The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 30, 2012

Susan Redden: McCaskill, Akin gather endorsements

JOPLIN, Mo. — The campaign of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has been endorsed by a seniors’ group that represents more than 4 million retirees, including 80,000 in Missouri.

In the endorsement, a spokeswoman for the Alliance for Retired Americans cited McCaskill’s 90 percent score in voting in favor of retirees on issues related to seniors.

“Claire McCaskill’s commitment to protect Social Security and Medicare is proven,” said Barbara Easterling, president of the alliance. “Her vigorous opposition and votes to combat cuts to the programs — including privatization, cuts in benefits and raising the eligibility age — confirm her commitment to improve the quality of life for older Americans.”

David Meinell, president of the group’s Missouri chapter, said the contrast between McCaskill and Republican opponent Todd Akin on senior issues “could not be starker.”

The group gave Akin a failing — zero percent — score for 2011, citing the congressman’s votes in favor of Paul Ryan’s Republican budget plan that would privatize Medicare and his work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which extends the solvency of the Medicare trust fund, closes the Medicare Part D doughnut hole and provides preventive services for seniors.

Former Missouri U.S. Sens. Christopher “Kit” Bond and Jim Talent endorsed Akin last week, after both were among senators who earlier urged him to get out of the race after his statement that a woman’s body can prevent pregnancy in the case of “legitimate rape.” Sen. Roy Blunt earlier announced that he was backing Akin. Former Missouri U.S. Sen. John Danforth said he will not support his candidacy.

The McCaskill campaign on Sunday was circulating recordings of televised remarks by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said he will not support Akin.

Bond in a written statement said he believes Akin’s repeated apologies for the remark were sincere and that it is time “to focus on the national stakes in this election.”

“Todd can win, and I’ll be doing what I can to help ensure the Democrats that gave us big government and job killing policies don’t continue controlling the U.S. Senate,” he said.

Akin also has picked up endorsements from former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and South Carolina U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. There have been suggestions that some financial support might come from DeMint’s Super PAC, which opposes earmarks. Akin earlier in the week announced his support for an earmark ban.

The Missouri Democratic Party filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the House Ethics Committee against Akin for allegedly coordinating efforts with a Super PAC and changing his position on the issue of earmarks in an effort to receive the support.

Akin, in Joplin last week, said there has been no change in his position on earmarks. He said he does not favor budget allocations that are made “in the dark of night that do not go through the process,” but that budget control still rests with Congress.

MARTIN IN MOUNT VERNON

Ed Martin, Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general, will participate in a public forum tonight in Mount Vernon.

Martin will speak at an event set for 6:45 p.m. and sponsored by the Leaders Lead Locally Institute, 822 W. Mount Vernon Blvd. Incumbent candidate Chris Koster, a Democrat, also was invited.

The two candidates will square off, along with David Browning, the Libertarian candidate, on Oct. 17 at a debate sponsored by the Missouri Bar Association.

DEMOCRATIC WATCH PARTY

Local Democrats are being invited to gather Wednesday to watch the first debate of the presidential campaign. The watch party is set for 7:15 p.m. at Gusano’s Pizza at 3929 E. Seventh St.

Susan Redden is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at sredden@joplinglobe.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258. Follow her on Twitter @Susan_Redden.

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