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.