Let’s be absolutely clear about this: there is NO REASON to think that the three people who got locked into the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson, Mississippi were doing anything nefarious. They just happened to accidentally get stuck in the closed courthouse after midnight on the night that ballots were being counted in the Thad Cochran / Chris McDaniel Senate primary that was too close to call. And one of them is a top campaign official for tea party candidate McDaniel. There’s almost certainly an excellent explanation for all this that doesn’t involve electoral ratfucking. We’re betting it’s Obama’s fault. Or the lack of prayer in schools.
The Clarion-Ledger reports:
Hinds County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Othor Cain said investigators are trying to figure out how Janis Lane, Scott Brewster and Rob Chambers entered the courthouse. They were inside until about 3:45 a.m., Cain said.
Brewster is a former coordinator of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s Mississippi operation and is currently McDaniel’s campaign coalition coordinator.
“There are conflicting stories from the three of them, which began to raise the red flag, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it,” Cain said. “No official charges have been filed at this point, but we don’t know where the investigation will lead us.”
Hmmmm! Maybe they should try what every Labrador retriever in the world does when caught with a torn-open bag of kibble: look their accusers straight in the eye and insist, “It was like this when I got here… uh… I was guarding the evidence for you!” This technique works much better if you have big soulful brown eyes and adorable floppy ears.
The other two people caught in the courthouse were Janis Lane, a Central Mississippi Tea Party board member, and Rob Chambers, a consultant for the “Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Commission” who has also worked with the McDaniel campaign.
Needless to say, the McDaniel campaign issued a statement that everything’s under control, situation normal, everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you? You see, what happened was that there was a slight
weapons malfunction misunderstanding about the courthouse hours on election night or something, yeah. You see, the campaign
“sent people to the Hinds courthouse to obtain the outstanding numbers and observe the count.” The statement reiterated the people were allowed in by “uniformed personnel” and then being locked inside. [sic]
Also, too, the very suggestion that anything untoward might have happened is nothing but scurrilous lies from scurrilous Cochran operatives who are probably up to no good in suggesting that McDaniel operatives locked inside the courthouse where the votes were kept might just be up to no good.
Predictably, a close Cochran ally wants to make hay out of this. Sadly, the Cochran campaign wants to make this election about anything but issues. Mississippians deserve better than this sort of distraction politics[.]
Yes, yes, and here are your winnings, monsieur. Meanwhile, over on the Cochran side, a campaign spokesbot was just as shocked and outraged, saying,
It is astonishing that the same people who are up to their eyeballs in four felons breaking into a nursing home are also up to their eyeballs in potentially breaking in somewhere else again…
And this time they can’t deny that a paid staffer is involved. At some point you got to say enough is enough. How many more arrests of allies and McDaniel team members before we can say this has gone too far?
Just how big a deal this turns out to be depends on the investigation, of course; whatever the three junior MacGyvers thought they were up to, the Sheriff’s Office made clear that the actual ballots were secure the whole time.
Yr Wonkette can’t wait to find out what other wonderful details about this little midnight ratclusterfuck come out. Since neither McDaniel nor Cochrane got more than 50% of the vote in the primary, they’ll be doing this all over again near the end of June, and until then, we hope they go at each other like caged rodents. We’re betting the Democratic nominee for Senate, former congressman Travis Childers, is looking forward to watching all the squeaking and biting too.
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