Yesterday, freelance journalist Charles C. Johnson posted a damning video at GotNews claiming that Thad Cochran's campaign paid black Democrats to vote for him in the Mississippi run-off election last month.
In the video, Reverend Stevie Fielder, an associate pastor at First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Mississippi, describes the criminal conspiracy, claiming that he agreed to it because Cochran's challenger, Tea Party favorite Chris McDaniel is "racist." Fielder provided Johnson with alleged text messages from Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird that, if true, clearly targeted black Democrats in an effort to glean votes in the tight race.
"They sold me on the fact that he was a racist," Fielder explained, "and that the right thing to do was to keep him out of office."
Last month, the New York Times foreshadowed Fielder's allegations, reporting that "a dozen black pastors" met in "an abandoned grocery store-turned-church" to push their congregations to vote for Cochran. Cochran ultimately won the election by a slim margin, although he was "narrowly edged out by Mr. McDaniel, 41, in the Republican primary..."
Chris McDaniel cried foul, however, and refused to concede. Without the dedication of Charles C. Johnson, it is unlikely that anyone would have been the wiser. In addition to Reverend Stevie Fielder's claims, flyers, a repugnant robocall and a radio advertisement targeting black Democrats have all surfaced. All of these "outreach" efforts slammed the Tea Party as racist, and urged citizens to vote for Thad Cochran.
The pro-Cochran radio advertisement said in part,
"[B]y not voting, you are saying 'take away all of my government programs, such as food stamps, early breakfast and lunch programs, millions of dollars to our black universities'…everything we and our families depend on that comes from Washington will be cut."
The transcript can be found here.
A CNN report noted that Democrats played a “key role” in keeping Cochran’s challenger, State Senator Chris McDaniel, at bay.