Wed September 26, 2012
Mo. Democratic Party Files Ethics Complaints Against Akin
Update 9/27/12 9:30 AM with response from Akin campaign.
The Missouri Democratic Party has filed ethics complaints against Todd Akin, alleging wrongdoing for coordinating with a Super PAC in exchange for campaign cash.
Two complaints were filed against Akin by the party:
In the past, Akin has made several statements in support of earmarks. Last week, however, the Republican senate candidate announced that he supported a ban on earmarks. A Super PAC formed by Senator Jim DeMint is now considering helping out the out-funded candidate. DeMint has long been an antagonist of earmarks. His opponent, Claire McCaskill, alleged Akin was flip-flopping in exchange for money.
At a press conference on Monday, Akin admitted his staff has been in discussion with DeMint's group.
"That discussion has taken place at the staff level, where people talk and [say] 'Okay, give us a definition, well this is the one we are using,'" Akin told press. "We said well no difference, we are on the same page."
When asked if those discussions meant DeMint would help fund Akin's campaign, he responded by saying "the conversation has been going on, but there's nothing official."
Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate with candidates.
Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders used harsh language to describe Akin's actions.
"Bribery. It's not a word we throw around lightly," Sanders said. "When you look at the conduct of Mr. Akin: a firmly held position immediately after the conversation occurs that he will receive campaign cash in lieu of his change of position, he immediately changed that position."
Update: Akin's campaign responded for comment on Thursday morning. Rick Tyler, an advisor for the Akin campaign, said the allegations are baseless.
"Super PACs and PACs, it's perfectly permissible to call and find out what a candidate's position is," Tyler said. "And that inquiry was made to the campaign of what Todd's position on earmarks is. And it turns out there's no daylight between what the PAC's position on earmarks is, and what Todd Akin's position on earmarks is."
Tyler, a former spokesman for Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, said Akin has not changed his stance on earmarks. He is against earmarks that are done "in the dark of night."
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel
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You can watch video of Congressman Akin discussing earmarks below.