One of the most contentious internecine battles between the GOP Establishment and the TEA Party in the 2014 midterm elections was the primary race between Sen. Thad Cochran and State Senator Chris McDaniel. While most of the allegations of wrong doing may have long been forgotten, a new allegation that has come to light.
A Super PAC intended to support Chris McDaniel in Mississippi was apparently waved off by the Super PAC’s lead counsel due to a possible conflict with other clients. Namely, Sen. Thad Cochran and the Mississippi State Republican Party.
Last week Aaron Gardner laid out the allegations about not only the Mississippi case, but also an incident in which the same Super PAC had to pull back from efforts to assist Det Bowers in his failed primary bid against entrenched establishment GOP Senator Lindsey Graham.
According to Gardner, Chris Gober, the former lead counsel for the Vote 2 Reduce Debt (V2RD) Super PAC, has not yet answered questions regarding his business relationships with Sen. Thad Cochran, the Mississippi GOP, and Sen. Lindsey Graham. Gardner has reached to the Mississippi GOP, Sen. Thad Cochran, and Sen. Lindsey Graham for comment on the possible conflicts, but has not received responses to his inquiries.
Potential conflicts of interest can be nightmares for many lawyers. Ethical codes and guidelines are often ambiguous and leave attorneys with few bright lines to warn you away from every possible potential conflict of interest.
That said, these are still important issues that should be addressed, especially when you consider them in the context of elections and the extremely narrow margins with which Sen. Thad Cochran achieved his victory over Chris McDaniel.
Thousands of conservative activists around the country who consistently show up for the GOP deserve to get answers from not only Chris Gober, but also from Sen. That Cochran, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and the Republican Party of Mississippi.
Did relationships between Gober and Cochran, Graham, and the Mississippi GOP cause a conflict with the job Gober was doing at V2RD? Who, if any of the parties involved, knew of the potential conflicts?
Chris McDaniel lost to Sen. Thad Cochran by less than 8,000 votes in the primary runoff elections in late June of 2014. As reported by Gardner, work had been done to target Mississippi voters. Whether that would have been enough to swing 8,000 votes will never be known. If that was the case, and considering the most recent news of a Cochran staffer being busted for a scheme to trade drugs for sex, Republicans in Mississippi and across the nation deserve to know just whether conflicts played a role.
These are simple, but important, questions that require direct answers.