MISSISSIPPI

McDaniel Delivers Challenge Notice

And a Clarion-Ledger reporter suspects the ‘challenge’ money he’s raising could pay off a personal loan.

Andrea Drusch
July 7, 2014, 7:35 a.m.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R) cam­paign says it has served pa­pers to Sen. Thad Co­chran’s (R) son, Clayton, giv­ing no­tice of the in­tent to chal­lenge the res­ults of the run­off, based on al­leg­a­tions of im­prop­er vot­ing. The cam­paign claims to have found nearly 5,000 ex­amples of im­prop­er vot­ing, but hasn’t re­leased doc­u­ments sup­port­ing the claim.

“The elec­tion chal­lenge will be filed with the state Re­pub­lic­an Party ex­ec­ut­ive com­mit­tee, as re­quired by law. If the com­mit­tee re­jects a re­quest for a new elec­tion, McDaniel could file an ap­peal with a state cir­cuit court in a county where the cam­paign be­lieves it has found vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­it­ies, said state Sen. Mi­chael Wat­son, an at­tor­ney who is work­ing with the McDaniel cam­paign.”

Co­chran’s cam­paign says its at­tor­neys are dis­cuss­ing the chal­lenge. (AP)

RE­WARD: McDaniel is­sued a chal­lenge to sup­port­ers who could “provide evid­ence lead­ing to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion” of any­one in­volved in voter fraud dur­ing the run­off. His cam­paign sent an email re­quest­ing dona­tions so that it could give fif­teen $1,000 re­wards to par­ti­cipants. (re­lease)

CASH­ING OUT: The Jack­son Clari­on-Ledger’s Sam Hall spec­u­lates on wheth­er McDaniel is rais­ing money for a chal­lenge, or to pay off a per­son­al loan to his cam­paign.

“While McDaniel and his cam­paign re­peatedly have said they owe no debt, his cam­paign fin­ance re­ports show something dif­fer­ent. Fur­ther­more, even though he has been mak­ing fun­drais­ing re­quests for spe­cif­ic pro­jects, those con­tri­bu­tions can be used for any leg­al cam­paign ex­pendit­ure — in­clud­ing debt pay­ments.”

“After the primary run­off, McDaniel had $5,200 raised to­ward the gen­er­al elec­tion and the $100,100 loan. He re­por­ted $60,000 cash on hand. That leaves a de­fi­cit of $34,900 for McDaniel. Of course, that de­fi­cit could be wiped away if McDaniel for­gives the loan he made to his cam­paign… Nev­er­the­less, for­giv­ing the loan would leave McDaniel with just less than $55,000 to put to­ward the leg­al chal­lenge. As leg­al chal­lenges go, that’s not a lot. There’s also the cost of pay­ing staff through all this time. In short, that money isn’t go­ing to last long.”

“Any money con­trib­uted to­ward [McDaniel’s] Elec­tion Chal­lenge Fund, can be used for any oth­er leg­al cam­paign ex­penses. All McDaniel has to do is file a chal­lenge and go through the pro­cess. That al­lows him to raise an­oth­er round of $2,600 from maxed out donors and use the money however he sees fit — in­clud­ing pay­ing polit­ic­al staff or re­pay­ing his own loan.” (Jack­son Clari­on-Ledger)

LINE IN THE SAND: McDaniel’s cam­paign man­ager Melanie So­journ­er wrote on Face­book that she’ll nev­er, ever en­dorse Co­chran. “For me to ever en­dorse Co­chran would be to say that I can ac­cept or find it ok the tac­tics he used,” So­journ­er writes. “That will simply nev­er be the truth. Ever.” (BuzzFeed)

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