And of course the Republican establishment went after McDaniel and McDaniel said he he had nothing to do with it:A Mississippi political blogger has been arrested for allegedly sneaking into the nursing home where Sen. Thad Cochran's wife resides and taking her picture for an online video, the Clarion-Ledger reported Saturday.
The blogger, Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, was charged with exploitation of a vulnerable adult. The video, described as a "hit piece" to the newspaper by its sources, was allegedly critical of Cochran (R-MS) and supportive of his GOP primary challenger, State Sen. Chris McDaniel.
It was posted on April 26 and included a picture of Rose Cochran, who suffers from dementia and moved into the nursing home in 2000. It has since been taken down, according to the Clarion-Ledger. - TPM, 5/17/14
But here's the thing, McDaniel's campaign did know about it:"My only response would be that it's disgusting and inhuman," Brad Dayspring, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told TPM in an email. "For weeks, the attacks lobbed toward Senator Cochran have been ugly, and there seems to be no boundary that they won't cross."
The McDaniel campaign quickly sought to distance itself from Kelly, asserting that the blogger had "no relationship" while it released a sympathetic statement from McDaniel toward the Cochrans.
"I've reached out to Senator Cochran directly to express my abhorrence for the reprehensible actions of this individual," McDaniel said. "This criminal act is deeply offensive and my team and I categorically reject such appalling behavior."
But separating McDaniel from Kelly could prove more difficult than a simple statement. Though a campaign spokesman told the Clarion-Ledger, which broke the story, that he had "never even heard (Kelly's) name," one of the blog posts on Kelly's website is titled "I Met MS Senator Chris McDaniel" and features what seems to be a picture with McDaniel and Kelly.
GOP operatives also pointed to a YouTube video of Kelly's that appears to feature a one-on-one interview with McDaniel. McDaniel, for his part, told The Hill that he had met Kelly, but didn't know him. - TPM, 5/17/14
Crazy and disgusting.But according to the Clarion-Ledger, McDaniel's campaign manager, State Sen. Melanie Sojourner, called Cochran's campaign manager on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m. to offer her condolences about the break-in -- about 90 minutes before the connection to the Cochrans became public.
Kelly had been arrested Friday, the Clarion-Ledger reported, but the initial reports did not mention Cochran's wife, Rose, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home. That connection became known on Saturday morning when the Clarion-Ledger published a story -- and after Sojourner made her call.
A McDaniel campaign spokesperson had said earlier that he knew nothing about Kelly's arrest.
"I think it would be interesting to know how (Sojourner) would hear about it before 7:45 a.m.," a Cochran spokesman told the newspaper. - TPM, 5/17/14