Following Akin's money

UPDATED: Todd Akin's PAC gave money to his favored colleagues. Will they return it?

By Alex Halperin
Published August 21, 2012 8:49PM (EDT)

In Washington, campaign contributions and co-sponsored legislation ensure that every scandal has collateral damage. Since Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) remark about “legitimate rape” Republicans have been furiously backpedaling to convince voters that really, really they believe something very different. A few of Akin’s colleagues in Congress will have to go a step further and decide whether they want to turn down his largess.

By the standards of congressional Republicans, Todd Akin isn’t a fundraising powerhouse. According to his Takin Back America PAC has raised a measly $78,743 and sloshed out four-figure checks to Republicans Reps. John Carter (Texas), Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Denny Rehberg (Mont.) who is running for Senate.  Takin Back America also contributed $5,000 to Voice for Freedom, Rep. Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) PAC.

Politico reported that Rehberg has given his contribution to a pregnancy center.  I’ve contacted the other campaigns to ask if they’ve returned the PAC’s funds and will update the post if they respond.

UPDATED: The Bachmann, Price and Carter camps did not respond to numerous requests for comment and do not appear to have posted anything about Akin's comments on their Web sites. It looks like they're betting that they can keep their money and let Akin's comments slide without being punished by conservative voters. If, as expected, Akin stays in the race, he will have made a similar calculus.

Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Campaign Finance Media Michele Bachmann Todd Akin