Bloomberg News

Democrats Press Rivals to Give Source of Akin Ad Funds

November 01, 2012

The National Republican Senatorial Committee should say whether it provided several hundred thousand dollars for a last-minute ad buy benefiting Missouri Republican Todd Akin’s campaign, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil said.

“The NRSC knows full well that they don’t have to disclose this spending until after the election, and are purposely misleading the media and voters until then,” Cecil said in a statement today.

The Republican campaign committee announced it wouldn’t spend money to support Akin after he said Aug. 19 that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy. Akin is trying to defeat first-term Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, and Republican leaders abandoned his campaign after his remark about rape.

Akin’s spokesman, Rick Tyler, confirmed that the Missouri Republican Party provided $387,000 for ads backing Akin to run in the days before the Nov. 6 election.

The source of the funds hasn’t been disclosed. NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh declined to comment on whether the national Republican campaign organization provided money to the state party to help pay for the ads. Akin on the same day spent $300,000 of his campaign money on new ads.

NRSC Chairman John Cornyn said in a Sept. 20 interview that the campaign organization wouldn’t provide funding for Akin, even if the race was close in the final days.

‘Candidates Matter’

“We’re done,” Cornyn said at the time. “Candidates matter, and the campaign they run matters.”

The Missouri Republican Party had $375,081 in its federal account as of Oct. 17, according to the Federal Election Commission. A spokesman for the Missouri Republican Party didn’t respond to a request for comment as to whether the NRSC or another group transferred money to help fund Akin’s advertising.

Akin had $543,767 in campaign funds as of Oct. 17.

Through Oct. 27, McCaskill and Democratic-aligned groups spent $11 million on 18,427 general election ad spots, compared with $2.6 million that Akin and his supporters spent on 5,232 general election spots, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington rates McCaskill, once considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats, as likely to win the Missouri Senate race. Before Akin’s comments, she trailed him and other potential Republican candidates in polls.

Outside Groups

In the final days of his campaign, Akin is receiving help from other groups. Among them is Now or Never PAC, a super- political action committee, which is spending $804,000 on television advertising to support Akin, according to a Federal Election Commission filing today.

The super-PAC is funded mainly by a $1.95 million donation in September from Americans for Limited Government, a free- market advocacy organization based in Fairfax, Virginia. Now or Never PAC is backing Akin after supporting one of his Republican rivals, former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman, in the August primary.

Minnesota Republican Representative Michele Bachmann’s leadership political action committee gave $2,500 to Akin’s campaign on Oct. 30.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is among the party leaders who called on Akin to leave the race.

Akin, a six-term U.S. representative, apologized for the comments about rape though he refused to end his Senate candidacy. He later won the backing of some in the Republican Party’s small-government wing, including Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and former presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net; Greg Giroux in Washington at ggiroux@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net


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