Three more arrested in Mississippi mud-flinging case

posted at 8:41 am on May 23, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The curious case of Clayton Kelly got even more curious yesterday. Police arrested three more men in the investigation of the photographing of Rose Cochran in her nursing home, including the former radio partner of a candidate in the Republican primary for the US Senate seat in Mississippi. All three were charged with conspiracy, and two face even more charges:

The arrests today included attorney Mark Mayfield, a member of the board of the Central Mississippi Tea Party; Richard Sager of Laurel; and John Mary of Hattiesburg.

The three men were charged with conspiracy. Sager is also charged with evidence tampering, while Mary faces multiple charges.

The Clarion-Ledger updates the scorecards with some background on all three men:

Mary is the most mysterious of the three. The Hattiesburg resident is also known by his radio name, John Bert. When McDaniel was elected to the state Senate and left the WMXI radio program he started — and which recordings of have caused the candidate heartburn during the campaign — Mary became co-host to Fairchilds, who had co-hosted with McDaniel.

But Mary and McDaniel are no strangers. McDaniel continued to participate with the radio program and was a regular guest host. According to internet postings, Mary and McDaniel even regularly co-hosted together when McDaniel would visit the show. …

Mayfield’s connection to the McDaniel campaign seems to be the strongest. Mayfield is listed as the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, which was quick to endorse McDaniel when he announced his candidacy. Mayfield was also one of the more active volunteers with the campaign. He helped distribute literature and yard signs. The Ridgeland attorney repeatedly posted in Facebook comments about where people could pick up campaign material and about upcoming events. Mayfield apparently volunteered in a campaign office on Lakeland Drive in the shopping center behind Mugshots. And Mayfield contributed $500 to McDaniel’s campaign.

But Mayfield’s political involvement also extended into McDaniel’s work as a state senator. Mayfield was at the Capitol often during legislative sessions, and he helped organize political events aimed at fiscal issues pushed by the Senate Conservative Coalition, which McDaniel started. In 2009, Mayfield helped organize the first Tax Day Tea Party event in the state with WJNT radio host Kim Wade. One of the headliners of that event was McDaniel.

Sager, on the other hand, is facing the most serious charge of felony obstruction, as well as conspiracy. So far, police and prosecutors aren’t talking much about what they’re finding in this investigation, but the additional arrests strongly suggest that this wasn’t just a case of a blogger wandering far off the reservation all on his own. If authorities are filing obstruction charges, that also suggests that at least one person was trying to clear his tracks.

The DA handling the case made it a point to say that there is no evidence at this point that the McDaniel campaign had any involvement in this plot, although he also stopped short of issuing a definitive clean bill of health on that score, too. Given what we already know about the initial response from the campaigna response that they foolishly denied at first — that fits with those facts which have been made public. The Cochran campaign hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in this instance, either. And strictly from an analytical/theoretical point of view, any major campaign with even a modicum of professional competence would have had nothing to do with this kind of stunt.

However, it’s still … curious that four men now seem to have connected with each other with no prior strong connection to each other (that’s known at this point anyway) to have concluded that this project was a good idea. The results of this investigation will be very, very interesting to see.


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Imagine if McDaniel is found to have failed to report his income, they’ll force the guy to be Treasury Secretary.

Bishop on May 23, 2014 at 8:48 AM

The Left is going to have a field day. Look for the MSM to go bananas and Reed to blame the Koch brothers.

vnvet on May 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Definitely a crazy story.
But it does remind me of someone…

Evi L. Bloggerlady on May 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM

The results of this investigation will be very, very interesting to see.

If you’re interested in the dark web of conspiracy of taking a picture in bad taste.

lowandslow on May 23, 2014 at 8:53 AM

The corruption must be allowed to continue at all costs. Anyone who threatens to drain the swamp will be vilified.

http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2014/05/political-scandal-grows-as-three-more.html

While all four people arrested so far have connections to
the McDaniel’s campaign THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THE BREAK IN TO THE NURSING HOME /hospice were the wife of Thad Cochran has been treated for dementia for the past 13 years WAS DONE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OR APPROVAL OF THE CHALLENGER.

While all three men arrested Thursday are McDaniel supporters and have associations with the campaign none of them have any official role with the campaign.

Haley Barbour corruption on steroids! Despicable.

Jayrae on May 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM

However, it’s still … curious that four men now seem to have connected with each other with no prior strong connection to each other (that’s known at this point anyway) to have concluded that this project was a good idea.

…huh…? More coffee before writing the next post, please… ;-)

Ricard on May 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM

awkward….

libfreeordie on May 23, 2014 at 9:01 AM

However, it’s still … curious that four men now seem to have connected with each other with no prior strong connection to each other (that’s known at this point anyway) to have concluded that this project was a good idea.

I think you might be assuming guilt here, Ed. Just because they were arrested doesn’t necessarily tie them in, in fact. It does *look* bad. But that might be the point.

I’ll keep my powder dry on this one for a bit longer.

GWB on May 23, 2014 at 9:01 AM

It is pretty awkward. I look forward to McDaniel getting the same kid-glove treatment that Dog Eater got when it was discovered that he was buddies with a certain domestic terrorist whose name rhymes with “Bill Ayers”.

Bishop on May 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Meanwhile …

FUNDRAISERS AT COCHRAN AIDE’S HOUSE MAY HAVE BEEN ILLEGAL, LAWYER SAYS

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/22/Fundraisers-At-Cochran-Aides-House-May-Have-Been-Illegal-Lawyer-Says

Thad Cochran’s longtime executive assistant ladylove, Kay Webber, frequently rents the first floor of the stately Capitol Hill house she owns as a venue for fundraisers, including to Cochran’s campaign.

Pork-Chop on May 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

All of this is over someone taking a picture of someone in a nursing home? Anybody can walk into just about any nursing home and take pictures of and with residents. My church does it all the time.

Am I missing something?

HotAirian on May 23, 2014 at 9:06 AM

“This has the fingerprints of the Koch Brothers all over it. And as a former pedophile, I speak from experience.” – Sen. Harry Reid

Clioman on May 23, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Am I missing something?

HotAirian on May 23, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Yes. She has dementia and cannot consent. And there was no consent given on her behalf.

GWB on May 23, 2014 at 9:14 AM

awkward….

libfreeordie on May 23, 2014 at 9:01 AM

No kidding. When Republicans start acting like Progressives/liberals it’s never pretty.

Ricard on May 23, 2014 at 9:14 AM

McDaniel has a ton of momentum and is leading in the latest polls so I am not surprised to see desperation tactics and damage control employed by the usual suspects

Anything to carry water for the establishment I guess

tcufrog on May 23, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Just my opinion, but it appears these campaigns are getting short on ideas and long on mud!! / In the words of the Wicked Witch of the West…”What a World, What a World…..

Deano1952 on May 23, 2014 at 9:17 AM

What exactly did these 3 doofus red necks hope to gain with the pictures of Cochran’s wife? This could be the start of a new reality show if they get off, How to End the Campaign of a Tea Party Candidate. BTW, how long has it been since Thad visited the wife? I know she probably doesn’t know him anymore, but he could at least show some compassion.

Kissmygrits on May 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

What exactly did these 3 doofus red necks hope to gain with the pictures of Cochran’s wife? This could be the start of a new reality show if they get off, How to End the Campaign of a Tea Party Candidate. BTW, how long has it been since Thad visited the wife? I know she probably doesn’t know him anymore, but he could at least show some compassion.

Kissmygrits on May 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

My guess is that they were going to use it in an attack ad on Cochran showing how he is living in the basement of his mistress’s house in Washington while ignoring his wife who is suffering on her death bed back in Mississippi.

Even then I doubt McDaniel would have been OK with it or greenlighted it.

Won’t stop HA from attempting to tie this to the McDaniel campaign though and carry water for the establishment

tcufrog on May 23, 2014 at 9:29 AM

The Cochran Campaign and its media apparatchiks keep insinuating that Kelly’s actions can somehow be tied to the McDaniel Campaign.

Isn’t it amazing that Cochran and the Barbour machine would prefer to talk about ANYTHING at this stage than Cochran’s record? Similar to the McConnell Campaign tying Bevin to some made-up cockfighting “scandal”.

When a politician has spent a long time in DC but refuses to talk about his/her record, then there is something terribly WRONG with that record.

Anyone willing to bet that a lot of these “suspects” would be let go after the election and Cochran would then belatedly call for some privacy?

TheRightMan on May 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

What exactly did these 3 doofus red necks hope to gain with the pictures of Cochran’s wife?

What did the McDaniel campaign have to gain by participation in this conspiracy to take a picture? Doesn’t fit Morrissey’s narrative so it’s nothing they want to explore.

lowandslow on May 23, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Whomever is guilty needs to arrange being caught soliciting underage Puerto Rican hookers, it’s an instant get out of jail free card.

Bishop on May 23, 2014 at 9:43 AM

That’s the part nobody wants to touch. There’s crime, there’s conspiracy….but there’s absolutely no motive.

CycloneCDB on May 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

The Establishment Strikes Back. A vote for Thad Cochran is a vote for amnesty. McDaniel may be a slimy a*hole but he will not vote for amnesty. At this point, what difference does moral high ground make?

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM

It is pretty awkward. I look forward to McDaniel getting the same kid-glove treatment that Dog Eater got when it was discovered that he was buddies with a certain domestic terrorist whose name rhymes with “Bill Ayers”.

Bishop on May 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Gale Sayers? what?

bofh on May 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM

From US News May 22

His lawyer, Kevin Camp, could not persuade Judge Dale Danks to dismiss or downgrade the exploitation charge to a misdemeanor. Camp argued that the state needed to prove the value of the crime was more than $250 to hold Kelly on a felony charge. Currie, however, argued that Rose Cochran’s image was “priceless” and the state had probable cause to show a felony had been committed. Camp said in an interview Wednesday that Kelly obtained a visitor’s pass to the nursing home and photographed Rose Cochran through a door that was opened to a hallway.
Danks chose to send the case to a grand jury and Kelly was being held on $200,000 bond.
Mayfield, arrested by police at his law office, was charged with conspiracy and the judge gave him a bond of $250,000. Though his lawyers objected that the bond was too high, they said Mayfield would post it.
Sager was charged with evidence tampering and conspiracy and held on $500,000 bond.
Mary was charged with two counts of conspiracy involving the exploitation of a vulnerable person and the photographing or filming of a person without permission where there is an expectation of privacy. Investigators said Mary was released on his own recognizance because of health issues.

A little over the top don’t u think? Looks like the heavy fist of justice of fatboy Haley Barbour to me. I like the “priceless” part of Rose Cochran’s picture…I bet it is.

Methinks this may be a wash and McDaniel will win the primary. And I can’t imagine the good folk of ole miss liking the dc madame story.

Cleta’s digging into the illegal parts (from Breitbart news today)

But a high-profile conservative attorney and a leading congressional watchdog say the fact Webber works for Cochran, and that Cochran lives in the house, present a series of thorny legal questions that could land the two in hot water.
“Because she is his staffer and because he lives at the same address as she does and where the events were held, then there are laws and rules that do govern what happens and how things can and cannot be paid for – and clearly these people have made no attempt to sort that out to be sure not to violate anything,” said Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer at Foley and Lardner who is representing the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, said.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Shocker, a state which was represented by KKK Democrat Robert Byrd from 1953 to 2010 is filled with racist constituents. Own it Democrats.

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The MSM really wants very little to do with now…….. However if McDaniel were to win they would eat it up.

Tater Salad on May 23, 2014 at 10:13 AM

I admit I haven’t been following this, but… arrests? On charges of conspiracy? From an amazingly stupid political stunt yes, but… arrests? Conspiracy? WTF?

Midas on May 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

I need cliff notes

This story is so convoluted I am unable to grok it.

goatbod on May 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Shocker, a state which was represented by KKK Democrat Robert Byrd from 1953 to 2010 is filled with racist constituents. Own it Democrats.

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Robert Byrd was from West Virginia. Wrong thread?

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Robert Byrd was from West Virginia. Wrong thread?

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Sorry yeah, wrong thread. That was referring to the people voting in Jay Rockefeller.

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Robert Byrd was from West Virginia. Wrong thread?

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Sorry yeah, wrong thread. That was referring to the people voting in Jay Rockefeller.

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Had to speak up for my state. This absurdity is bad enough, but being linked to Robert Byrd would be truly horrible.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Toast is still burning…

rhombus on May 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Had to speak up for my state. This absurdity is bad enough, but being linked to Robert Byrd would be truly horrible.

There Goes the Neighborhood on May 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

LOL, Politics can get ugly quickly. My state, Texas has had a few flaming libs.

West Virginia Democrats win for the worst state ever.

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Shocker, a state which was represented by KKK Democrat Robert Byrd from 1953 to 2010 is filled with racist constituents. Own it Democrats.

sauldalinsky on May 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Byrd represented West Virginia, not Mississippi.

And come on guys. McDaniel may be a nice guy and Cochran may be total RINO scum, but there’s alot of smoke here. Are you really sure there’s no fire?

runawayyyy on May 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM

The district attorney, Michael Guest, told The Washington Post on Thursday night that the investigation was ongoing and the McDaniel campaign had not been cleared in connection to political blogger “Constitutional Clayton” Kelly photographing Rose Cochran, the senator’s wife. McDaniel is challenging Cochran in the Republican primary and Kelly supported McDaniel.

here we go…guilty until proven innocent. all they need is “relationships”. Look up Attorney Merrida Coxwell for the defense. He’s a classic.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM

It is pretty awkward. I look forward to McDaniel getting the same kid-glove treatment that Dog Eater got when it was discovered that he was buddies with a certain domestic terrorist whose name rhymes with “Bill Ayers”.

Bishop on May 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Gale Sayers? what?

bofh on May 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Well, you knew Barry has never been buddies with “Tax Payers”.

ChrisB on May 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Are you really sure there’s no fire?

To think there’s any fire you would have to make the assumption that the McDaniel campaign is run by the stupidest people on earth. Even if they thought they could smear Cochran with a hint of having an affair it boggles the mind to think that involving themselves in some weird conspiracy to take a picture of Cochran’s wife in a hospital bed would further the smear. Hell even if they were stupid enough to think a photo would help somehow, there’s millions of stock photos they could’ve used without going through some elaborate plan to sneak a real one.

lowandslow on May 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM

The Cochran campaign knew about this photo before anyone else did. Why did they wait to expose it?

fight like a girl on May 23, 2014 at 10:59 AM

awkward….

libfreeorgan on May 23, 2014 at 9:01 AM

…someday you’ll have to show us how you can contort yourself like that!

KOOLAID2 on May 23, 2014 at 11:07 AM

A little over the top don’t u think?

gracie

Over the top? This is the crime of the century dontcha know.

xblade on May 23, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The names in this case, including the counties, have me thoroughly confused. I give up.

bour3 on May 23, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Apparently Sen Jerry Moran was on MSNBC, and refused to say if they would support McDaniel if he wins the primary.

https://twitter.com/PruPaine/status/469829607211139072

cat_owner on May 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

All of this is over someone taking a picture of someone in a nursing home? Anybody can walk into just about any nursing home and take pictures of and with residents. My church does it all the time.

Am I missing something?

HotAirian on May 23, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Be prepared to be excoriated for not thinking this is a big deal…

What exactly did these 3 doofus red necks hope to gain with the pictures of Cochran’s wife? This could be the start of a new reality show if they get off, How to End the Campaign of a Tea Party Candidate. BTW, how long has it been since Thad visited the wife? I know she probably doesn’t know him anymore, but he could at least show some compassion.

Kissmygrits on May 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

You too. Men who leave their dementia-addled wives and skirt around with mistresses without divorcing said wives are to be applauded, not judged. I read that on Hotair.

cptacek on May 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

cat_owner on May 23, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Moran’s from Kansas. No one knows McDaniel from Adam.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM

You too. Men who leave their dementia-addled wives and skirt around with mistresses without divorcing said wives are to be applauded, not judged. I read that on Hotair.

cptacek on May 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

yup! that’s why u see the outrage from Cochran campaign…they are trying to deflect from his dirty deeds…and he isn’t discrete about it..in fact he flaunts it. his girlfriend even throws fundraisers for him in his/her dc home…unfreakin’ believable.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Moran is head of the NRSC. So essentially, the NRSC will not say they will support McDaniel if he defeats Cochrane. Yet conservatives are supposed to fall in line when their establishment candidates defeat conservatives.

cat_owner on May 23, 2014 at 12:58 PM

My husband has been saying this from the time this story first broke:
Disgusting as it is, sneaking into an incapacitated person’s room and photographing her, I don’t think your average Joe’s spouse would have solicited the same high bail and ferocity of prosecution.

I think the creeps should be punished. I just wish the punishment/justice was equal to what us mere mortals would receive.

So tired of those in positions of power being treated differently than the rest of us.

MississippiMom on May 23, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Moran is head of the NRSC

I despise these guys. They send me surveys and requests for moolah and I send them back my advice and what I think of them. Not another penny from me because they make a habit of trashing conservatives.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Moran is head of the NRSC

and P.S. Mississippi is very red and will never be blue in our lifetimes.. McDaniel doesn’t need the NRSC.. If he wins the primary he wins the Senate.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Listen, if McDaniels wanted to dip into the muck raking courtesy of Cochran’s apparent adultery, it would look something like this:

“Todd Cochran’s wife is terribly disabled and she lives here (show uncomplementary picture of the facility), while her husband lives here (show million dollar home) with this woman (show floosie shot of Cochran’s assitant). Todd Cochran has made this woman the most highly compensated assistant in the Senate with an annual wage of one hundred forty thousand dollars. If Todd Cochran isn’t loyal to his disabled wife, what makes you think he’s been loyal to Mississippi?”

Paid for by random PAC

Immolate on May 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Paid for by random PAC

Immolate on May 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

I think that’s already happened without mcdaniel saying it. that’s the beautiful part of this..cochran is eating his own tail blowing this out of proportion, getting high bonds demanded and insinuating mcdaniel is the point person.

Remember, a picture of Rose Cochran is priceless!!

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 1:58 PM

This story has little to do with how these candidates will vote.

KMav on May 23, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Michael Guest, the district attorney for Madison and Rankin counties, told Simmons that he doesn’t believe anyone with the McDaniel campaign is involved.

KMav on May 23, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Paid for by random PAC

Immolate on May 23, 2014 at 1:37 PM

right…anyone with a grain of political sense could do something like this…which is why this smells like a left or Chamber false flag operation. A photo of his wife is not needed…and there would be an ick factor.

r keller on May 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

So we don’t like the establishment candidate so it’s fine to invade his disabled wife’s privacy.

Any indecency is quite alright if it’s done by someone we like?

G-d help us.

Lee Jan on May 23, 2014 at 6:13 PM

So we don’t like the establishment candidate so it’s fine to invade his disabled wife’s privacy.

Any indecency is quite alright if it’s done by someone we like?

The only one saying that is you. You probably think it was ok for her loving husband to hold onto the info that she was being photographed for 3 weeks for maximum political damage, just suggesting that it was his opponent’s doing…looks like old Thad was using his wife as bait for the jackals who bit. What a nice man with a loverly goilfriend keeping his crusty toes warm at nite to boot.

gracie on May 23, 2014 at 7:37 PM