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Akin talks turkey as he makes one last pitch for the Pilgrims, campaign money

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2012 - With little time left in the U.S. Capitol, outgoing U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, took to the floor on Thursday to deliver one last ode to his favorite fall topic: the Pilgrims.

As he has done every November for years, Akin – who lost a bid Nov. 6 for the U.S Senate – told his version of the Thanksgiving story of the Mayflower, and the disastrous first winter that only left about 55 alive. (Hat tip to the Missourinet radio network for the audio.)

“A  group of free people under God created a civil government,’’ said Akin, with the creation of the Mayflower Compact. He often has contended that the Pilgrims rejected socialism, although Akin didn’t bring up as much detail for this last House talk on the subject.

Later Thursday, Akin talked turkey, so to speak, of a different sort.  His campaign sent out a missive for donations, saying that it had debts remaining from his unsuccessful effort to oust U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

“There's no two ways about it - we came up short,” Akin said in his appeal. “But like you, I know our fight isn't over and we have much left to accomplish. Our country is on the brink. Spending is at record levels. Regulations and red tape are killing small businesses. The very ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are under attack….”

“…We are raising money now to finish paying our bills. You all came through for us time and time again and without your continued support we would not have been able to keep up the fight,” his campaign added.

Akin also picked up a dubious honor Thursday when the Washington Post’s political writers cited him with “the worst ad’’ of the 2012 campaign. The ad in question was the apology ad that he aired in August  within days after the furor erupted over his observation about “legitimate rape.’’

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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