A new white paper from Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund puts a target on GOP operative Henry Barbour for his role in incendiary racial appeals in the Mississippi GOP Senate primary.
“Henry Barbour was the field general in an unprecedented campaign to smear a fellow Republican, so desperate was his family to cling to power,” Jenny Beth Martin, the chair of TPPCF, said in the statement provided exclusively to Breitbart News. “We’re used to these tactics from Democrats: desperate appeals to emotion, fear-mongering, even playing the ‘Klan’ card. Who would have thought the Barbour machine would finance such despicable race-baiting?”
During the campaign, a super PAC run by Barbour, Mississippi Conservatives, provided funds to Democratic operatives and organizations that put out literature and ran radio ads. These ads said that voting for incumbent Sen. Cochran was a means of stopping the Tea Party and preventing his primary challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, from “roll[ing] back the hand of time,” among other examples.
According to National Review, Barbour, the nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, vehemently denied to Republican colleagues having any role in the ads, before finally admitting to it in an interview with reporter Eliana Johnson, saying colorful remarks McDaniel made on talk radio a decade ago, and efforts to prevent voter fraud invited the scrutiny from black Democrats.
“Many Mississippians, who were already disgusted by McDaniel’s race-baiting talk-radio-show comments, heard the code words that insinuated that African Americans were not welcome in the Republican primary,” Barbour told National Review.
Monday, however, a Democratic activist said she had funded one particularly vicious ad that raised the specter of the KKK, and Barbour was quoted saying, “I am glad the people really behind this despicable KKK ad have been revealed, because Sen. Cochran’s opponents have falsely accused our group and others of running it. As I have said from the start, I had zero to do with it.”
There are also outstanding questions about the KKK ad, and the Democratic activist’s claims may not necessarily be true, either; the radio station that ran the ads backed up previous allegations against political operatives in Mississippi connected with Barbour. The radio station owner said Democratic operative Greg Brand was behind the ads—something Brand denies. If Brand was involved, it confirms a lot more connections back to the Barbours and Cochran’s allies. Radio station WMGO owner Jerry Lousteau said that if Brand is denying being involved, “he is lying.”
The new white paper from Tea Party Patriots outlines the nexus between the Barbour-run super PAC and the race-baiting ads that proliferated in Mississippi in the waning days of the race, helping drive Democratic turnout that gave Cochran his victory in the GOP primary.
Martin is calling on Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus—who is holding meetings right now in Chicago with all RNC members—to censure Barbour for his conduct in Mississippi.
“Chairman Priebus and members of the Committee, if you do nothing, you sanction Henry Barbour’s conduct,” Martin said, adding:
Is this why he was on the Committee’s hand-picked group to study ‘minority outreach’ after 2012? Well Reince, maybe I didn’t get the memo, but shouldn’t the GOP reach out to minorities with the conservative values in the party platform? Or is Henry’s method of fear-mongering with food stamps and school lunches the way to recruit African-Americans?
“By not repudiating such despicable conduct, you’ll tell 183,000 conservatives in Mississippi, ‘Yes, it’s fine that Democrats chose your nominee, and yes, the Barbour machine had to be preserved at all costs,’” Martin said in her statement, speaking directly to Priebus. “And Reince, never again accuse Harry Reid or Eric Holder of playing the race card. Because by your silence you’ve forfeited the right to complain, and have endorsed the shameful tactic yourself.”
The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund white paper on Henry Barbour’s role in race-baiting ads is 24 pages long, and it opens with the statement that “Henry Barbour is not telling the truth.”
Before detailing how Henry Barbour’s denials are false, the white paper reads:
Henry Barbour, Republican National Committeeman from Mississippi, repeatedly claims in public that he had nothing to do with the race-baiting flyers and robocalls that were deployed against Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel during the June 3, 2014 Mississippi Republican U.S. Senate primary election and the June 24, 2014 Mississippi Republican U.S. Senate runoff election.
“Henry Barbour directed a PAC that provided the funding that produced and disseminated vile racial slurs against REPUBLICAN state Senator Chris McDaniel and his REPUBLICAN and conservative supporters,” the white paper reads.
The Mississippi Conservatives PAC, under Barbour’s direction, funded (through illegal means) various operatives and organizations of dubious background to implement a deliberate and premeditated strategy of vicious race-baiting and fear mongering over issues of race during the runoff election between incumbent Thad Cochran and challenger Chris McDaniel. Henry Barbour deliberately chose to use well-known Democrat operatives and organizations in a character assassination scheme – the kind that the professional Left has perfected, and which Republicans abhor – in order to destroy the reputation of a loyal, fellow Republican, a current Mississippi state legislator in good standing and a Republican Party member since the age of 13, whose only offense was to announce and run for a Senate seat held by an incumbent Republican. (NOTE: Sen. Chris McDaniel announced for the U.S. Senate seat well before incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran had announced – and at a time when most observers believed that Sen. Cochran was not seeking reelection.)
TPPCF notes that the evidence against Barbour “raises serious and troubling questions” about “his behavior during the primary and the runoff campaign, and his evasions and downright falsehoods to the RNC afterwards.”
TPPCF thinks that the RNC and Republican leaders can’t legitimately demand certain standards of behavior from the Democrats and President Barack Obama if they can’t live by their own rules. “Every day, Republican Party officials demand that President Obama and the Democrats act responsibly and with the consent of the American people,” TPPCF wrote. “We think this is a perfect opportunity for the leaders of the Grand Old Party to demonstrate to their base and to all Americans that they will enthusiastically live up to the same standards that they demand of the President and his Party.”
Specifically, TPPCF is demanding the RNC censure Henry Barbour and issue a public statement condemning the actions he and others took to try to smear Tea Partiers as racists.
The white paper then walks through how Barbour’s Mississippi Conservatives pro-Cochran super PAC used race-baiting tactics to get Democrats to voted for Cochran on June 24.
“In the days immediately following the June 3 primary election, pro-Cochran forces inside the Mississippi GOP and its allies scrambled to find a new strategy,” TPPCF wrote, adding:
Given the results of the June 3 primary, it was clear that Cochran could not win a majority of REPUBLICAN votes in the June 24 runoff – so the strategist began to develop a plan NOT to rely only on the votes of Republican primary voters. Henry Barbour and his allies determined to go outside the GOP voters in Mississippi and to rely on a provision of Mississippi law that allows any voter – including Democrats – who do not vote in the Democratic primary to vote in the REPUBLICAN runoff election. Mississippi law does not require voters to state a party preference when they register to vote, so any registered voter who had not cast a ballot in the Democratic primary on June 3 was eligible to vote in the June 24 GOP Senate runoff.
TPPCF noted that Barbour’s goal – which he was very public about – was to “flood” the June 24 runoff with Democrats, and to do so "with Democrats who could be frightened into supporting Thad Cochran ... based on leftist, Democratic race-baiting, rather than time-honored Republican principles. And that is exactly what they did,” TPPCF wrote.
Mississippi Conservatives PAC, under the direction of Henry Barbour, raised funds from the national GOP establishment to then fund the efforts of All Citizens for Mississippi PAC – a new PAC established by Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr. of the New Horizon Church International just before the Mississippi primary on June 3. This new PAC shares its street address and Treasurer with the church. This new PAC violated federal campaign finance law by not filing required FEC reports until well after the close the June 24 runoff election.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show that Crudup’s new PAC raised money from only one source: Henry Barbour’s Mississippi Conservatives super PAC.
TPPCF details how Crudup’s “All Citizens for Mississippi PAC,” quickly “essentially became a cut-out” for Henry Barbour’s shop, and specifically pounded out advertisements into the black community accusing Chris McDaniel and the Tea Party of being racists—so they needed to support Cochran to keep a conservative out of office.
TPPCF cites three major examples of All Citizens for Mississippi’s race-baiting with Henry Barbour’s money. “All Citizens for Mississippi PAC produced and disseminated at least one flyer that claimed that ‘the tea party intends to prevent you from voting.’”
“All Citizens for Mississippi PAC also produced and aired radio ads,” the white paper continued, asserting:
One said, "A victory by tea party candidate Chris McDaniel is a loss for the state of Mississippi. It is a loss for public education. ... It is a loss for the citizens of this state in a time of natural disaster, for our public universities and particularly our historically black universities. A victory for Chris McDaniel is a loss for the reputation of this state for race, for race relationships between blacks and whites and other ethnic groups. Mississippi can't afford Chris McDaniel."
“A second radio ad produced and aired by All Citizens for Mississippi PAC said, ‘I'm Pastor Siggers, Pastor of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church. These are some tough times. ... And tough times call for tough decisions. A time when there is an effort to roll back the hand of time.'" The white paper went on to state, "I'm talking about the race for the U.S. Senate between Thad Cochran and tea-party candidate Chris McDaniels [sic]. I know that traditionally we as a community don't vote Republican, but for this special election, we need to turn out in record numbers to push back against this tea party effort."