A conference call organized by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s Mississippi campaign broke down and turned into chaos last week when supposed tea party activists began asking racially tinged questions about “picking cotton” and if it was “okay to harvest the votes of black people,” and playing clips from “Animal House” on the call.
Cochran, the “establishment” candidate, narrowly beat tea party favorite Chris McDaniel in that state’s June 24 primary. Legal challenges are imminent. Conservative blogger Charles C. Johnson has been at the center of it all. Johnson, who is supporting McDaniel, and who has also worked on Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell’s Senate campaign, urged his twitter followers to crash the call. They did.
At issue is whether or not Cochran’s campaign paid the black community to vote for him. Johnson has been at the center of those allegations—which arise from a source Johnson paid for the story–as well as just about every other crazy thing that’s gone on in that race. This includes, but isn’t limited to, allegations of infidelity, a nursing home break-in in order to get a photo of Cochran’s infirmed wife, and a subsequent suicide. Johnson offered to pay $1,000 for a copy of the photo. And he blames the suicide of the McDaniel aide on the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and isn’t afraid to say so.
Brad Dayspring a top operative with the NRSC, called him a “pathetic little boy who yearns for attention.” Pathetic boy or not, he’s certainly getting attention for work he’s doing in Mississippi.
Closer to home, he wrote a story about GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan in December headlined, “Dan Sullivan AK US Senate child molester coddler.”
The article, published in Brietbart, indicated that as attorney general, Sullivan was responsible for the heinous 2013 double murder and rape of a 2-year-old and 92-year-old in Anchorage. As I wrote shortly after the article came out, the piece is error-riddled and inflammatory. It was a political hit job.
The summer before it was written, Johnson stayed at U.S. Senate candidate Mead Treadwell’s Anchorage house. Treadwell is running against Sullivan in the primary.
When asked about the connection with Johnson, Treadwell wrote in an email that he knew of Johnson through a “common connection with the Claremont Institute where I was a 2009 Lincoln Fellow.”
Treadwell said that Johnson came to Alaska to speak about a book that he had written about Calvin Coolidge and to get married. He said that Johnson was a house guest for a “couple of nights,” and that Johnson has subsequently “done some work for the campaign in preparation for the summer debates.”
It’s unclear how much Johnson will continue to be involved in the campaign. However, he’s still a Treadwell booster, telling a talk show host recently that Treadwell “will definitely win” the GOP primary.
If Johnson stays involved, and has any active part in the campaign, it won’t be hard to spot his fingerprints. He goes for the jugular and won’t shy away from attacking anyone who gets in his way. He even went so far as to tweet about the suicide of the father of Cochran’s press secretary.
As he wrote about Cochran’s team, “bring it on, bitches.”
Contact Amanda Coyne at firstname.lastname@example.org