A Mississippi radio station aired an ad warning voters that the Tea Party would “take away” food stamps and other welfare benefits before the run-off between incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and his challenger, Chris McDaniel.
Calling the run-off the most important election since the re-election of President Barack Obama, the WMGO radio station ordered listeners in Madison County to vote for Cochran the day of the run off. The ad appeared to target black voters.
“By not voting, you’re saying, ‘Take away all of my government programs, such as food stamps, early breakfast and lunch programs, millions of dollars to our black universities,” the ad said, voiced by an African American woman.
“Everything we and our families depend on that comes from Washington will be cut. Mississippi will never be the same. The question is, will you spend five dollars on gas to vote — or allow the Tea Party to send us back to the good old bad days?
“Vote against the Tea Party. Vote Thad Cochran. Remember, if you didn’t vote in the June 3rd primary, you can vote today,” the ad concluded.
The GOP establishment backing Cochran successfully used Democratic voters — and divisive racial politics — to help Cochran eke out a victory over the tea party insurgency.
“The tea party intends to prevent blacks from voting on Tuesday,” read one flyer distributed in heavily-black voting districts, which illicitly fails to state who paid for it.
Another similarly-worded flyer paid for a PAC called “All Citizens for Mississippi” declared, “The tea party intends to prevent you from voting.” It depicts a black-and-white photograph of civil rights activists holding protest signs, according to blogger Jim Hoft.
After Cochran’s narrow win, National Journal published an article claiming “Cochran’s attempt to boost Democratic African-American turnout paid off in a big way,” but made no mention of the flyers and their possibly libelous message that the tea party sought to deliberately suppress black votes.
McDaniel did not concede the race to Cochran and plans to file suit, saying that the run off between the two Republicans was decided by liberal Democratic voters.
Email Katie at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter: @k_mcq