If things were bad between Tea Party activists and the Mississippi Republican establishment before last Tuesday's Senate primary runoff, it's about to get a lot uglier.

State Senator Chris McDaniel defeated Sen. Thad Cochran in the first round of the Senate GOP primary but then the aging incumbent staged an unexpected surge to win the run-off.

Cochran's surge was fueled by cross-over Democrats voting in the GOP run-off and before the votes were all counted, rumors were rife about walk-around money and other voting irregularities.

Vote-buying and news buying

Earlier this week, Breitbart News posted a story based on claims of a black Mississippi pastor who alleged being paid by the Cochran campaign to round-up Democratic voters who were then paid a nominal sum for their ballots.

The Breitbart post written by Matthew Boyle was based on material that first appeared on GotNews.com. That site's proprietor, Charles Johnson, acknowledged paying the minister for the story.

A minister claiming he was paid by the Cochran campaign to buy votes and who was paid by a website for talking to its writer isn't likely to be taken seriously by anybody but isolated campaign junkies.

True the Vote sues

But a lawsuit filed Tuesday by True the Vote, the Tea Party nonprofit at the center of the IRS targeting scandal, could force the facts about voting in the run-off out into the open.

True the Vote claims in its suit that the Mississippi secretary of state and the state's GOP "failed to properly abide by federal election record maintenance and open records provisions codified in the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

"Records made partially available to the plaintiffs indicated 'double-voting' from Democratic to Republican primaries — potentially diluting votes in violation of the Equal Protection Clause."

Just let the sunshine in

"All we are asking is that the Mississippi State Republican Party follow the law; allow their designated country representatives to inspect the poll books and ballots, give them the review time they are permitted by law and allow them to uphold their responsibility, True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

"True the Vote has been inundated with reports from voters across Mississippi who are outraged to see the integrity of this election being undermined so that politicos can get back to business as usual. Enough is enough," she said.

On its face, that should be a reasonable request, but here's the catch: Opening up the books as True the Vote seeks could expose unpleasantries about Mississippi vote-counting practices that neither Democratic nor Republican Party leaders want the public to see.

That's why this fight is only just beginning and it's virtually guaranteed to get much uglier before it's resolved.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

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Watchdog/Mark Tapscott: Another federal judge tells IRS to explain itself on lost Lerner emails.

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Watchdog/Kelly Cohen: Interior IG says BLM is why drilling permit approvals move as slowly as molasses.

Columnists/Noemie Emery: No, Chris McDaniel, there is nothing undemocratic about strategic voting.

Columnists/Ron Arnold: How the EPA's empire-building got in the way of its science.

Columnists/Timothy P. Carney: The Left tramples religious beliefs on contraception.

Columnists/Thomas Sowell: America's birthday should be celebrated by fighting back.

Beltway Confidential/T. Becket Adams: Americans more interested in IRS scandal than World Cup.

Beltway Confidential/Timothy P. Carney: Former Bush economic policy director says "Kill the Ex-Im bank."

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Five problems a government inspection found with Obamacare subsidies.

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Class-action lawsuit alleges Caterpillar made defective engines.

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Righty Playbook

American Thinker: Death by delay and why the old reds are the new greens.

The Daily Caller: Cochran campaign denies vote-buying, threatens lawsuit.

National Interest: With China's missile force growing, is it time to modify the INF treaty?

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Vets face more scandals if bureaucrats run their health care.

Lefty Playbook

The American Prospect: The Beckett Fund, the little-known force behind the Hobby Lobby case.

The Daily Beast: Can Bernie spoil Hillary's coronation?

UTNE Reader: Teach kids to heal the Earth.

Bonus must-read

Washington Monthly: Hobby Lobby decision is for Right-to-Lifers.

Blog Right

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Blue Collar Perspective: Refuses to enforce the law, lies about the law, then complains because no one wants to work with him?

The Marginal Revolution: Is the army about to shut down China's democracy movement?

Blog Left

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Democratic Strategist: An opportunity for Democrats in the Hobby Lobby decision.