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Rob Portman Didn’t Know His PAC Paid for Race-Baiting Anti-McDaniel Ads

Ohio TEA Party leader says Portman and other senators should demand that Cochran drop out of the race.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

July 18, 2014 - 5:33 pm

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Ohio Senator Rob Portman told The Plain Dealer he didn’t know that money his PAC donated to Mississippi Conservatives PAC would be used for ads that portrayed the Tea Party and Senate candidate Chris McDaniel as racists. Portman said he had “absolutely no discretion” over how his donation would ultimately be used. “I believe using race as a political issue, as these ads apparently did, was wrong.”

“United States senators contributed money for ads to call Chris McDaniel a racist and to motivate black Democrats through hatred to come out and to vote for Thad Cochran,” Mitch Tyner, an attorney for McDaniel, told reporters this week. McDaniel ran against incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in the Mississippi primary, losing by just over 7000 votes in the runoff election.

Portman’s PAC, Promoting Our Republican Team, gave $25,000 to Mississippi Conservatives, a group associated with Haley Barbour that not only paid for racially charged anti-McDaniel ads, but also funded another group, All Citizens for Mississippi, that ran ads in the black community saying that McDaniel wanted to suppress the black vote and cut food stamps. A radio ad from All Citizens for Mississippi 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.”

“As NRSC finance chair, I am working to secure a Republican majority in the fall, and I support Sen. Cochran’s re-election,” Portman said in a statement to The Plain Dealer. “My PAC donated money to a Mississippi PAC also supporting his election, but I had absolutely no discretion over how that money would ultimately be spent. In fact, I believe using race as a political issue, as these ads apparently did, was wrong. All who believe our country is heading in the wrong direction under the failed policies of the Obama Administration — including Tea Party activists and more moderate Republicans — must come together to take back the Senate and put our country back on the right track.”

Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County TEA Party and recent past president of the statewide Ohio Liberty Coalition, reacted angrily to Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s claims that he had no idea that the $25,000 from his PAC would be used by the Thad Cochran campaign to air racially charged attacks on the Tea Party.

“Isn’t it convenient Senator Portman, that you had nothing to say about the horrific, disgusting, totally dishonest racist ads run by Thad Cochran’s campaign until you were identified as having provide funding for this despicable human being Thad Cochran?” Zawistowski said in a press release. “Where was your moral outrage the days after the ads became public?”

Zawistowski said the Tea Party is made up of hard working, God-fearing, patriotic Americans who do not hate blacks or any other minority, yet Portman “did nothing to defend those TEA Party members from these vicious attacks” by someone he supported financially.

He asked why Portman is asking Tea Party activists to support a Republican who votes with Democrats most of the time and “who told black voters that the TEA Party is affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan,” saying that they want to deny blacks the right to vote. “Why in hell should we support someone like Thad Cochran after what he did?” Zawistowski asked.

Zawistowski said that Portman, a Republican who is considering a presidential run, should renounce his support of Thad Cochran immediately and demand that he drop out of the race. “You must demand that your fellow senators who supported Cochran do the same. Not to do so would show that you in fact condone the actions of the Cochran campaign and that you do not respect either the TEA Party movement or black voters.”  He said that if Portman does not “choose the moral path at this critical time … we will do everything in our power to make sure that Thad Cochran and every RINO like him loses in the fall.”

Senators Mitch McConnell ($50,000), John Cornyn ($50,000), Bob Corker ($25,000), and Roy Blunt ($5,000) also contributed to the Mississippi Conservatives PAC that supported Cochran. [UPDATE: Just to clarify, the candidates themselves did not donate directly to Cochran's campaign. Instead, their leadership PACs donated to the pro-Cochran Mississippi Conservatives PAC.]

Mississippi Conservatives raised $2.9 million altogether — $1.7 million was spent on opposing McDaniel. A mere $122,904 was used to promote the incumbent Cochran. This week’s FEC filings show that Mississippi Conservatives, the group to which Portman and other Republicans contributed, was the sole funding source for All Citizens for Mississippi.

In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review, and RedState. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. She is a member of the Wayne County Executive Committee. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Portman gets his news the same was Obama does.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Portman's sorry -- that he got caught.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I called the Cornyn reelection office 2 days ago and asked if it was true that my Senator had done this despicable thing. The staffer who answered the phone told me that is absolutely was not true that Cornyn had donated $50,000 to the Cochran campaign. She repeated that claim twice and seem very irritated to have been asked about it.
So I can add lies to the list of grievances I have against Cornyn.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Top Obama campaign officials have refused to disavow a controversial and misleading TV ad by the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, that states Mitt Romney had a role in a woman’s death.
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“This is an ad by an entity that’s not controlled by the campaign,” Gibbs said on MSNBC. “I certainly don’t know the specifics of this man’s case.”
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Do you need more examples?

Portman donated to a SuperPac who donated to a campaign.
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It wasn't Portmans campaign, unlike Obama and the lies his campaign spread.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with your story, lady .. is that McDaniel and the MS Tea Partiers and pjmedia.com's own J. Christian Adams actually did try to suppress the black Dem crossover vote in the runoff, and Adams bragged about doing so here on a post on pjmedia.com a week or so before the election.

Adams was part of an effort by the Tea Party activitsts in MS to station themselve at MS polling centers and attempt to directly challenge the legality of black Democrats, using the unconstitutional and never-before-enforced state law that said a voter could only vote in a primary if they "intended to vote for the candidate in the general election." Such a law is unconstitutional as it amounts to a test of voter intent and would be a clear violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

(by the way, in a bit of rich irony, it was later proven that McDaniel himself voted crossover in a Dem gubernatorial election in 2003 - when directly asked by a journalist if McDaniel had either 1) broke the law by later on voting for the GOP candidate in the general election, or 2) was a traitor to his party by voting for the Dem in the general election, the coward declined to answer the direct question. McDaniel is literally a dishonest low life)

When the MS state election workers read the Adams post (no doubt alerted by Cochrane supporters) they declared that it was also against MS law to station "poll watchers" in polling places (which is an obvious means of voter suppression) and stated therefore if any of Adams and his band of vote-suppressers showed up at any polling place in MS they would be placed under arrest.

The race baiting was entirely on McDaniel's campaign and the MS Tea Partiers and Adams - they were stopped in their tracks, and rightfully called out for their attempt to suppress the black vote.

It's history - it happened - it's a fact. A fact not convenient to Tea Party extremists who have basically lost their minds in their opposition to Sen. Cochrane.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'd be careful DT, your anonymity doesn't survive a defamation claim. Suggest you retract, because nothing you have said is accurate. Adams was NOT part of any effort to challenge voters. That's a false statement. Retract. Adams did not try to stop black voters. That's a false statement. Retract.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Once again, DT Florida shows his true stripes as RINO apologist extraordinaire while deploying sophistry in PJM comments to dupe others into believing his conservative bona fides. The record is clear; DT never met a RINO he didn't like, nor does he miss an opportunity to smear conservatives. It's past time to call this charletan out every time he blathers here in hopes his trolling will cease.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wrong. Here is the code:
http://naacpms.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Mississippi-Election-Code-3-06.pdf

§ 23-15-575. Participation in primary election.
No person shall be eligible to participate in any primary election unless he intends to support the nominations made in the primary in which he participates.

There is a reason for this. Example: One party A has one candidate and the other party B has two in the primary.
The voters for Party A could go swarm the primary for the B and make sure the weakest one wins...so that their A has no troubles.
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This is a typical dem ploy.
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BTW, monitoring is not the same as standing at the door and turning people away.
The claim of targeting Blacks is unsubstantiated and criminal.
Stamping around in Maryjanes and breaking the straps is unbecoming.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Portman gets his news the same was Obama does.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Portman's sorry -- that he got caught.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The second one, the All Citizens one... there was a story at the time about how Mitch McConnell summoned these senators into a proverbial smoke-filled room and twisted their arms very heavily to support their comrade in need, Thad Cochran, and they all contributed money to this PAC, which went on to further glory funding a liberal group to launch blatant race-baiting ads. Even if Portman can claim ignorance (which is morally dubious), it seems indisputable this is from the Senate Majority Leader, with love. A character assassination called in by the Republicans' senate leader using senators' contributions he personally lobbied for.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I called the Cornyn reelection office 2 days ago and asked if it was true that my Senator had done this despicable thing. The staffer who answered the phone told me that is absolutely was not true that Cornyn had donated $50,000 to the Cochran campaign. She repeated that claim twice and seem very irritated to have been asked about it.
So I can add lies to the list of grievances I have against Cornyn.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Sen. Cornyn didn't directly donate to the Cochran campaign (his PAC donated money to the pro-Cochran PAC), I suppose they could have made that claim with a reasonably straight face. It seems that these days, incumbent Republicans who are hell-bent on destroying Republicans use the standard that as long as it's "technically" true they can say about anything.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ones who are hell bent on destroying Republicans are the Tea Partiers ... if only the TPers would put one tenth the effort into defeating Democrats that they routinely put into trying to destroy Republicans, we might actually win some of these critical Senate elections and take control away from Harry Reid ... but no, most TPers would rather lose a race to the Dems than act like cooperative members of a coalition party where they make up a clear minority of the grassroots voters.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Haley Barbour's "Bought and Paid For" troll doesn't mind being a racist who paid African Americans $15 to vote for Cochran while Ole Miss WHITE college students received $100.
Stuart Stevens ran campaigns for 3rd world dictators. The corrupt good old white boys practice PROJECTION right out of the Democrat playbook.
Mississippi Democrat Chairman Rickey Cole wrote a Facebook post saying Cochran's people cheated and refused to swap poll books. They even asked him not to swap them so that those who voted in the Democrat primary were able to vote again for Cochran. That's illegal!
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
It wasn't the TEA party who rented the black vote with "walking around money", and it wasn't the TEA party's candidate who alleged racism.

Go to your room, DT. The grown-ups are talking.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"if only the TPers would put one tenth the effort into defeating Democrats that they routinely put into trying to destroy Republicans"

First things first, DT. To have a GOP general election victory be worthwhile, we need first to pick off RINOs like you.

There is a far larger track record of Establishment GOP sabotaging a TP candidate than the reverse--Lugar, Cuccinelli, Angle, etc...

And really, if you and your Establishment types keep on lying like you do here: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/07/18/rob-portman-didnt-know-his-pac-paid-for-race-baiting-anti-mcdaniel-ads/?show-at-comment=788372#comment-788372

You should expect no support.

And won't get it.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
The establishment GOPS want to destroy conservatives and have said so.
TeaPartiers, in their book, are conservatives---and conservatives ARE the problem. We get it and we're moving on.

The notion that by design or naivete conservatives are the reason for Harry Reid in the senate is, at a minimum, disingenuous. If only we'd shut up and quit being so...conservative.

Let's apply that logic to, say, dealing with unfriendly countries. "Cooperation," that's the ticket, right? Doesn't work, never did. Or, let's think in another direction. Why would anyone vote for a lukewarm dem when they can get the real thing? The "GOPerators would rather lose to dems than lose their power altogether.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
DT's tin foil hat gets larger by the day, competing only with his nose (the Pinocchio effect) for prodigiousness.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
We used to call that Clintonian back in the day. Young whipper snappers just don't appreciate their history. (Note: I'm being facetious, I'm 36.)
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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