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Todd Akin is out with a fanciful new ad. In it he claims that, “federal stimulus spending ‘made McCaskill rich.'” (Not to distract from the main point, but wasn’t she rich before the stimulus?) Apropos the ad, Akin asserts:

…  Claire McCaskill is on record for going through the stimulus line by line, and stated that the stimulus was solely for creating jobs and stimulating the economy, […]. Now we know that McCaskill’s family business received $1 million of taxpayer money from the stimulus bill that she voted for. I voted against this bill because I did not believe it would help the economy and because pork-barrel spending can neither stimulate the economy nor create jobs.

As reported in Politico, McCaskill’s campaign strongly denied the implications of financial impropriety:

McCaskill’s campaign reached out to take strong exception to the charges leveled in the Akin ad, and provided documentation that some of the claims in the commercial are misleading or wrong. The critical data point is that Akin’s ad says McCaskill’s husband, Joseph Shepard, pulled in $1 million from investments in government-subsidized housing projects — but his share of investment in those projects was actually less than 5 percent, leaving him with far less than $1 million in income. What’s more, McCaskill’s campaign says that the payments Shepard received from the government were for contracts that predated the stimulus, and that the government would have been legally required to pay out regardless of whether the stimulus was passed

So much for Akin’s quest to expose a stimulus related scandal. I suspect that if he continues to pursue this line, he may end up feeling a little nostaligic for the “wildcat” McCaskill he credited himself with uncaging. How can it possibly help Akin to make such flimsily-supported allegations of financial irregularities given the recently-revived accusations that he used earmarks for personal gain. The accusations were based on a report published in the the Washington Post:

Across the nation, 33 members of Congress have helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to dozens of public projects for work in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.

Between 2005 and 2009, Akin helped secure $3.3 million to upgrade part of Route 141 in his district west of St. Louis. Less than a half-mile east of Route 141, Akin and his family own nine acres. Akin’s family has applied to construct six homes on the land. His spokesman said Akin’s land had no bearing on his support for the earmarks. “It is going to be helpful as a connector but not helpful for residential property values whatsoever,” he said.

Sound a little fishy to you too? Well then, if you’re interested in still more Akin related dirt, bend your mind around what he said in this video:

I’m in a three-way primary for the US Senate. I’ve gone to people and asked for their support, their help, or their endorsement, and some people say yes. They write me a decent check. I remember that. The people that I thought were friends that tell me to go away because they are supporting someone else, I remember that. You know, I can remember back to 12 years ago. You remember who’s helping you. That’s one way that people get to know congressmen and senators.

The video is titled, “Akin bragged about being a congressman for sale,” and I can surely see how somebody might think that – but could anybody really be that dumb?

But enough of elaborating on the soot that adorms our pot, Todd Akin. I can’t help wondering if this risky new ad has anything to do with desperation. Claire McCaskill’s campaign has just released an internal poll showing her up over Akin by nine points. As Daily Kos’s Steve Singiser observes:

Now that Republican gaffe machine Todd Akin cannot be replaced on the ballot, you have to love the fact that the campaign of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill decided to lower the boom with a new poll out of the Show-Me State. Her poll shows that she holds a pretty solid 50-41 lead over Akin. But what is even more awesome: it shows that she had a six-point lead in an early September survey. One that…ahem…was never released. Well played, team McCaskill. Well played!