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Posts tagged "Mississippi"

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Since the runoff McDaniel and his supporters have complained that McDaniel actually won the Republican vote in the runoff and Cochran was only the winner through getting African Americans and Democrats to vote for him.

As The New York Times’ Upshot blog notes, Cochran won 92 percent of the votes in the precincts that are Democratic strongholds. President Barack Obama won 99 percent of the vote in those precincts in 2012. Cochran won those precincts by 3,889 votes, or more than half of his margin of victory in the runoff over all. With those votes, Democratic votes in other parts of the state could have cleanly brought Cochran over the finish line in the runoff, even with Republican voters in those precincts going for McDaniel.

An important data point to keep in mind also is that in historically Democratic-dominant places like Hinds County, one of the most densely populated counties in Mississippi, turnout wasn’t especially large (7.4 percent of the 2012 general election numbers) — but with runoff voters going 92 to 8 for Cochran, it would be enough to move the race in Cochran’s favor.

Cochran also got about 32,000 votes from blacks who voted for Obama in the last election, according to the Upshot. That’s about 8 percent of the 382,000 votes over all cast in the runoff election.

Mississippi is a fairly racially polarized state so, even though how African-Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election isn’t perfectly representative of how African-Americans voted since then, it’s fairly close, according to The Upshot. According to exit polls, only about 10 percent of the state’s white voters went for Obama in 2012.

In the whitest, most Republican-leaning precincts (places where Obama got less than 20 percent of the vote) McDaniel beat Cochran with 19,033 votes or 57 percent of the vote. Again though, those numbers don’t perfectly represent all white voters.

Another important fact to keep in mind: the new data doesn’t confirm or disprove that claims by McDaniel supporters that Cochran got Democrats who voted in the Democratic primary to illegally vote in the Republican primary.

The new data is based on 93 percent of the runoff electorate. The other 7 percent is based on information from precincts that couldn’t easily be compared to the 2012 presidential election. But, as the Upshot notes, it isn’t likely that the remaining unmatched data would change the other findings. The unmatched data came from precincts that leaned more Democratic, meaning they were likely more favorable to Cochran.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The party sent results to the Secretary of State on Monday, the legal deadline.

The GOP’s numbers showed Cochran winning by more than the 6,800 votes counted by The Associated Press after the June election. Tallies change as county parties examine provisional ballots and finalize results.

McDaniel, a state senator, has said he would challenge the results. But his attorney Mitch Tyner says it could be days before that happens.

Tyner says the campaign must first finish its investigation into how many voters improperly cast absentee ballots or who voted in both the Democratic primary and GOP runoff, a violation of state law.

Wow, this Dana Loesch lady is nuts.

From the 06.25.2014 edition of TheBlazeTV’s The Glenn Beck Program:

crooksandliars:

Right Wing Extremists Sending Poll Watchers To Tuesday's MS Runoff

Poll watchers in Democratic precincts in Mississippi? What could possibly go wrong with that? But that is exactly what will happen on Tuesday for the runoff between Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel.

New York Times:

As Senator Thad Cochran, the veteran Republican, fights for his political life in Mississippi by taking the unexpected step of courting black Democrats, conservative organizations working to defeat him are planning to deploy poll watchers to monitor his campaign’s turnout operation in Tuesday’s runoff election.

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars backing Mr. Cochran’s Tea Party opponent, State Senator Chris McDaniel, said in an interview on Sunday that his group was joining with Freedom Works and the Tea Party Patriots in a “voter integrity project” in Mississippi.

The groups will deploy observers in areas where Mr. Cochran is recruiting Democrats, Mr. Cuccinelli said. J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department official and conservative commentator who said he was advising the effort, described the watchers as “election observers,” mostly Mississippi residents, who will be trained to “observe whether the law is being followed.”

read more

crooksandliars:

Mississippi GOP Nailbiter Senate Race Heads For Runoff

Despite the scandal involving Chris McDaniel’s supporters and Thad Cochran’s ill wife, neither candidate has been able to secure 50 percent of the vote, with more than 97 percent of the precincts reporting.

If one or the other doesn’t break the 50 percent barrier, they will head for a runoff in three weeks.

The spoiler is Republican candidate Thomas Carey, who siphoned off over 4,000 votes from the other two candidates.

There’s still a chance McDaniel could edge out Cochran in the final count and hit 50 percent. If so, this post will be updated.


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Gene Taylor’s comeback bid is foiled.

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Three more men were arrested in connection with the investigation into the alleged videotaping of the unsuspecting wife of Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran on Thursday. 

The Clarion-Ledger reported Thursday Mississippi Tea Party Vice Chairman Mark Mayfield and one other suspect were arrested in connection with the weekend arrest of Clayton Thomas Kelly, a local activist and blogger who allegedly snuck into Rose Cochran’s nursing home and videotaped her. A Madison police official confirmed the arrest of Mayfield to Business Insider.

Mayfield has extensive ties with the campaign of state Sen. Chris McDaniel, the intra-party insurgent challenging Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary. His arrest will likely provide fodder for the Cochran campaign, which has accused McDaniel’s team of being behind the alleged nursing-home break-in.

Madison Police said Richard Sager of Ellisville, Mississippi, and John Mary of Hattiesburg, Mississippi were the two others person arrested on Thursday. All three defendants were charged with conspiracy to photograph or film another without permission where there is an expectation of privacy. 

In a statement Thursday afternoon, McDaniel denounced the arrested parties.

"As we have said since day one, the violation of the privacy of Mrs. Cochran is out of bounds for politics and is reprehensible," McDaniel said in a statement after the arrests. "Any individuals who were involved in this crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

John Reeves, an attorney representing Mayfield, said he was charged as part of a “conspiracy” to take a photograph of Rose Cochran. Reeves said Mayfield “maintains his innocence” and said he “looks forward to getting this matter resolved in his favor.” He also said Mayfield has “no connection whatsoever” to Kelly.

"This is politics at its worst," Reeves told Business Insider.

 Merrida Coxwell, another attorney representing Mayfield, did not immediately respond to emails and calls for comment. 

The McDaniel campaign’s Facebook page and Mayfield’s personal page both display his support for McDaniel. On April 5, McDaniel’s campaign posted a photo of Mayfield and five other volunteers on Facebook.

"Here’s part of a crew that reached over 500 homes walking in Madison today. Great work team!" the post said.

Mark Mayfield

Facebook/Chris McDaniel for Senate

Police have said Kelly was arrested after the department received information last Thursday about the “possible exploitation of a vulnerable adult resident” at the nursing home.

The resulting investigation determined the 28-year-old Kelly “illegally and improperly obtained an image of a vulnerable adult resident without their consent for his own benefit.” Kelly is currently being held on $100,000 bond.

Kelly maintains a blog, “Constitutional Clayton,” where he posted a video featuring the photo of Cochran’s wife. It has since been removed. 

Both campaigns accused the other of using the situation for political gain. Cochran’s team has accused McDaniel’s camp of being involved in the scheme. Meanwhile, the McDaniel campaign has denied any involvement with Kelly and accused Cochran of attempting to exploit the situation by waiting weeks after finding out about the photo before hiring an attorney. Cochran’s lawyer conducted an investigation and handed over information to police three weeks after Kelly’s video was published online.

Source: Brett Logiurato for Business Insider

h/t: NinetyWt at Daily Kos

h/t: Andrew Kaczynski and Gideon Resnick at BuzzFeed

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Senate Bill 2681 has returned to the Mississippi legislature, resurrected by Senate and House Republicans during the last week of the three-month legislative session. SB 2681, the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (PDF here), is one of many bills introduced in the states this year aimed at creating a “license to discriminate” against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into law.

Opponents thought the bill had been temporarily defeated in early March when the controversial language was amended to institute a study committee in its place. Now, it’s closer to its original form.

Section 1 of the bill says, “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.”

In practical terms, for example, that would mean that a hotel or restaurant owner could refuse service to gay customers while claiming “exercise of religion” and government would have no recourse.

New to the bill is this, found in lines 16-18 of Section 1:

(b) Laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise; (c) Government should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

The target of this section seems to make it clear that the bill is meant to reach far beyond just attacking LGBT rights. In fact, it seems to hint at a case before the Supreme Court right now, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. In what could prove to be a landmark decision, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not corporations can refuse to provide female employees healthcare that includes birth control on the basis of religious belief (and thus whether or not corporations are people with all the rights people enjoy – including free exercise of religion).

The requirement that all healthcare plans include birth control for women may be one of those “neutral” laws that SB 2681 now mocks with quotation marks. This bill would make it clear that employers in Mississippi can refuse to comply with laws that don’t like on religious grounds. So if an employer who happens to be a Jehova’s Witness wants to deny employees access to healthcare that includes blood transfusions (which Jehova’s Witnesses are religiously opposed to), the government would have to provide a compelling justification before “interfering with” the employer’s “free exercise.”

The possibilities the quote-unquote “neutral” language introduces are truly myriad. The point, of course, is to say that there is almost nothing over which a claim of religious belief does not take precedence. A law doesn’t have to be intended to interfere with religious exercise; a religious person just has to claim it interferes.

This version of the bill goes beyond protecting free exercise of religion, instead solidly establishing claims of religious exercise in a privileged position above all else.

The bill makes explicit that it applies to all state laws, rules, regulations, and municipal and county ordinances. That could jeopardize recent advances made in Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, where anti-discrimination effort – including discrimination against LGBT people and other minority – via diversity resolutions have passed to great fanfare in recent months.

The bill still protects the interests of the business community, ensuring that “nothing in this act shall create any rights by an employee against an employer if the employer is not the government.” So, while the act does mean that employers can discriminate against employees and customers on the basis of religious exercise, employees are definitively barred from doing the same in reverse.

The Arizona-style “license to discriminate” bill goes back to a vote on the Mississippi House and Senate floors for an up-or-down vote. No further changes will be allowed. If it passes both houses, SB 2681 then goes to the governor’s desk.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Over the past several years, state legislatures have enacted a record-breaking number of abortion restrictions. That pace hasn’t abated during this year’s legislative sessions, as lawmakers are rushing to pass measures to shut down abortion clinics and create additional red tape for women seeking abortions. But even though the assault on reproductive rights has been steadily gaining ground, there’s one type of restriction that hasn’t been able to win enough support, even among some anti-choice Republicans.

So-called “fetal heartbeat bills,” a radical proposal to cut off legal abortion services at just six weeks — before many women even realize they’re pregnant — are failing in states across the country. Although the far-right abortion opponents who push six-week bans claim that the procedure should be outlawed after a fetal heartbeat can first be detected, they can’t always get their other colleagues to sign onto the effort.

Last year, North Dakota and Alabama became the first states in the country to pass abortion restrictions banning the procedure after the detection of fetal heartbeat (although Arkansas’ ended up being amended to a 12-week ban). Perhaps observing that those two laws have both been blocked from taking effect because they blatantly violate Roe v. Wade, at least five state legislatures have declined to advance fetal heartbeat bans so far this year:

ALABAMA: Lawmakers in Alabama introduced a package of several anti-abortion restrictions, including a six-week abortion ban, on the same day in February. The legislature rushed to approve two of those measures before the state’s session came to a close this week, but the Senate didn’t take up the heartbeat ban. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) said he’s waiting to see how the legal challenges to six-week bans in other states before Alabama passes its own version “and spends dollars we don’t have as a state.” The lawmaker who introduced the bill said she’s “very, very disappointed” that the legislature “didn’t have the fortitude” to approve it anyway.

MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi has been trying and failing to enact a heartbeat ban for several years in a row. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) has already indicated that he’s eager to sign one. “It would tell that mother, ‘Your child has a heartbeat,’” he told supporters at an anti-abortion event last year. But so far, this bill has repeatedly failed to make it out of committee. The state recently passed a 20-week abortion ban, but the heartbeat bill — which would have banned abortion at 12 weeks, like the one in Arkansas — remains a step too far.

KANSAS: Top Republican lawmakers in Kansas have decided to block a six-week abortion ban this year because they’re not interested in provoking a legal fight. Even though the legislature has strong GOP majorities, the politicians there are taking their cues from Kansans for Life, the most influential anti-choice group in the state. Kansans for Life doesn’t support the proposed fetal heartbeat ban because they’re nervous that a court battle would end up striking it down. “We’re just being cautious,” House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey (R) explained when asked why the legislature hasn’t scheduled a vote on the measure.

KENTUCKY: A fetal heartbeat measure was introduced again in Kentucky this session, after failing to advance last year, but abortion opponents haven’t had much luck this time around either. The measure is currently stalled in committee with little chance of passing. Pro-choice Kentucky lawmakers have been able to successfully block proposed abortion restrictions for several years in a row, so there’s little chance that a radical six-week abortion ban will make it through.

OHIO: Republicans in Ohio have long been divided over whether to adopt an aggressive anti-abortion strategy, and attempt to enact a harsh fetal heartbeat ban, or take a more subtle and incremental approach to chipping away at reproductive rights. This split has prevented the state from approving a six-week ban for the past several years, although it continues to be re-introduced. Senate President Keith Faber (R) says he won’t schedule a vote on the measure this session because he’s worried it will trigger a court challenge.

Indeed, legal battles over unconstitutional abortion restrictions come with a cost. North Dakota is gearing up to spend at least $600,000 to defend its stringent anti-abortion laws in court, while Kansas and Idaho have both accumulated legal fees in this area that top one million dollars.

In general, abortion opponents haven’t decided whether it’s better to continue gradually chipping away Roe v. Wade piece by piece, or whether it’s necessary to take a bold stance to ban nearly all abortions. So far, feuds over this divide are bubbling to the surface in political races in Georgia and Kentucky. And some Republicans will need to adopt a particularly hardline stance against abortion if they want to court support from thecountry’s major anti-choice groups before the upcoming presidential primaries.

But so far, anti-choice lawmakers have actually had more success with the first, incremental strategy. That’s largely because radical restrictions like six-week bans, which are obviously extreme on their face, tend to capture headlines and spark outrage — while more subtle efforts to undermine abortion rights are able to slip under the radar.

H/T: Tony Merevick at BuzzFeed

h/t: Daniel Strauss at TPM Livewire