Major League Baseball Wants Cindy Hyde-Smith to Return its $5,000 Donation

And hundreds are planning to protest when the president comes to rally for her on Monday.

Cindy Hyde-Smith campaigns in Mississippi before the runoff election.Zach Roberts/ZUMA Wire

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Almost two weeks after Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said that if she were invited to a public hanging she would be “in the front row,” Major League Baseball PAC donated $5,000, the legal maximum, to her campaign. Now that news of the donation has emerged, and as Hyde-Smith continues to flounder due to racially charged comments and revelations about her past, MLB wants its cash back.

Hyde-Smith, the Republican who has been serving in the Senate since she was appointed to replace Sen. Thad Cochran earlier this year, is facing Democrat Mike Espy in Tuesday’s runoff election. MLB’s donation was first reported on Saturday by the political newsletter Popular Information. It noted that an FEC report filed on November 24 listed the contribution as having been made on November 23, long after Hyde-Smith’s comment on public hanging created a political firestorm. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in a statement to news organizations that “the contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend. MLB has requested that the contribution be returned.”

Hyde-Smith’s other lowlights include praising Confederates in legislation, joking about voter suppression as “a great idea,” and attending an all white “segregation academy” in the 1970s. And CNN reported another new revelation about Hyde-Smith’s history on Saturday:

As a state senator in 2007, Hyde-Smith cosponsored a resolution that honored then-92-year-old Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, calling her “the last known living ‘Real Daughter’ of the Confederacy living in Mississippi.” Pharr’s father had been a Confederate soldier in Robert E. Lee’s army in the Civil War.
 
The resolution refers to the Civil War as “The War Between the States.” It says her father “fought to defend his homeland and contributed to the rebuilding of the country.” It says that with “great pride,” Mississippi lawmakers “join the Sons of Confederate Veterans” to honor Pharr.

MLB is not alone in wanting a return of their contribution to Hyde-Smith’s campaign. MLB’s PAC joins seven other major corporations that have asked for refunds over the past week. As support for her candidacy begins to wane, there is one vocal supporter trying to breathe life back into her campaign:

The Hill reported on Sunday that hundreds of people are planning to protest when the president comes to rally for Hyde-Smith on Monday. “We can not and will not let Hyde-Smith and Trump’s racist rhetoric go unanswered directly by the people, and we must not allow Hyde-Smith to represent our state any longer,” Mississippi Rising Coalition, the group organizing the protest, wrote on Facebook.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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