Thursday, November 26, 2015         


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Republicans spent big on Akin in Missouri, only to lose

By Jonathan Weisman

New York Times


To the bitter end, establishment Republicans maintained that Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, was dead to them, cut off for his comment that women could not get pregnant in the event of "legitimate rape."

Turns out he was not so dead.

Newly released campaign finance documents show the National Republican Senatorial Committee transferred $760,000 to the Missouri Republican Party in the first days of November as the state party opened an ad blitz to try to close the gap with McCaskill.

In the end, it was not even close. McCaskill, once considered the most vulnerable senator standing for re-election, crushed Akin 55 to 39 percent.

The transfer is not a huge surprise. The Missouri Republican Party's final $1 million advertising spending far exceeded the amount of cash it had on hand, and all eyes shifted to the Republican senatorial committee as the real source of the money. At that time, a committee spokesman, Brian Walsh, refused to comment.

National party officials were eager to keep Akin out of the Republican limelight, worried that his views on rape and abortion would taint other Republicans struggling with a debilitating gender gap, including the presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

But the documentation is now clear. The Republican senatorial committee tried to help Akin — and failed.

On Nov. 1, the committee transferred $360,000 to the Missouri Republican State Committee, the same day the Republican National Committee gave Missouri Republicans $77,000. The next day, the Republican senatorial committee threw in another $400,000.

Walsh did not return calls or emails Friday. But Democrats did not let the report slide.

"It is not only wrong that the NRSC would provide funds to support a dangerous extremist like Todd Akin," said Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "It was underhanded and dishonest that they would purposely mislead the public about their actions."

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