Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill released a trio of new campaign ads Wednesday that feature rape survivors discussing their opposition to her Republican opponent, Todd Akin.
The ads are grim and without music. They feature three sexual assault survivors, some of whom say they are Republican and pro-life, condemning Akin's stance on emergency contraception.
"I chose not to take the Plan B pill, because I feel strongly about my pro-life values. But it was something I needed to decide for me," a woman says in the ad. She is identified only as Diana. "For Todd Akin to take that option away for sexual assault survivors is to victimize them all over again."
Akin made national headlines for his statement that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy. He has apologized for that statement, but still contends that emergency contraception should not be available, even in cases of rape.
But the Akin campaign says this is just a distraction.
"This is simply a tactic to divert our attention away from the fact that she (McCaskill) has been caught in a Washington insider game," Rick Tyler, senior advisor to the Akin campaign said.
Tyler is referring to an Associated Press review of McCaskill's finances that found almost $40 million of federal stimulus money went to subsidize businesses affiliated with McCaskill's husband, though it appears only a small fraction of that has actually made it into the family's bank accounts.
"I find it interesting that she would release three ads the day after the AP disclosure," Tyler said.
The Akin campaign is now calling on McCaskill to release her husband's tax returns. The McCaskill campaign points out that McCaskill has already released her own most recent tax returns, while Akin has not.
"Claire McCaskill is the candidate in this race," Caitlin Legacki, spokesperson for the McCaskill campaign said. "Todd Akin's repeated attacks against Claire's family are desperate and baseless."
Speaking on behalf of Akin, Tyler said Akin would be willing to release his tax returns, provided McCaskill's husband does the same. "I think we can safely say that if Claire McCaskill and Joe Shepard were to release their tax returns, I'm sure the Akin's would be glad to."
McCaskill's campaign claims her husband's profits came primarily from units that were unsubsidized -- not the subsidized housing.
Tyler says the only way to get to the bottom of whether or not any wrongdoing occurred is to have McCaskill's husband release his tax returns.
Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter: @csmcdaniel
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