Rep. Akin cashes in from defense industry as he runs against top contracting waste opponent
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/08/DollarBillsThumb1.jpgU.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is the recipient of the second-largest amount of money from the defense industry during the 2011-2012 election cycle as he begins his campaign to replace a leading voice in the U.S. Senate opposed to defense contracting waste, fraud and abuse.
Thus far in the current campaign cycle, tea partier Akin has received $91,500 from defense-related interest groups while serving on the House Committee on Armed Services, the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. That figure puts him in second among members of Congress in amount received from defense interests during this election cycle, after House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) and nearly $40,000 more than President Obama.
Meanwhile, Akin has started a ‘task force’ to increase federal contracts for defense companies based in Missouri, held numerous defense industry breakfasts and said that defense is a “vital, Constitutional responsibility of the federal government” while questioning the financial viability of Medicare.
Akin is currently campaigning for the Republican nomination to challenge Sen. Claire McCaskill, whose pet issue since being elected in 2006 has been defense contract oversight and promoting transparency in government affairs. McCaskill currently serves as the chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight.
“The attitude in the military has been, too many times, ‘I want what I want, when I want it,’” McCaskill told the Kansas Monitor, promising to increase oversight of contracted military spending.
Their race will likely be an interesting microcosm of the role of special interests in elections, as McCaskill and Akin hold opposing positions on many social and fiscal issues, and most of their funding sources are similarly polarized.
Akin, the former Army combat engineer whose Missouri district is home to Boeing Defense, Space and Security, has made no secret of these ties. Of the top ten organizations that have donated to Akin in the past two years, three are defense companies.
After convening the St. Louis Defense Industry Task Force, which would “increase the profile of the importance of the defense industry” in Missouri, he boasted in a press release that he “will call on greater coordination and support between state, federal and local officials in actively supporting the strength of defense manufacturing in the St. Louis region.”
He has also held numerous defense industry fundraising events, eighteen in the past year, and has toured defense companies to show his support for their manufacturing base in Missouri.
Along with large contributions from different corporate interests, Akin is ideologically conservative. He has supported proposals to teach intelligent design in public schools, display the Ten Commandments on public property and retain references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance.