The Missouri Democratic Party has filed ethics complaints against U.S. Senate Candidate Todd Akin for changing his mind about earmarks. Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Mike Sanders says Congressman Akin has defended earmarking funds for projects throughout his 12 years in Congress, and now says he doesn’t believe in earmarking.
Sanders says Akin did an about-face on his stance as soon as his campaign ran out of money, and did so just as Congressman Jim DeMint and the Senate Conservatives Fund agreed to back him to the tune of $250,000.
Akin’s campaign staff says he supports spending measures that get floor debate, but opposes earmarks secretly tacked onto bills when lawmakers don’t get a chance to read or debate them.
U.S. Senator McCaskill has been outspoken in saying earmarks shouldn’t exist, but Sanders says earmarks themselves have little to do with the ethics complaints. He says the issue is that Akin’s sudden shift in position when money is on the line violates ethics rules.
The democrats have submitted two complaints to the Federal Ethics Commission — one prohibits bribery of a public official, the other is a ban on gifts for elected officials.
Sanders says “to use the term bribery I don’t think is too strong at all,” Sanders told reporters. “These are fundamentally disturbing actions by Todd Akin.” He says it’s pay to play, and says people have the perception that politicians are for sale — that they’re principals and votes are available to the highest bidder.
View the official complaint here.