Arrest of Blogger Stirs Up Republican Primary in Mississippi
Clayton Kelly a political blogger was arrested on Thursday for the exploitation of an adult who is vulnerable and improperly and illegally obtaining an image of her without consent for his benefit.
An attorney, Donald Clark, for Senator Thad Cochran a Republican from Mississippi and Rose his wife, told a news agency that the woman in the photo is Rose. Clark said the Cochran’s’ dignity and privacy was violated.
Rose Cochran has dementia and has been living in a nursing home for 14 years. That is where the incident this past week took place.
Senator Cochran in a statement said he was fortunate for his wonderful family. Like many, the family was affected deeply by the long-term, serious illness of his wife, which is a private matter.
Police allege that Kelly broke into the living facility and took a photo from the bedside of Mrs. Cochran. The image surfaced in a YouTube political attack ad whose call was to smear Senator Cochran.
The ad was taken down within hours of its original posting, said one local newspaper.
Kelly, who is 28 and from Madison, Mississippi, has a number of social platforms that cover state politics and often times, attacks Senator Cochran.
However, this most recent video, as like most of the material by Kelly, also supported the opponent Cochran is facing in the primary, and that is where the issue gets complicated.
Cochran is being challenged by Chris McDaniel, a state senator and radio commentator, who is endorsed by Sarah Palin and Club for Growth.
When this incident became public, the campaign for McDaniel distanced itself from Kelly. They said Kelly was not a volunteer or member of the campaign.
However, allegations have surfaced that a staffer with the McDaniel campaign apologized for what happened prior to a police report coming out of Kelly’s arrest. The Cochran campaign says how would that campaign worker know about the situation unless they had known Kelly was involved before.
However, no tangible evidence exists linking Kelly and the McDaniel campaign.
Kelly is in jail with a $100,000 bond.