Right Wing Mississippi Toodleloo

May 23, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Good morning:

The Announcement

CBS News reports:

On October 15, Chris McDaniel, a Republican state senator in Mississippi, held a press conference to say stay tuned for news – he would be making an announcement.

Two days later, a day after Congress passed a bill to end the 16-day government shutdown, the tea party backer announced that he would be challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in next summer’s Republican primary. The Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project PAC shortly thereafter endorsed McDaniel, which also happened to be one day after Cochran voted in favor of ending the government shutdown.

Right wing wacko (RWW) blogger with camera does something really stupid on Easter Sunday

Here’s CBS again,

Conservative blogger Clayton Thomas Kelly was arrested Saturday after allegedly trespassing at the nursing home where Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife lives and posting a picture of the Republican’s spouse online without permission.

Cochran’s wife, Rose Cochran, suffers from dementia, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. She lives at the St. Catherine’s Village retirement home in Madison, Miss., where she is bedridden.

Kelly runs a political blog called Constitutional Clayton, where he posted a story April 26 attacking Cochran and supporting state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who’s challenging Cochran in the state’s GOP Senate primary this year.

The piece included a picture taken bedside in Rose Cochran’s room at the nursing home, where she has lived since 2000.

What the hell was he thinking?

The Clarion Ledger speaks,

Kelly, 28, of Pearl is a McDaniel supporter and an aspiring political blogger with the site “Constitutional Clayton.” His friends and family say he wanted to make a name for himself and the blog, and was egged on by others over the Internet to do a hit piece on Cochran. He was trying to claim Cochran has a mistress — which Cochran has denied — while his wife languishes in a nursing home.

Kelly’s wife said someone on the Internet gave him info on how to find Rose Cochran at St. Catherine’s Village, and he photographed her on Easter Sunday.

Who might that someone have been?

Here’s the Clarion-Ledger again,

Authorities say the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party and two other men conspired with Clayton Kelly to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.

Mark Mayfield of Ridgeland, an attorney and state and local tea party leader, was arrested Thursday along with Richard Sager, a Laurel elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of “extensive medical conditions.” All face felony conspiracy charges. Sager also was charged with felony tampering with evidence, and Mary faces two conspiracy counts.

The arrest of Mayfield, well-known in political, business and legal circles, caused shock in Mississippi, in a criminal case and election that already had Mississippi in the national spotlight.

Mayfield’s attorneys — Merrida Coxwell and Mayfield’s brother-in-law, former state Rep. John Reeves — quickly posted cash for Mayfield’s release on a $250,000 bond but called it excessive. They and Kelly’s attorney said the case appears to be politically driven.

“There’s a lot of bigger powers moving, and that’s why this case wasn’t handled the way it should be,” said Kelly’s attorney Kevin Camp, who argued Kelly should face, at worst, a misdemeanor. Instead, felony charges of conspiracy and photo voyeurism were added to the count of exploitation of a vulnerable adult he already faced. He faces a total of 20 years in prison.

“It’s all about politics,” Camp said.

What about Chris McDaniel, the guy running against Senator Thad Cochran. Is he in on it?

Here’s Esquire’s Charlie Pierce’s take on it.

Naturally, there is more than a little talk from the camp of Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party guy challenging incumbent Thad Cochran, that the whole business is a nifty bit of reverse ratfking from Cochran supporters. (There’s no evidence so far that this was anything but Clayton Kelly being a freelance skeeve for the cause.) But that would seem to be belied by the curious fact that Richard Sager, the P.E. teacher, is also charged with felony tampering with evidence, and he’s being held on a half-million bail, and he apparently doesn’t yet have a lawyer. If anyone’s ready to be fitted for canary feathers, I’m thinking it might be Sager.

The latest poll conducted on May 14-15 has McDaniel at 42.7%, and Cochran at 39.7%.

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