MLB Asks Cindy Hyde-Smith Campaign To Return $5,000 Donation

Yearbook cheerleader pic allegedly shows GOP Sen. Hyde-Smith at 70s high school segregation academy

The reports, from the Jackson Free Press, an independent newspaper in MS, and CNN, are the latest to bring up Mississippi's racist history ahead of a tense runoff election between Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy, who is vying to become the state's first African-American in the Senate since the Reconstruction.

Earlier this month Hyde-Smith was heard telling supporters at a campaign stop that she would be glad to attend a 'public hanging'.

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 MS". CNN reports that as a state senator in 2007, Hyde-Smith co-sponsored a resolution that honored Effie Lucille Nicholson Pharr, whose father was a soldier in Robert E. Lee's army. Her comment had nothing to do with race-related lynchings, she said.

The measure "rests on an odd combination of perpetuating both the Confederate legacy and the idea that this was not really in conflict with being a good citizen of the nation", said Nina Silber, the president of the Society of Civil War Historians and a Boston University history professor. The group says on its website that "The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the Second American Revolution".

"My approach is MS first", Espy said at last week's debate.

Several companies that have donated to Hyde-Smith have remained silent, including Verizon Communications, Home Depot, Chevron and Exxon Mobil. She was a Democrat before switching parties in 2010, citing her conservative beliefs. The above-linked article (read it in full) notes that her official bio "conspicuously" omits mention of her high school years.

"I guess you could juxtapose my experience with her experience", Espy told The Associated Press.

Trump to campaign for Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Mike Espy; analysis from Michael Meehan, former chief of staff for Sen. Espy is a former congressman and former US agriculture secretary.

In 2014, she posted a picture on her Facebook page showing her posing at the Jefferson Davis homestead holding a rifle and wearing a Confederate hat, reported the Washington Post. She had previously served as Mississippi's Agriculture Commissioner. MS is a traditionally red state, with the three of the four House representatives being Republican and the other senator, Roger Wicker, also being Republican. Rob Manfred has not yet explained why the league's PAC has seen fit to give Hyde-Smith money in light of all of this, but given the anger and agitation I've seen about this just since I woke up this morning and saw the news, my sense is that he had better explain himself pretty damn quickly. She has made racially charged comments which have caused controversy.

San Francisco Giants part-owner Charles B. Johnson has also been noted as donating to Hyde-Smith's campaign. She has been facing intense scrutiny recently over having attended a white private school that was founded after court-ordered school desegregation of public schools. But she quickly pivoted into attack mode. He said the comment was "a little flip" but said she apologized and that he'd "heard that loud and clear".

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