REPORT: Akin Secured $31 Million in Earmarks for Campaign Donors
Brunner Supported Akin’s Efforts to the Tune of $60,000
Jefferson City, Mo.—A new report released Monday shows Rep. Todd Akin, a candidate for US Senate in Missouri, earmarked more than $31 million for individuals and organizations that would later give his campaign more than $80,000 in donations. Akin previously received more than $60,000 from John Brunner and members of John Brunner’s family.
“Monday’s report further underscores the importance of principled leaders who are willing to end business as usual when it comes to earmarks and spending in Washington and that’s clearly not Todd Akin or John Brunner,” said Caitlin Legacki, Missouri Democratic Party spokeswoman. “While Todd Akin has consistently been one of Congress’ most prolific earmarkers, John Brunner supported his efforts to the tune of $60,000. You can't help but wonder if John Brunner himself ever asked Todd Akin for help securing earmarks for his own company. John Brunner didn't have a problem with Akin's earmarks until Brunner's highly-paid consultants convinced him otherwise, but previous donations and glowing endorsements of Todd Akin paint a much clearer picture of the real John Brunner.”
According to a report published by the Washington Examiner in conjunction with Taxpayers for Common Sense, “Akin received at least $79,250 in campaign contributions from 13 individuals associated with 11 firms for which he sponsored or co-sponsored earmarks, according to a Washington Examiner analysis of campaign finance and earmark data.” [Washington Examiner, 5/14/12]
When asked to cite any disagreements Brunner had with his primary opponents, Brunner said he didn’t see any "substantive differences," tacitly endorsing Akin’s record as a Top 100 earmarker. [Springfield News-Leader, 12/3/11]
Brunner and his family have given more than $60,000 to Akin’s campaign efforts since 2000. Of that, Brunner himself gave Akin nearly $30,000 and donated the maximum allowable contribution as recently as March 2011.
Meanwhile, Claire McCaskill has established a steadfast record as a leading opponent of earmarks and is widely regarded as the Senator responsible for today's earmark ban. According to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, McCaskill "has been an anti-earmark crusader…She's the biggest one in the Senate, really.” [Washington Examiner, 5/14/12]
Akin sponsored $40 million in earmarks in 2008, putting him in the Top 100 earmarkers for the House of Representatives. Akin sponsored nearly $100 million worth of earmarks between 2008 and 2010. [opensecrets.org, accessed 12/22/11; legistorm.com, accessed 12/22/11]
Brunner, Family Members Have Contributed MoreThan $60,000 To Akin’s Campaigns Since 2000. "Brunner, his wife, and other family members have donated more than $60,000 to Akin'scampaign since 2000. Brunner himself gave Akin's campaign $5,000 as recently as March, two months before Akin announced his candidacy for Senate.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8/15/11]
Brunner Praised Akin’s Work As A Congressman. In a July 2011 interview with Eli Yokley of PoliticMO, Brunner said, “Congressman Akin has been a good Congressman, and I think he's done a good job in that second district. As a second district Congressman, he's gained seniority, and has done a good job as a congressman.” [PoliticMO, 7/24/11]
Brunner Donated $30,000 to Akin, called him a“Fantastic guy.” Reported The Hill, “He and Akin also have a long-standing relationship. Akin spoke at the funeral of Brunner's father in 2006, and Brunner has donated more than $30,000 to Akin's campaigns over the years. As recently as this spring, Brunner described Akin as a ‘fantastic guy.’” [The Hill, 8/10/11]