Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

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Regulation on Missouri’s secret money

Remember when I mentioned Todd Akin’s mysterious source of funding a few posts back?  Well, no one has yet to discover the source of money, but Missouri has attempted to create a remedy for the huge and sudden ad dollars.

Missouri’s campaign finance laws have been reformed to avoid hidden campaign contributions.  A common loophole that campaigns have found is that they can create sham non-profits to donate to super PACs and use that money for ads and other campaign materials.  As we saw in Akin’s campaign, no one would disclose where this huge donation of money in the final days of the campaign came from.

“Failing to report donors and concealing donors are both class A misdemeanors subject to one year in jail and a mandatory civil fine against everyone involved with the scam.”

However, these  campaigns got away with it because the Missouri Ethics Commission has a “hands-off approach” and those “non-profits” were acting under legal advice.  The argument is that Missouri should regulate and track donors so that no anonymous donors can be funding campaigns and attack ads.


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Where did Akin’s newfound money come from?

“He might be a son of a b—h, but he’s our son of b—h,” said Missouri Republican strategist Jeff Roe of Todd Akin. 

And that is exactly the mentality of many Missouri Republicans today.  Although McCaskill is still in the lead in the polls by about 5 points, Akin has recently experienced some “newfound strength“.  He has recently bought a $700,000 ad buy in an attempt to oust McCaskill in the final days of the race, but his campaign has not released the source of the money.  The Missouri GOP has paid for  $386,000 of the first ads run by the state GOP and Akin’s campaign.

There are speculations that the money has come from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), although they have previously declined to support Akin after his “legitimate rape” comments.  The NRSC, RNC, and Missouri GOP has refused to comment on the source of the money.  Politico has stated that only national committees, such as the NRSC and the RNC, and individual committees in compliance with federal limits can transfer funds to such an ad buy. 

As of September 30th, Akin had  $553,000 on hand.  Although no one is willing to talk about the source of the money, Akin’s resurgence could be evidence of Jeff Roe’s quote…maybe the NRSC is supporting Akin despite their differing viewpoints…