Friday, June 27, 2014

A Mississippi Journalist

I told him not to do it. But he really wanted to get his name out there as a journalist.

Tara Kelly, wife of Clayton Kelly in an interview with Slate.

Well his name is out there, but journalism isn't the first thing you think of when Clayton Kelly's name is mentioned. He is the right wing blogger/Youtube video guy who snuck into Rose Cochran's nursing home room and shot a video of her as she was sleeping. His thinking was he could use it as a political "hit" piece in the heated primary race between her husband, Senator Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel.

As with many things, what apparently seemed to be a good idea at the time turned out to be a disaster. Kelly posted the video on Youtube and within a couple of hours some of McDaniel's people saw it. At that moment McDaniel, the clean white face of the Mississippi tea party, was ahead in the polls. The staffers, who saw it, being brighter bulbs than Kelly, immediately realized what a monumental fuck up it was. Let's face it, if a campaign is connected to something as vile as a video of a 72 year old woman suffering from chronic dementia, you are going to find it tough to sell your guy to sewer rats, not to mention the average human being.

Someone got in touch with the journalist and told him take the disgusting nonsense down which he did. At least one phone call was made to Cochran's people from the McDaniel staff explaining young Mr. Kelly had nothing to do with their campaign and they were appalled by what had happened.

Cochran, being a republican himself and therefore as ruthless and amoral as a rabid wolverine, sat on the whole thing for nearly three weeks--that would be until seven or eight days before the date of the primary. At that point he called the cops and went to the media to express his shock and outrage. He charged there was ample evidence the McDaniel campaign knew of  Kelly, so somehow they had to be connected, something McDaniel vehemently denied.

Kelly was arrested and chucked into the slammer. After some investigating the Mississippi authorities decided he wasn't the only one in on this slimy deal. In short order, a high school soccer coach named, Richard Sager was popped, as was John B. Mary, and an attorney, Mark Mayfield. Mayfield was the chairperson of the Central Mississippi Tea Party and vice chair of the statewide organization. They were all charged with conspiracy to photograph someone without their permission. In addition Sager was charged with felony tampering with evidence.

Cochran was able to force a runoff and then win it two days ago. McDaniel is threatening a court challenge over voting irregularities.

Today, various media sources are reporting Mark Mayfield shot and killed himself. One friend was quoted as saying the affair cost him many of his clients and that the last time he saw him, the attorney appeared to be a shell of his former self.

Everyone knows politics is inherently a cut throat profession. However, it is one thing to call someone a liar and a fool and another entirely to post a video of an opponent's invalid wife, or claim, without any evidence, some state senator had an affair with a staffer--as Al Gerhart did here in Oklahoma. When you pull that sort of foul chicanery it can be reasonably argued you are nothing more than a soulless ghoul.

Well, none of this should come as a surprise. After all, these people are utterly convinced that anyone who doesn't think like them is a treasonous bastard. To them decency and civility are considered weaknesses.

Perhaps now at least some of them will realize there are consequences to words and actions. Tragically, it might have taken Mark Mayfield's death for them to come to that conclusion.

And people wonder why I'm a democrat.


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