McDaniel is flatly accusing Cochran of having stolen the election—"My opponent stole last week’s runoff election," he says in a new fundraising email—and is still working to overturn the results of the election. McDaniel's big problem: He doesn't have a compelling legal theory for why the results should be overturned or why Cochran should be disqualified.
The latest attempt by McDaniel allies to establish just such a theory is to claim that Cochran illegally bought votes, an accusation Cochran's campaign denies:
Blogger Charles C. Johnson of GotNews.com is reporting that Stevie Fielder says the Cochran campaign told him to offer black voters in the Meridian area $15 each to vote for Cochran in the June 24 GOP primary runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel.Johnson's report includes text messages allegedly exchanged between Fielder and the campaign concerning envelopes filled with cash for pro-Cochran GOTV efforts. Russell, the Cochran spokesman, says that Fielder was paid $300 by the Cochran campaign, and acknowledged that the campaign does pay field "volunteers" with cash stuffed in envelopes, but said it was for voter contact, not vote buying. Russell also disputed Johnson's report by noting that Johnson had paid Fielder for his story.
Cochran campaign spokesman Jordan Russell called the accusations of illegal vote buying "baseless and false."
According to Dave Weigel, conservatives are warming to the idea of a serious McDaniel challenge to the results—he reports FreedomWorks has declared the election to be "a federal crime." But hot air and fundraising pitches are just hot air, and the key question remains: What is Chris McDaniel going to do about his claim that the election was stolen, aside from using it to raise money from suckers?
1:29 PM PT: Meanwhile, the Cochran campaign holds a press conference, it devolves into this: