The political powers that be are going all out to build support for a GOP insider who is facing a powerful challenge from a tea-party candidate for his own party’s Senate nomination – to the point a Democratic political operative has been put to work drumming up Democratic votes for Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi.
It’s according to a report from local media outlets, including the Clarion-Ledger, which said James “Scooby Doo” Warren, a longtime Democratic operative, confirmed he was working with Mississippi Conservatives PAC on behalf of Cochran.
He’s facing a runoff on June 24 with tea-party favorite Chris McDaniel, after McDaniel actually defeated Cochran in a GOP primary earlier this month.
As WND reported, McDaniel won 49.5 percent of the vote and Cochran garnered 49 percent. However, a runoff was required because neither candidate reached 50 percent.
The Warren work includes a strategy to get out the vote and is being installed “across the whole state,” the Clarion report said.
The report confirmed Warren revealed he wasn’t working with the Cochran campaign but for a political action committee and Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr., the pastor of New Horizon Church.
The church shares an address with a new super PAC that ran ads supporting Cochran, the report said.
Warren told the newspaper he can work on a GOP strategy for now, but “whoever wins will have to deal with me in November.”
The newspaper reported Rickey Cole, the chief of the state Democratic Party, wasn’t exactly pleased.
“I think Democrats ought to vote for a Democratic nominee, Republicans ought to vote for a Republican nominee, and independents ought to wait until November,” he told the newspaper.
According to WTOK-Television in Meridian, Cole said the strategy is legal, but he’s concerned about encouraging Democrats to vote in the Republican primary.
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“I think games like this muddy the waters and make it more difficult for members of a political party to decide who their nominee should be,” Cole said.
Only 1,400 votes separated the two candidates in the primary, which Richard Viguerie, known as the “funding father” of the conservative movement for his innovative work, called significant nationally.
Viguerie, author of “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It,” believes McDaniel is the right man for the job.
Published by WND Books in April, Viguerie’s “Takeover” documents how a century-long civil war within the GOP – a case of Establishment v. Conservative – is building to a climax.
According to Viguerie, Cochran is “one of the least distinguished members of the Senate.” Often associated with pork-barrel projects, “he has spent a 36-year career … feeding at the taxpayer-funded trough instead of fighting for conservative principles.”
In 2010, Citizens Against Government Waste named Cochran the top pork-barrel spender in the Senate with a total of 240 earmarked projects worth $490.2 million.
With Americans weary of government spending and overreach, and approval ratings of Congress and the president at historic lows, the time is ripe to change the political landscape, Viguerie contends.
According to the Tea Party Express, “It looks like Sen. Thad Cochran supporters are trying to steal with election. … We cannot let this blatant effort to steal the election go unanswered.”
One top GOP incumbent already has fallen in this primary season, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia lost his primary by a significant margin to a relatively unknown professor, David Brat.