Senator Portman Indirectly Funded Attacks on Chris McDaniel; Portman Responds

See note below about Senator Rob Portman’s donation from his PAC of $25,000 which funded a racial attack on Chris McDaniel who was running for the Republican nomination for the U. S. Senate seat in Mississippi against Senator Thad Cochran.

This was a last minute scheme to undermine McDaniel’s character and protect Cochran, a 41 year establishment incumbent Republican. It succeeded as Cochran won by some 7,500 votes, with a great many coming from Democrats who voted illegally (with some being paid to do so!).

I urge you to call Senator Portman’s office (Cincinnati: 513-684-3265; Washington D. C.: 202-224-3353) and let him know your opinion of this.

A note on facts and sources:

The blog entry by Erick Erickson on Red connecting the last dots is here:

Cleveland Plain Dealer article trying to get to the bottom of what happened and what it means is here:

For a better understanding of this controversy, read both of those pieces.

In short, Senator Portman’s PAC, the Promoting Our Republican Team PAC, gave $25,000 to a group called Mississippi Conservatives, a group which raised a total of $2.9 million.

— Mississippi Conservatives spent money on ads to re-elect Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran.

— Mississippi Conservatives also gave about $140,000 to a group called All Citizens for Mississippi.  It appears that All Citizens for Mississippi received funding only from the group Mississippi Conservatives–i.e., Mississippi Conservatives was its only funding source (but Mississippi Conservatives spent money on many things other than All Citizens for Mississippi).

— According to the Plain Dealer, “A radio ad from All Citizens for Mississippi, aimed at the black community, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, warned voters that, among other things, ‘A victory for Chris McDaniel is a loss for the reputation of this state, for race relations between blacks and whites and other ethnic groups.'”

Portman has responded to accusations that he was complicit in the ad campaign:

“Portman told The Plain Dealer today that he had ‘absolutely no discretion’ over how his donation would ultimately be used. He said, ‘I believe using race as a political issue, as these ads apparently did, was wrong.'”  His PAC’s treasurer further says, “We of course don’t have any editorial control of what [Mississippi Conservatives] do. In fact, once we give, we cannot tell them how to spend their money.”

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