The earlier, and original expose’/article by freelance reporter Charles C Johnson failed to mention that Johnson paid a Mississippi pastor, Stevie Fielder, for his information. On it’s face that ‘failure to inform’ might not seem like a big deal, and hopefully it is not, but when you leave such a visible crack inside such an explosive story you open yourself up to attacks. Interview with Charles C Johnson about the investigation HERE
The Breitbart article below cleans up some of the clouded details. After listening to over an hour of recordings, discussions and explanations of research – one thing is certain:
This is more than enough evidence to force another election. Actually this is more than enough information for the FBI to begin arresting Cochran campaign organizers in and around Mississippi. Perhaps even Senator Cochran himself.
[Breitbart] A black Mississippi pastor has emerged to claim Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) campaign paid “thousands” of Democrats $15 each to vote in the June 24 GOP runoff – and that he was part of the scheme.
Rev. Stevie Fielder, an associate pastor at First Union Missionary Baptist Church in Meridan, Mississippi, says Cochran’s campaign “told me to offer blacks $15 each and to vote for Thad.”
Fielder, who was paid by freelance journalist Charles C. Johnson for the story, provided a new outlet launched by Johnson—GotNews.com—with four text messages from a person purporting to be Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird.
The messages cite an official Cochran campaign email address—Saleem@ThadForMs.com—and include detailed discussions of the campaign providing envelopes of money to distribute to people who vote.
“Send me individual names and amounts along with home address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll have money separated in envelopes at the office waiting for you,” one message, sent three days before the runoff, says.
Fielder said he helped distribute the Cochran cash for votes on a promise of eventually getting paid $16,000—and because a key Cochran campaign staffer convinced him that Cochran’s conservative challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel was racist.
“They sold me on the fact that he was a racist and that the right thing to do was to keep him out of office,” Fielder said.
But Cochran’s campaign never paid, Fielder said. (read more)
By his own admission (audio above) Reverend Fielder was paid to act as a middle man by a Cochran campaign aide named Saleem Baird. According to Rev Fielder Mr. Baird was one of the few black campaign workers and staffers inside the Cochran campaign. When Mr. Fielder met with Baird he noted him as wearing a Cochran campaign T-Shirt.
Additionally, according to whistleblower Fielder, the premise behind Baird contacting Fielder and other civic leaders was a specifically coordinated strategy to target Mississippi black voters to vote for Cochran. The Cochran campaign would pay each of the middlemen if the election was successful.
Reverend Fielder states he was promised $16,000 for his efforts in getting out “thousands” of votes – and he distributed hundreds of envelopes each containing $15 to each of the voters he brought to the polling station. The envelopes were pre-filled with cash at the Cochran campaign headquarters where he picked them up.
[…] …”Saleem Baird, a staffer with the Cochran campaign and current legislative aide to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, and Cochran campaign manager, Kirk Sims, were involved in a $15-per-vote cash bribery scheme to target members of the black community.
“They said they needed black votes,” said the Reverend Fielder on the phone. He says Baird told him to “give the fifteen dollars in each envelope to people as they go in and vote. You know, not right outside of the polling place but he would actually recruit people with the $15 dollars and they would go in and vote.”
Fielder said he received thousands of dollars in envelopes from Baird and distributed them accordingly. Fielder also says he went to the campaign office on another occasion to pick up $300 in cash and was among a room full of people who were doing the same thing he was.
Fielder said that Saleem Baird was doing the same thing with people all over the state. Fielder believes that the racism charge against McDaniel and the promise of $15 a vote motivated ‘thousands’ of black Democrats like him to vote for Cochran in the runoff. When asked if Fielder would have been more suspicious of Baird’s promises had he been white, Fielder replied, “Yes, definitely.” (link)
Saleem Baird is no stranger to controversy as this 2011 Politico article outlines.