Today from the McCaskill campaign:
Today, McCaskill for Missouri 2012 released a new web ad highlighting Todd Akin’s astonishing about-face on a Congressional earmark ban. Akin was named by the Center for Responsive Politics as one of Congress’ top earmarkers and secured more than $100 million in pork-barrel spending between 2008-2010, but National Journal’s Hotline reported Friday that Akin will now support an earmark ban, in exchange for campaign contributions from a conservative Super PAC.
The web ad, entitled “SOLD: Todd Akin’s Position on Earmarks,” contrasts Friday’s Akin headlines with recent video of Akin openly defending the practice of earmarks on the campaign trail: WATCH HERE
"It’s shocking that Todd Akin’s willing to sell his support for an earmark ban, especially after defending the practice in campaign ads just two months ago,” said Erik Dorey, McCaskill for Missouri spokesman. “Akin’s decision to sell his support for an earmark ban is the kind of Washington politics that Missourians hate. After 12 years in Congress, it seems that Todd Akin’s gone Washington and this is just further proof that he’ll do anything it takes to go back."
Despite having already aired an ad less than two months ago defending his support for earmarks, it was reported Friday that Akin changed his position on an earmark ban after conversations with a Super PAC, spun off from DeMint’s former leadership PAC:
The Senate Conservatives Fund, the former political action committee of Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., turned Super PAC, may help embattled Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., raise money for his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., after imposing one condition: Akin will support an earmark ban the group backs, according GOP aides involved in the conversations.
"He has agreed to their earmark ban," said Rick Tyler, a senior aide to the Akin campaign who long worked for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
That's a shift for a lawmaker who has defended the right of legislators to earmark appropriations on the grounds the Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse. [Hotline, 9/23/12]
Claire, a fierce watchdog who’s increased fiscal accountability throughout the federal government, has been a staunch opponent of earmarks and led the charge for an earmark ban, while Akin has repeatedly defended the corrupting practice. Between 2008 and 2010, Akin secured $100 million in earmarks, including $30 million in earmarks for his campaign donors.
Web Ad: “SOLD: Todd Akin’s Position on Earmarks”
Slide: After defending earmarks for nearly 12 years, Todd Akin recently changed his position after Sen. Jim Demint’s Senate Conservative Fund (SCF) offered him campaign contributions.
AKIN: “But I think that there are certainly excesses in terms of earmarks, but to say that you cannot, which is what some people argue -- you can't even, the Congress can't even change the President's budget -- we're nuts if we go down that road, and I refuse to go there.” -- Branson Debate, 1/30/12
AKIN: “I have not taken any pledge against earmarks.” -- Akin Speech in St. Joseph, 5/19/11
Slide: [headline] National Journal: SCF May Back Akin; Akin Will Back SCF Earmark Ban - 9/21/12
AKIN: “Now there are some that want to get so radical using the flag-waving term earmark that they're going to give away the first article of the Constitution to the executives and the bureaucrats. And for political favor, I'm not going to give up the U.S. Constitution.” -- Branson Debate, 1/30/12
Slide: [headline] Springfield News-Leader: As he searches for campaign cash, Akin says he now supports earmark ban - 9/21/12
AKIN: “The Constitution says in Article I that spending money is the responsibility of the Congress. We cannot abdicate that to the administration. If you carry the earmark thing too far, you are basically rolling over and say I'm going to let the President and all those administrative agencies decide how money is going to be spent. I will not give up the US Constitution for any particular political wind or fancy.” -- Missouri Athletic Club Debate, 1/10/12
Slide: [headline] St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Report: Akin changes position on earmarks in return for campaign cash - 9/21/12
HOST: “Do you unconditionally pledge to never support earmarks?”
AKIN: “Unconditionally pledge to never support earmarks? This is one of those have you stopped beating your wife type questions.” -- Americans for Prosperity Forum, 7/21/12
Slide: POLITICO: “Akin isn’t weak because he’s too conservative, he’s weak because he’s too liberal on spending and earmarks.” - Sen. Demint’s PAC, 7/19/12 [disclaimer]