Finance complaint filed in Mississippi US Senate campaign

(Craig Ford)

The Washington-based Campaign Legal Center filed the complaint Monday against the Remember Mississippi super PAC and Chris McDaniel's campaign fund.

Posted: Mar 26, 2018 3:09 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A nonpartisan group says in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission that a super PAC has been improperly organizing and funding activities for a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Mississippi.

The Washington-based Campaign Legal Center filed the complaint Monday against the Remember Mississippi super PAC and Chris McDaniel's campaign fund. It asks the FEC to investigate.

Remember Mississippi raised nearly $1.1 million last year, with $500,000 coming from Richard Uihlein of Illinois, a packaging company executive who has donated to anti-union causes, and $500,000 from billionaire investor Robert Mercer of New York.

The super PAC takes its name from the slogan McDaniel supporters adopted after McDaniel, a tea-party backed state lawmaker, lost a bitter 2014 Republican primary to longtime U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who was supported by the political establishment.

McDaniel - who frequently criticizes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky - said the campaign finance complaint is "frivolous" and "just another establishment dirty trick."

"The complaint is completely bogus, just more fake news from the D.C. swamp," McDaniel in a text message said after reading it.

The complaint says Remember Mississippi violated its certification as a super PAC by organizing and funding three campaign events that constituted "unreported and excessive in-kind contributions" to McDaniel. It said the events were fish fries in March 9 in Tupelo and March 10 Ellisville and a gathering March 11 at a church in Gulfport, all with McDaniel's name and image on the invitations. It also says that at all three events, McDaniel appeared before a backdrop that had "McDaniel U.S. Senate 2018" in large letters and "Remember Mississippi" in smaller text.

At the March 10 event, a representative of Remember Mississippi introduced McDaniel, solicited contributions for McDaniel's campaign and asked people to get their friends, co-workers and families to support McDaniel, the complaint says.

"I'm confident there was no coordination," McDaniel told The Associated Press during a brief interview at the state Capitol. "All I did - they told me a date and I showed up."

McDaniel announced Feb. 28 that he would challenge Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, in this year's party primary. Cochran, 80, announced days later that he is retiring April 1 because of poor health, and McDaniel said March 12 that he is switching to run in a special election for Cochran's seat. McDaniel also asked Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to appoint him to temporarily succeed Cochran until the special election is held - an overture the governor swiftly rejected.

Bryant last week appointed Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to fill the Senate seat. In the Nov. 6 special election, she will face McDaniel and at least one other candidate, Democrat Mike Espy, who was President Bill Clinton's first secretary of agriculture. Special election candidates run without party labels, and a runoff, if needed, would be Nov. 27. The winner will fill the rest of the term, which expires in January 2021.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 255125

Reported Deaths: 5574
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17197175
Hinds16280322
Harrison13502193
Rankin10749211
Jackson10407183
Lee8819141
Madison8262162
Jones6375110
Forrest5992119
Lauderdale5873180
Lowndes5381116
Lafayette496692
Lamar487565
Washington4800123
Bolivar3978108
Oktibbeha393880
Panola370779
Pontotoc365353
Monroe3543105
Warren353498
Union344760
Marshall342665
Neshoba3383152
Pearl River329799
Leflore3004105
Lincoln297685
Sunflower284969
Hancock273459
Tate272462
Alcorn264053
Pike263577
Itawamba262959
Scott246645
Yazoo245955
Prentiss245652
Copiah241949
Tippah241750
Simpson235767
Coahoma233754
Leake231164
Grenada218470
Covington213071
Marion212072
Adams205870
Wayne201331
Winston200564
George199338
Attala193759
Newton192842
Tishomingo186359
Chickasaw183944
Jasper170835
Holmes168767
Clay159433
Stone143621
Tallahatchie141034
Clarke138960
Calhoun136121
Smith120823
Yalobusha117034
Walthall112336
Noxubee110522
Greene110229
Montgomery109634
Carroll104521
Lawrence102617
Perry102231
Amite98025
Webster92424
Tunica86721
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis84825
Humphreys83024
Benton81823
Kemper77220
Quitman6918
Franklin66615
Choctaw60513
Wilkinson58425
Jefferson54319
Sharkey43017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 424028

Reported Deaths: 6121
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62258921
Mobile30381549
Madison27160186
Tuscaloosa20779267
Montgomery19049305
Shelby18572114
Baldwin16346182
Lee12515101
Morgan12260113
Etowah11757168
Calhoun11161200
Marshall10199107
Houston8630148
Cullman8036105
Limestone802874
Elmore7849101
DeKalb768897
Lauderdale760083
St. Clair7555120
Talladega6180108
Walker5903174
Jackson581341
Colbert533573
Blount530883
Autauga519855
Coffee443956
Dale398581
Franklin367548
Chilton337665
Russell331710
Covington327768
Escambia319342
Dallas303396
Chambers284269
Clarke282133
Tallapoosa2617107
Pike249429
Marion246250
Lawrence244247
Winston227335
Bibb216247
Geneva202535
Marengo199729
Pickens197031
Hale176442
Barbour173036
Butler170258
Fayette169026
Cherokee160530
Henry154421
Monroe145617
Randolph140735
Washington137726
Clay126745
Crenshaw119544
Lamar118219
Cleburne117723
Macon115035
Lowndes110735
Wilcox103121
Bullock99128
Perry97719
Conecuh94420
Sumter89126
Greene76123
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
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