episode, the Mississippi Senate race has featured felonies, courtroom drama, lies and deceit. Also, just like a Law & Order episode, seems to be ending with a twist that you’d never expect.

The claims of Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel that six-term incumbent Thad Cochran somehow stole the Republican Senate runoff in June have always been centered on the accusation that the Cochran campaign paid a Meridian man named Stevie Fielder to buy votes of African American Democrats at $15 a head. However, a spokesperson for the Mississippi Attorney General told local reporters on Tuesday night that Fielder was actually bribed by Noel Fritsch, McDaniel's communications director, to lie about vote buying and implicate Cochran.
 :2popcorn:
(((Yair Rosenberg))) ‏@Yair_Rosenberg 15 hours ago

I was completely wrong about Trump becoming president. So I'm hoping I was also completely wrong about him being a terrible one.

Online Once-Ler

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Re: Meridian man dials back vote-buying claim
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 05:45:24 AM »
http://www.wjtv.com/story/26206039/audio-clippings-released-in-mcdaniel-alleged-evidence

Jan Schaefer with the Attorney General's Office tells us Stephen Fielder claims Noel Fritsch, spokesperson for the McDaniel Campaign, paid him the $2,000 to be told what to say. We're also told Fielder says that everything he said concerning the Cochran Campaign paying him to buy votes was false.

We reached out to Mr. Fritsch for a comment concerning the accusation. "I'm pointing you to Charles Johnson who admits to having paid for Rev. Fielder's emails," Fritsch says.

Charles Johnson, reporter for gotnews.com, tells News Channel 12, “I paid for the text messages that confirm Fielder's story of massive vote buying by the Cochran campaign. I don't disclose what I pay sources.”

We reached out to the AG's office about the claims. We were told “We have no opinion as to the veracity of Mr. Fielder,” says Schaefer.

We'll continue to follow the developments on this story and bring them to you as they become available.

------------

JACKSON, Miss. - With the McDaniel Campaign formally challenging the election results, News Channel 12 is digging deeper into their alleged evidence. It's a binder full of accusations that's been handed over to the Mississippi Republican State Executive Committee. In addition to nearly 300 pages, audio clippings are included in that evidence.

"Fifteen dollars a vote in each envelope and just give it to the people as they go in and vote." According to the McDaniel campaign, that's Stephen Fielder talking to reporter Charles Johnson from gotnews.com. In the audio fielder claims he was recruited by the Cochran campaign to hand out envelopes with money in exchange for their vote for Cochran.

But Attorney General Jim Hood says those claims are false. However, AG's office did confirm to News Channel 12 that fielder did receive money. His office released this statement to us late this afternoon: "General Hood said that our investigators questioned Fielder and he (Fielder) said he was paid $2,000 and was told what to say."

So who paid Fielder $2,000? That's what we are still working to find out.

more at link.
(((Yair Rosenberg))) ‏@Yair_Rosenberg 15 hours ago

I was completely wrong about Trump becoming president. So I'm hoping I was also completely wrong about him being a terrible one.

Offline Oceander

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Re: Meridian man dials back vote-buying claim
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 10:01:48 AM »
:facepalm2:
Trump does not represent the will of the people.  If we really wanted to respect the decision of "the people," then Clinton would be the president-elect, not Trump, for the simple reason that she won the popular vote.


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