Today at Salon, Alex Seitz-Wald breaks down Rep. Todd Akin's ties to a militia and anti-abortion extremists:
The senate candidate's claims that he had nothing to do with an extremist group is unraveling fast.
Here are the highlights:
- Akin wrote a letter to the 1st Missouri Volunteers militia that read "The local militia can bring a positive influence to our community. Your patriotism and concern for our state and nation is to be commended."
- Akin was to be a special guest speaker at a regional conference to teach participants “how to organize Missouri militias.” The Springfield News-Leader, reported that Akin canceled because of “scheduling conflicts,” not discomfort with the militia’s leaders.
- Akin worked with Tim Dreste in the pro-life movement and who, as it turns out, may even have been arrested along with him. Dreste was one of the most infamous anti-abortion activists in the state, known for threatening abortion doctors, leading several invasions of abortion clinics in the late 1980s, and apparently celebrating the murder of abortion doctor David Gunn in 1993.
- Akin addressed Dreste’s new group, Whole Life Ministries in October of 1988, before a planned blockade of an abortion clinic as part of a national protest organized by Operation Rescue. Akin rallied Dreste’s troops in a church the night before. “As far as I am concerned, you are the freedom fighters of America… My hat is off to you,” Akin said, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story. Dreste told the paper that night that he expected to get arrested, explaining, ”We will tell (police) we will obey God’s law before we obey man’s law.”