Dead Presidents in Mississippi

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 3 2014 8:54 AM

Dead Presidents in Mississippi

451120556-republican-candidate-for-u-s-senate-mississippi-state
Still not finished.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Here's a postscript to yesterday's pot-banging insanity in Mississippi. The accusations that have rallied many conservatives (RedState, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, etc.) back to the Chris McDaniel banner are basically these: He lost only because Democrats illegally crossed over to vote in the GOP primary, and because Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign "bought votes." Cochran's campaign has rebutted the latter charge by arguing that the money handed out to some volunteers was intended for Get Out the Vote Activities. This hasn't satisfied some conservatives, who see the distribution of "walking around money" as a scandal.

Critics are firing back, pointing out that McDaniel's FEC reports reveal that he handed "petty cash" to Dawn Walters, the assistant treasurer of the campaign. And indeed he did.

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But a campaign petty cash fund is not typically used for "walking around" purposes. I looked into this only to demonstrate that both sides in Mississippi are now combing the records of an election that was considered over, to see if there's any new advantage to claim.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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