What has been described as an “ugly” primary campaign between the tea-party backed state Senator Chris McDaniel and longtime incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, got a lot uglier yesterday when a McDaniel supporter was arrested for sneaking into Cochran’s wife’s nursing home room.
The supporter, Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, of Pearl MS, allegedly photographed Rose Cochran, who is incapacitated with progressive dementia, and bedridden. He later posted the image in a pro-Chris McDaniel video “hit piece” on his conservative blog, taking it down after only a couple of hours.
As far as political dirty tricks go – it doesn’t get much dirtier than this, via the Clarion Ledger:
Madison Police arrested Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, of Pearl on Friday night on a charge of exploitation of a vulnerable adult. He’s being held on a $100,000 bond.
Kelly is accused of sneaking into St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, where Rose Cochran has resided since 2000, suffering from progressive dementia and now bedridden.
Cochran issued a statement, Saturday: “I have been fortunate to have a wonderful family, and like so many families, we are deeply affected by my wife’s serious, long-term illness, that we consider to be a very private family matter. We will continue doing everything we can to protect my wife’s safety and security.”
Donald Clark, attorney for Sen. and Rose Cochran, said “we became aware of an unauthorized picture, posted on the internet, of Mrs. Cochran, taken literally in her room by her bedside at St. Catherine’s,” Clark said.
“Sen. Cochran retained my law firm on this matter, and we looked at various legal options. We notified the proper authorities, which in this case is the city of Madison Police Department.”
Kelly has posted numerous pieces in support of McDaniel on his blog, “Constitutional Clayton” which has only been in operation since February 16. He also operates a Youtube channel and Facebook page. His Youtube page include videos featuring Alex Jones of Info-Wars.
Scott Brewster, coalition director for McDaniel’s campaign, gave the Clarion Ledger a rather confused answer when asked if he was aware of the video.
“I do remember when it came out,” Brewster said. “I think people made some phone calls (to have it removed). I didn’t personally — nobody personally talked to (Kelly). I don’t know if anybody made phone calls about it. I’m not sure. Just, I remember all of a sudden it was gone.”