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Akin owes nearly $270,000 from failed U.S. Senate bid

Thursday, December 13, 2012 | 5:57 p.m. CST; updated 6:04 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 13, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — Republican Congressman Todd Akin was outspent more than 3-to-1 and owes almost $270,000 after his unsuccessful challenge of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, according to federal finance reports available online Thursday.

Akin's committee spent a little over $6 million on his Senate campaign, far shy of the $19.3 million spent by McCaskill.

Akin reported $268,830 of debt as of Nov. 26, compared with $238,010 for McCaskill. But Akin could face a greater challenge than McCaskill in paying his bills, because losing candidates often find it more difficult than winners to raise money after an election.

The post-election finance reports were due Dec. 6, but because they are filed as paper copies with the Senate, it often takes several days before they are scanned into computers and posted online by the Federal Election Commission. Other types of committee reports are filed electronically, which is why it was apparent last week that the National Republican Senatorial Committee had quietly channeled $760,000 to Missouri to aid Akin's campaign before the election despite publicly disavowing him.

Akin's fundraising took a hit after he remarked in an August TV interview that women's bodies have biological ways of avoiding pregnancy in what he described as "legitimate rape." Although he apologized, Akin refused calls of top national Republicans to quit the race so Missouri Republicans could pick a replacement candidate.

Although some deep-pocketed Republican groups boycotted Akin's campaign, others eventually provided money. Akin's finance report shows that the Senate Conservatives Fund, founded by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, helped raise nearly $400,000 for Akin's campaign. The Kansas City-based Now or Never Political Action Committee independently spent about $1 million on ads for Akin.

In the closing days of his campaign, Akin received contributions from several political committees associated with Republican officials, including $5,000 from Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran's FreeState PAC, $2,500 from Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's MichelePAC, $2,500 from Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert's GOH Conservative PAC and $2,500 from the Patriot Voices PAC of former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

McCaskill's finance report shows that she received nearly $109,000 from donors associated with EMILY's List, which backs Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights. She also received contributions from political committees associated with corporations, Democratic officials and other diverse interests, including $10,000 each from the Office of Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC and the National Association of Broadcasters PAC.

Akin and McCaskill both have continued to make fundraising appeals to try to pay down their debt. Earlier this week, for example, Akin distributed an email criticizing the "so-called 'leadership' of cash-strapped Detroit" while asking for $5 donations.

The fundraising pleas appear to have had modest success. As of Nov. 26, Akin and McCaskill each reported about $32,000 in receipts since the election.


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