Pastor Siggers ad paid for by company he owns with allegedly corrupt sheriff’s deputy who was central to last year’s mayoral election being thrown out in court.
A new pro-Cochran ad was released yesterday by conservative media consultant Rick Shaftan that features Hattiesburg pastor Arthur Siggers of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church. The ad is similar to one previously reported by GotNews.com that ran in Jackson featuring Siggers. Unlike that ad, however, the new ad is not paid for by All Citizens for Mississippi, but a previously unreported group called “Friends of Thad Cochran.”
The ad does not include the legally required disclaimer indicating that it was not paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee, and the group “Friends of Thad Cochran” is not registered with the State of Mississippi or with the Federal Election Commission.
According to paperwork obtained by Shaftan, the ad ran 25 times on WJMG for $1100. The station does not have the required NAB forms for political advertising on file, but did provide Shaftan with paperwork showing the ad was paid for by a company called ALS Enterprise, LLC.
The only NAB form on file is an archaic 1991 version of the form that does not include all the information required under present rules.
ALS Enterprise was registered with the State of Mississippi as a Limited Liability Company on February 12, 2014 with a “future effective date” listed on the form as October 25, 2013. The registered agent is Arthur Siggers and the address of the company is 1313 Country Club Rd, which is the location of the Siggers church.
The certificate of formation indicates that the LLC has two members, Arthur Siggers and Charles Bolton. Both are listed at the church address.
Bolton is the chief deputy for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, and was a central figure in the riveting corruption trial that resulted in last year’s mayoral election being voided for fraud and a new election called.
According to the Hattiesburg American, Samuel Lindsay, who was an inmate during the election, testified that Chief Bolton promised him early release from jail if he would vote for Mayor Johnny DuPree. Bolton, brother of Hattiesburg Police Chief Frazier Bolton, denied the allegations.
Forrest County Jail booking officer Rhonda Lott Dunn in turn accused Bolton of witness intimidation, alleging that she overheard him saying, in reference to Samuel, “That son of a bitch is going to pay.”
The mayoral race was plagued with multiple irregularities pertaining to alleged jailhouse voting, so-called sidewalk ballots, and widespread absentee fraud.
Hinds County Republican Party Chairman Pete Perry testified at trial, the Hattiesburg American reported, that with respect to contaminated absentee ballots: “A bad apple spoils the bunch.”
Perry was asked by attorney Malcolm Jones: “Is there any way to determine the will of the voters at this point without totally excluding the class of absentee ballots?”
“There is not,” Perry said.
The jury announced a decisive 9-3 verdict that there was enough convincing evidence of fraud not just to void the election but to award it to Mayor DuPree’s opponent, Dave Ware. But when polled by the judge, only eight were willing to deliver the verdict in open court, resulting in a mistrial and a new election that DuPree won by 202 votes. Ware decided not to challenge that result.
A release from the Thad Cochran campaign indicates there are 92 questioned votes in Forrest County, where Hattiesburg is located, which is the most of any county other than Hinds. The McDaniel campaign has not released specific numbers, but has indicated they are questioning significantly more ballots than the Cochran campaign’s count.
The McDaniel campaign did not return requests for comment on any potential involvement of Siggers or Bolton in illegal voting, or whether the same types of absentee fraud that resulted in the 2013 mayoral election being thrown out could be in play in this year’s Republican Senate run-off.
Charles C. Johnson is the founder and editor of Gotnews.com. Consider supporting the research that makes GotNews possible here.