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Hullabaloo


Thursday, July 17, 2014

 
Mississippi learning

by digby

I have to admit that I can't help chuckling at this idiotic Mississippi Senate race.  Here's the latest:
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's political machine paid to turn out the black vote for Republican Sen. Thad Cochran's re-election bid, according to campaign finance reports. His vanquished rival insisted that was improper and said Wednesday that a legal challenge to the loss remained likely in the next 10 days.

Barbour, a political giant in his state and a favorite of national donors, backed Mississippi Conservatives and his nephew Henry Barbour was a top official there. Mississippi Conservatives sent almost $145,000 to All Citizens for Mississippi, a late-to-arrive group that urged black voters to turn out for the June 24 runoff between Cochran and tea party favorite state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

The Barbour-led group was the sole source of money for the outreach efforts toward black and Democratic voters. The group spent $111,000 in the final weeks of the campaign to highlight Cochran's support for historically black colleges and for Hurricane Katrina recovery dollars.

McDaniel and his allies bitterly complain that Democrats helped put Cochran over the top in a state where Democrat is often synonymous with black. McDaniel himself has refused to explicitly reference race, but his advisers said that Cochran and his allies resorted to "race baiting" to win.
Imagine that. Republicans accusing each other of race baiting.

Now it is true that Haley Barbour's deadpan response is enough to make wingnuts' heads explode (and liberals laugh out loud)
"What we were looking for were Cochran supporters who didn't vote," said Brian Perry, the chief at the pro-Cochran super PAC. "When you go back and look at his 2008 general election, he had a lot of support in the black community. These are people who voted for him before and more-than-likely would be voting for him in the general. And so it makes sense to ask them to vote for him in the primary, as well."
Yeah, right. Everybody knew what they were doing --- the Republican establishment and the African Americans who participated. Let's not pretend otherwise.

It's not as though it's unprecedented  for members of the opposing party to make mischief in a primary. And it's common for the political establishment in both parties to muck around in primaries to benefit incumbents. Certainly, it comes as no surprise to Democrats when the DC Dems  try to attract conservative Republicans no make sure a progressive doesn't beat one of their New Dem/Blue Dog faves. It happens every cycle. I feel the Tea Party's pain in that regard.

The only thing that's different here is that Republicans appealed to African Americans, which is apparently such a slap in the face to the Tea Party they just can't get past it. And I think we know why that might be.  The good news is that about half of white Mississippi isn't having the usual racist fit, so there actually is some progress.

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