State Sen. Chris McDaniel is offering fifteen $1,000 cash rewards to up to fifteen people who can come up with evidence that leads to an arrest and conviction of anyone involved in committing voter fraud in Mississippi’s GOP primary runoff.
The “Election Integrity Challenge and Voter Fraud Reward” McDaniel has launched asks grassroots donors to chip in $15 to the effort, which will give $1,000 cash rewards to Mississippians who deliver evidence that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud that may have helped Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) win in last week’s runoff.
“The most important issue here is maintaining the integrity of the electoral process here in Mississippi,” McDaniel said in his statement announcing the reward. “These allegations of criminal behavior on behalf of the Cochran campaign are troubling, and any evidence of fraud will be turned over to the authorities to be investigated.”
His campaign has launched a special website devoted to the effort, which asks grassroots donors to give small donations to fund the rewards.
The theme of the campaign effort plays off recent reported allegations that Cochran’s campaign paid $15 per vote. The allegations were made by the Rev. Stevie Fielder from Meridian, MS. Fielder was paid for his story by freelance journalist Charles Johnson and provided Johnson with text message communications he had with a person identified on Fielder’s phone as Cochran campaign staffer Saleem Baird which discuss transferring cash in envelopes to Fielder–though the text messages did not say what the cash was for.
The Cochran campaign has vigorously denied the allegations, and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger newspaper found a pair of community leaders in Meridian, MS. to challenge Fielder’s character.
“We’re offering $1,000 for evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud on or leading up to the June 24, 2014 Republican primary runoff election in Mississippi,” McDaniel’s website reads. “To fund the reward(s), we’re asking conservatives to counter Thad’s alleged $15 scheme with a $15 plan of our own. Just $15 will help us battle Cochran’s alleged $15 vote buying scheme.”
Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign manager who now serves as a senior adviser to Cochran’s campaign, ridiculed the McDaniel campaign’s effort via his Twitter page.
“This is how trial lawyers get clients,” Stevens tweeted. “@senatormcdaniel offers cash for witnesses. 1-800-Sadloser.”