We couldn’t figure out how to open the door we just entered. We were in the back room playing strip poker, and the time got away from us. One of us, and we’re not saying who, sneaked a bottle of Wild Turkey in, and it took this long to finish it. Maybe she got her finger caught in the Rolodex, and we were just trying to rescue her. Yeah that’s it!
Okay none of those is the excuse given by three home-alone Tea Partiers when they got themselves locked inside of the courthouse hours after the workers had counted the ballots and placed them in a secure vault. Incumbent Sen. That Cochran (R) and state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) of the Tea Party are running neck and neck, with McDaniel leading by a mere 1400 votes. Since both candidates fell short of the 50 percent needed for victory, there will be a runoff election. So what were McDaniels’ people doing in the courthouse after hours anyway?
Watch this video report posted online by WAPT-TV.
Police arrived about 3:45 a.m. to release Campaign Coalition Director, Scott Brewster, Center Mississippi Tea Party board member, Janis Lane, and consultant Ron Chambers. It seems the courthouse was completely locked down at 11:30 after all elections personnel left.
Spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, Othor Cain said Thursday that regardless of what the McDaniel campaign is saying,
It’s important to note that Janis Lane’s story and the other officials’ stories continue to change through the investigation. They changed within five minutes, which caused us to be even more deliberate and determined to find out what was going onThe Sheriff’s Department provides security for the courthouse during business hours. But the sheriff said that when the trio got into the building, security was long gone.
There are conflicting stories from the three of them, which began to raise the red flag, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it. No official charges have been filed at this point, but we don’t know where the investigation will lead us.
It’s a fabrication that someone pointed them to a door. I think that’s a total misrepresentation of fact. None of our guys let anybody in.The sheriff’s department has requested courthouse security footage.
But County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran said that security employees told her that Lane, Chambers and Brewster arrived at the courthouse at about 12:30 to observe ballot counting. Cochran said,
The three walked around the building until they found an unlocked door, which locked behind them once they went inside. The trio claimed they walked around the courthouse for about 90 minutes looking for a way to get out and then called Perry.Hinds County Republican Executive Chairman Pete Perry explained how it happened.
She called me as I was getting out of my car and said that she was in the courthouse, locked in and couldn’t get out, and it took me a minute or two for that to register and exactly what she meantive chairman of the Hinds County Republican Party.Perry expressed his feeling about the matter,
I know I wouldn’t walk into a courthouse at 2 o’clock in the morning by myself or with somebody else and just walk around inside the building. I’m not going to go into a public building just because somehow or another I happened to find a door that was unlocked.According to a McDaniel Campaign statement issued yesterday,
Especially if it’s going down to where a bunch of election materials were and I’d been deeply involved in a campaign.
Perry said he had serious concerns about the incident.
I don’t care who it is. I have a concern with someone being in the courthouse with all the election material down there.
…they entered the courthouse through an open door after being directed by uniformed personnel. They were then locked inside the building. At this point they sat down and called the county Republican chairman, a close Cochran ally, to help them get out. Eventually a Sheriff’s officer showed up and opened the door to let them out.The tang of wrongdoing seems to follow McDaniel everywhere he goes. A three-person gang of McDaniel’s people colluded to surprise his opponent’s wife, Rose Cochran, as she lay ill in a nursing home, take photos of her and create a “political hit video.”
This was an honest mistake and the county sheriffs (sic) office has indicated as such.
Lane has gotten herself into hot water several times in the past. (See related article, “Women Should Not Have The Right To Vote.”)
For some inexplicable reason Lane said,
I’m really going to set you back here. Probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote. Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women.According to the Sheriff’s Department, if anyone faces charges, it will be for trespassing.
So far, it looks as if the whole matter is a clutter of chaos.