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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 27, 2014 - 8:23 am

A Tea Party leader implicated in the primary season scandal of a blogger entering a nursing home to take photos of a senator’s ailing wife has committed suicide, according to the Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi.

The paper reported this morning that attorney Mark Mayfield, vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, killed himself. He was one of the three men charged with conspiring with Clayton Kelly to photograph Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) wife in her nursing home and create a political video against the incumbent.

Kelly, 28, who wrote posts in support of McDaniel, was arrested by authorities in Madison County last month for taking a photograph of Cochran’s wife, Rose, who suffers from dementia, in her room. Kelly was charged with exploiting a vulnerable adult, conspiracy and photo voyeurism.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Miss.) condemned the blogger’s actions and said he was not connected to the campaign. The Cochran campaign, though, questioned how McDaniel’s campaign manager, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner, apparently knew about the arrest before it hit the headlines.

From the Clarion-Ledger:

Mark Mayfield of Ridgeland, an attorney and state and local tea party leader, was arrested last month along with Richard Sager, a Laurel elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of “extensive medical conditions.” All face felony conspiracy charges. Sager also was charged with felony tampering with evidence, and Mary faces two conspiracy counts.

The arrest of Mayfield, well-known in political, business and legal circles, caused shock in Mississippi, in a criminal case and election that already had Mississippi in the national spotlight.

On Wednesday evening, the Mississippi Tea Party called what it promised would be an important press conference on Thursday. That news conference was canceled due to “timing conflicts,” then was rescheduled for 4 p.m. for “breaking news.” Less than three hours beforehand, the press conference was canceled yet again “due to the rapidity and volume influx of information.”

(For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Dumped?

Your creds: ZERO (like your maturity).
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ethics. Have them. Save yourself a world of hurt.........
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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I'm starting to wonder if this man was hired by the Cochran people, also. Apparently a staffer to Senator Roger Wicker, was paying $15.00 per vote.

Cochran Campaign Manager, Staffer Busted in Illegal Vote Buying Operation

http://www.gotnews.com/

http://www.redstate.com/
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are we sure it was suicide? We *are* in a time and place where 49% of the population is convinced that the ends justify the means.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The kind of thinking that says it's a good idea to photograph someone's spouse suffering from dementia and use the photographs against that someone for political gain is despicable. I'm tired of dirty politics. There needs to be jail time for political sleaze ads. The people need to put the politicians back where they belong - as servants of the people.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
If liberals ever decided to kill themselves when they behaved badly, we'd be out of liberals in a week.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sad ... the wages of "politics as war", instead of a civil discussion between people who merely have different opinions on some topics but probably agree more than they disagree.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
No.

You are for business as usual.

We have nothing but incidental common ground.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, maybe you have such weird and extreme ideas about politics that you are not compatible with the mass of grassroots GOP voters who are not extremists ... and you are apparently not bothered at all by the gross malfeasance of sending snoops in to a man's wife in a nursing home, an elderly woman who is suffering from dementia, and then when caught and charged feels the need to commit suicide. Apparently that style of politics as war appeals to the wackos with no sense of decency - like you, apparently.

The differences between McDaniel and Cochrane, and between most noninsane grassroots Republicans, however, are mostly over just differences in style and tactics.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ethics. Have them. Save yourself a world of hurt.........
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"charged with exploiting a vulnerable adult, conspiracy and photo voyeurism" all sounds pretty Brave New World to me. For taking a photo of an elderly woman in a nursing home who has been dumped there by a Cochran? Off to the Gulag, you evil exploitive voyeurs who conspire.

That's Mississippi, not California or Vermont.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dumped?

Your creds: ZERO (like your maturity).
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you actually think it's okay to photograph an old lady who is out of her mind without the consent of her guardian?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The punishment should fit the crime, No? I repeat the charges lest you be confused: Exploiting a vulnerable adult, conspiracy, and photo voyeurism. How does 10 years in prison sound to you, Miss Manners? About right? For taking a photo of a senile old woman who doesn't know you're there and doesn't care? Think of all the images taken by our esteemed media of rotten conditions and patients abused in nursing homes . If you'll put them in the slammer too I'll go along with you.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no indication as to why he committed suicide, could be health conditions or anything else. The guy broke law, the guy killed himself. Both clearly his own decisions and no one else's fault.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
He likely realized his unbidden shenanigans lost McDaniel the nomination.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
He was an attorney looking at a Felony & therefore immediate dis-barrment. He likely couldn't stand the humiliation he would face.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
He didn't do it to report the news, which is arguably a public service.

He did it to ridicule a political opponent.

Perhaps a better punishment would be for Cochran to send one of his sons (he's too old) to give this guy a good old-fashioned thrashing.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He did it to ridicule a political opponent."

Showing the cupidity, the moral turpitude, of a political opponent is surely a public service.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, it's not when you're using a very sick woman to do it. Even though she doesn't know what's happening, she has been humiliated. Anyone who would stoop that level is the scum that scum calls "scum."
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
How can she be "humiliated" if "she doesn't know what's happening?"
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhpas "humiliated" was the wrong word. What I was trying to convey is that everyone, no matter her or his level of consciousness, still has dignity. Those who cannot defend theirs by themselves must be protected by the law.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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