Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cochran PAC operator and RNC insider Barbour says he'll seek Democrat voters in hopes of winning Mississippi Republican Primary runoff, however he's confined to Democrats who didn't vote in the Democrat primary and who were registered to vote in time for the 6/3 elections

6/4/14, "Incumbent in Mississippi Runoff Aims for More Than Just G.O.P. Votes," NY Times, Jonathan Martin, Flowood, Mississippi  

Mississippi "state law bars voters who cast ballots in one party’s primary from participating in another party’s runoff." The Cochran campaign already invited Democrats to vote in the 6/3/14 "open Republican" primary. Those Democrats may be allowed to vote in the GOP runoff, but some other Democrats may not, per rules from Miss. Sec. of State website on the 6/24 Runoff:
to be eligible to vote in the June 24, 2014 Primary Runoff Election.

  • If an eligible voter did not participate in the June 3rd Primary Election, the voter may vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary Runoff. 
  • The State of Mississippi does not allow “crossover” voting.  Meaning, if a voter cast a ballot in the Democratic Primary, he/she must cast a ballot in the Democratic Primary Runoff.  If a voter cast a ballot in the Republican Primary, he/she must cast a ballot in the Republican Primary Runoff.  (Miss. Code Ann §23-15-575)
  • Uniformed and Overseas ballots have been transmitted in accordance with State and Federal law.
  • It seems whoever voted in the "open Republican primary" on 6/3 can vote in the Republican runoff. Despite stating Miss. "does not allow crossover voting" the 6/3 Republican primary certainly did. So they must mean for the Republican runoff they disallow crossover voters who voted in the "open Democrat" primary. As opposed to crossover Dem. voters who voted in the 6/3 "open GOP" primary. They're still allowed. Cochran PAC operator, lobbyist, and RNC official Henry Barbour said they'd treat the runoff "like a general election and seek votes of Democrats and Independents," that "every registered voter in Mississippi...needs to show up." Per the Miss. Sec. of State site, they must have been registered to vote in time for the 6/3/14 election to vote in the 6/24 runoff.

    6/4/14, "Incumbent in Mississippi Runoff Aims for More Than Just G.O.P. Votes," NY Times, Jonathan Martin, Flowood, Mississippi

    "Senator Thad Cochran’s supporters opened Mississippi’s Republican Senate runoff on Wednesday by signaling that they would treat the race 

    like a general election and seek the votes of Democrats and independents 

    during the three-week campaign against State Senator Chris McDaniel.

    “I don’t care if you’re from Yazoo City or the Coast, or if you are white or black,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican activist who runs Mississippi Conservatives, a pro-Cochran political action committee. “We’re going to make certain that everybody knows they have a stake in this, and the state needs somebody to represent the interest of all three million Mississippians.”

    The runoff election is June 24, and “every registered voter in Mississippi has a stake in this, and needs to show up,” he added.

    In separate comments, Austin Barbour, a Cochran campaign aide and Henry Barbour’s brother,
    was not as explicit, but he also made it clear that the senator would widen his search for voters. If you live in Mississippi and you can vote, you have the opportunity to cast a vote in this election,” he said. (The brothers are, by law, not allowed to communicate about the campaign.)

    It was not officially clear until Wednesday afternoon that a runoff would be needed. For most of the vote count on Tuesday night, both candidates hovered around 49 percent, with the potential that one of them could avoid the runoff by pushing past 50 percent. But that did not happen, and when the totals were announced, Mr. Cochran was behind Mr. McDaniel, his Tea Party-backed rival, by 1,386 votes.

    Henry Barbour’s comments were an indication that Mr. Cochran’s campaign supporters recognized the urgency in devising a way to counter the ardent Tea Party supporters who are likely to return to the polls on Mr. McDaniel’s behalf.

    Mr. McDaniel’s supporters ridiculed the possibility that Mr. Cochran could draw significant numbers of Democrats and independents to defeat the challenger.

    “The Cochran campaign is by all means welcome to try to make this runoff completely different from every other runoff that has been run
    in the history of American politics,” said Barney Keller, a spokesman for the conservative Club for Growth, which spent the most of the conservative groups against Mr. Cochran during the primary.

    There is no party registration in Mississippi, and with former Representative Travis Childers having secured the Democratic Senate nomination on Tuesday, there will be no statewide Democratic runoff.

    Still, luring Democrats and independents to cast ballots in an early-summer Republican runoff is sure to be difficult, with such contests typically drawing fewer voters than the primaries. The effort to do so shows the straits that Mr. Cochran, 76, suddenly finds himself in after four decades representing Mississippi in Congress. He may have no other way to get past Mr. McDaniel, 41, than to broaden the electorate.

    As conservative as Mississippi is — and that was illustrated by Mr. McDaniel’s strong showing — the state also has the highest percentage of black residents: 37 percent. African-Americans are an overwhelmingly Democratic constituency, but Mr. Cochran’s supporters believe they could be persuaded to turn out for the senator to stop Mr. McDaniel because of some racially provocative comments he made as a conservative talk radio host.

    But the Cochran campaign faces a significant complication: state law bars voters who cast ballots in one party’s primary from participating in another party’s runoff. “Good luck with that,” Mr. Keller said. “In runoffs, turnout goes down and more motivated voters show up.”

    A spokesman for Mr. McDaniel himself did not comment, and the candidate himself appeared to stay out of sight on Wednesday.

    Mr. Cochran made only a brief public appearance, strolling with a local congressman into a Jackson-area Chick-fil-A late in the afternoon to a standing ovation. The senator, who did not speak on election night, vowed to work hard in the runoff but offered little clue about his plans. “I want to be surprised,” he said. “That way I’m always fresh.”

    Both candidates must move to replenish their campaign finances for the next phase of the race, which under campaign finance rules is considered a separate election. That will allow the candidates to return to contributors who previously gave the maximum allowed.

    But the bigger question looming is not what Mr. Cochran and Mr. McDaniel can raise, but how much support they will get from the outside groups, which spent a total of more than $8 million in the primary.

    Henry Barbour said Mississippi Conservatives had spent most of its money in the run-up to the primary but that it would move to “reload” financially to get commercials back on television.

    Officials with the National Republican Senatorial Committee said the party’s leadership remained committed to Mr. Cochran, and there were discussions on Wednesday about how to help him raise money for the runoff.

    Less clear were the intentions of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent about $500,000 on Mr. Cochran during the primary. Chamber officials said Wednesday they continued to back the senator, but they were deliberating on whether that meant spending additional money on his behalf.

    The Club for Growth, which has already put in $2.5 million on Mr. McDaniel’s campaign, released a statement promising to “vigorously pursue this race to its conclusion.”"


    RNC insider and lobbyist Henry Barbour spent 7 years in Washington DC beginning in 1988. He first worked for the George HW Bush campaign and later for the Republican National Committee. He was especially adept at raising money from the super rich. Barbour now heads an RNC committee pondering how to expand the Republican Party: 


    1/12/2011, "In R.N.C. Battle, the Other Barbour Steps Out," NY Times, Campbell Robertson

    "Mr. Barbour was 4 when his father, Jeppie — the governor’s older brother — was elected mayor of Yazoo City, but the son did not think much about politics until 20 years later, after attending Ole Miss, when he became a paid staffer for George Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign. He spent the next seven years in Washington, working for the Bush administration and then at the Republican National Committee, where his uncle was chairman.

    Still in his 20s, Mr. Barbour was appointed director of the Team 100 program, for donors who gave at least $100,000 to the party every four years. Under the tutelage of his uncle, he became adept at asking very rich people for money.

    The first three campaigns he ran — in 1996 and 2002 for his friend former Representative Chip Pickering and in 2003 for his uncle — demolished fund-raising records in Mississippi....

    Yes, he acknowledges, some businessmen give large sums to political parties in hopes of meeting officeholders who might have an effect on their businesses. And, yes, being a nephew of the governor could possibly be an advantage when companies are looking to hire lobbyists to influence said governor.

    That last part is where he has run into some controversy. In 2004, after the campaign for governor,  
    Mr. Barbour decided to become a lobbyist, something his uncle had done to notable success. He thought about opening his own shop but then joined Capitol Resources, a respected firm in Jackson, the state capital (one of Mr. Barbour’s younger brothers and Mr. Pickering have also joined the firm).  

    The work has been good to him — in 2009, he earned around $750,000 in lobbying fees — but it has raised some eyebrows. Democrats, who hold the majority in the State Legislature, initially wondered how lobbying would mix with the Barbours’ plans to defeat Democratic lawmakers; some lobbyists are said to have grumbled about the Barbour advantage; and watchdog groups have raised concerns about win-win-win arrangements among Henry Barbour, his clients and his uncle."...


    Henry Barbour is head of the RNC committee working on "expanding" party membership. Barbour is known for his ties to the Bush family:

    12/10/12, "RNC launches official review on 2012 election," Politico, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin

    "The Republican National Committee is rolling out a plan to review what worked and what didn't for the party in the 2012 cycle, appointing five people at the top of a committee that will make recommendations on things like demographics, messaging and fundraising.

    The Growth and Opportunity Project is going to be chaired by RNC committee member Henry Barbour, longtime Jeb Bush adviser and political operative Sally Bradshaw, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, Puerto Rico RNC committee member Zori Fonalledas, and South Carolina RNC member Glenn McCall. Priebus, who is running for a second term, is holding a call with committee members to roll out the plan this afternoon...

    Still, given the complaints about the party, the composition of the committee includes at least one Priebus ally - Barbour - and others with ties to Bush-world."...


    Re: Mississippi open primaries:

    3/7/14, "Mississippi Senate, Congressional races could reignite open versus closed primary debate," Yall Politics, Frank Corder 

    "Mississippi has open primaries, meaning voters of any affiliation can vote in the primary of any party without declaring or registering with either.

    The main concern with open primaries has long been "crossover" voting, Democrats voting in a Republican primary (or vice versa) to influence the nominee in hopes of putting their candidate or party in a better position heading into the general election...

    Some Mississippians feel a closed primary system would help prevent such political antics. Closed primaries only allow voters who are registered with a party to vote in that party's primary.

    According to, 18 states have a version of closed primaries and in another 5 states Republicans have closed their primaries while Democrats continue to operate open primaries.

    The notion of closed primaries
    is not new in Mississippi."...

    3 citations for Mississippi "Republican" Cochran soliciting Democrat votes in the 6/4/14 primary to give him 6 more years in the US Senate: 

    5/31/14, "Cochran ad seeks Democratic votes for a Republican primary," Jackson Jambalaya

    "Desperate or smart? That 'tis the question as an ad in the Mississippi Link asked "democrats to cross over and vote in the republican primary to ensure our community's interest is heard." Republicans asking Democrats to vote in a Republican primary? Interesting."...


    5/31/14, "Sen Wicker (MS) and County Republican Leader Appeal for Democrat Votes in Senate Primary?" Derek E. Hopper,

    "It’s up to us to do our part in getting 

    normally democratic voters out to our primary." 


    5/31/14, "Santorum Campaigns for McDaniel as Pro-Cochran Group Turns to Democrat Voters for Help," Breitbart, Matthew Boyle
    "Henry Barbour, the nephew of former Gov. Haley Barbour and head of pro-Cochran Super PAC Mississippi Conservatives, tweeted in response to conservative criticism that Cochran would turn to Democrats for help: “do you have an issue with black people voting in R primary?”"


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