VETERAN: “Cindy Hyde-Smith and the Clarion-Ledger Smeared My Reputation for Political Gain”

A war veteran is accusing Cindy Hyde-Smith’s campaign of working with the Clarion-Ledger to use his recent arrest for political gain.

The Hyde-Smith campaign pushed news of Mario Barnes’s arrest into the news after a reported scuffle occurred in which the war veteran defended his military service to our country in the armed forces, according to Barnes.

Mario Barnes, a Tishomingo county businessman from Iuka and war veteran who also has served as a Commander of his American Legion and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), was booked for allegedly punching a man who disputed Barnes’s military last month in Tupelo resulting in a scuffle.

Police video footage obtained by Big League Politics reveals law enforcement officers appeared to side with Barnes, the war veteran, in the alleged scuffle at a hotel patio.


“The witness said the dude he was with [alleged victim Lance Acton] was basically calling bulls*** on stuff he’d done in the military, and this dude just got up and started whippin’ dat a$$,” one Tupelo officer says in a video obtained exclusively by Big League Politics.

“I’m good with that,” chimes in another officer.

“That’s what I said! Sh*t! That’s what I said!” the first officer replied.

The alleged victim, Lance Acton, of Kentucky, immediately reached out to the Cindy Hyde-Smith campaign, the Clarion-Ledger reported, by way of the contact form on Hyde-Smith’s campaign.

How the Clarion-Ledger obtained Acton’s account of the events is unclear, though the paper does indicate it likely came directly from the Hyde-Smith campaign.

Geoff Pender, a political reporter at the Clarion-Ledger, reported the news of Barnes’s arrest before close-of-business the next day.

Big League Politics has reached out to Geoff Pender to determine how he obtained the “tip” Acton sent to the Hyde-Smith campaign, and he has not responded to a request.

He was also asked whether he was worried about being seen as a scribe for the establishment Republicans in Mississippi.

We will update this article if a response is given.

Mario Barnes gave an exclusive account of his take on how his name got dragged through the mud for political gain to this reporter.

“It is clear the Clarion-Ledger is working together with the Cindy Hyde-Smith campaign to assist her election effort,” Barnes said. “Like President Trump, I completely reject the Democrat scribes in the fake news media, and it’s obvious Hyde-Smith will do anything to advance her political career — even if it means using a compliant media to smear the reputation of a war veteran.”

“I am a war veteran. I spent seven total years in the Middle East both in the military and as a contractor. I am a member of the American Legion, VFW and Rotary. I donate to events, charities, local sports and causes I believe in,” Barnes told Big League Politics. “If I haven’t earned the right to voice an opinion for a candidate of my choosing, what else must I do?”

“Cindy Hyde-Smith used this situation — and this jerk from kentucky, who’s allegedly a campaign activist for Cindy —  for her political advantage,” Barnes said.

“If you’re a veteran who supports McDaniel, Cindy will smear your name in the papers and press, with no regard for your service to country,” he launched.

“Her campaign’s use of this incident for political purposes was personally injurious to me, and they even lied about my role with the McDaniel campaign, which had ended months prior, as was reported by the Tishomingo County Vidette,” Barnes explained.

“In fact, Acton, the alleged victim, even sat back down and had a few drinks and smokes after the alleged event. His injuries were obviously grossly exaggerated. Somebody who has a broken face doesn’t sit down and smoke cigarettes and drink for a half hour,” said Barnes incredulous at the man’s apparent behavior. “Cindy’s campaign never should have pushed this incident into the press.”

“Cindy Hyde-Smith is so desperate to win this election she smeared a Mississippi war veteran for political gain, and she worked together with the Democrat-run Clarion-Liar to do so,” said Barnes.

“Finding myself on the front page of the paper has prompted me to ask many questions,” he explained. “If folks want to advocate vocally for someone or something they believe in, will Cindy and Mitch McConnell and her goons go and attack the opposing campaign’s supporters individually?”

“Are Mississippians even allowed to support our chosen candidates anymore?” Barnes asked.

“Is Mitch McConnell working with Hyde-Smith on this? Who sent those Kentucky people down to a Chris McDaniel event in Tupelo, Mississippi?”

“Just a few weeks ago, Merle Flowers, who works to elect Cindy’ with Cindy’s SuperPAC threatened specific McDaniel supporters in writing,” Barnes explained, referring to an incident in which the head of a pro-Hyde-Smith super PAC claimed he would ruin the lives of McDaniel supporters on orders of Mitch McConnell.

“Maybe I got caught up in the crossfire of their disgusting political attacks, but I hope this never happens to another Mississippian, or to another veteran,” Barnes said.

“No one in Mississippi thinks it’s OK to denigrate the service of a war veteran. Except for Cindy Hyde-Smith, apparently. And not only does Cindy think it’s okay to smear a war veteran for political gain, she holds herself in opposition to the law enforcement officers who also believe no one should smear war veterans,” he assailed.

“Even the victim’s friend and boss backs up my version of the events, as do the police who arrived on the scene. Cindy Hyde-Smith should never smear another war veteran again,” he concluded.

The Clairion-Ledger is widely known as the “Clarion LIAR” in Mississippi, because of its strong commitment to falsehood in pursuit of the advancement of its liberal agenda.

Clarion-Ledger editor Sam Hall once served as the Executive Director of the Democrat Party in Mississippi, but has since traded in his “I’m With Her” yard sign and “Yes We Can” t-shirt for increased access to Haley Barbour, Phil Bryant and Tate Reeves in Jackson, the capitol of Mississippi.

The Clarion-Ledger even failed to disclose Hall’s strong connection to the Democrat Party when it announced his selection as that paper’s Executive Editor, offering yet another reason the paper’s credibility has been damaged so severely in recent years.

In recent weeks, the Clarion-Ledger has cancelled the U.S. Senate debate it had scheduled because Hyde-Smith decided not to attend, despite the willingness of the other leading candidates like Mike Espy and Chris McDaniel to participate, and the strong desire among voters to see candidates square off.

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