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Friday, September 7, 2012

Akin Defends Cashflow After Ad Dispute


It's not quite “Mad Men Missouri,” but a little drama is playing out in a dispute between a beleaguered Senate candidate and a television ad department in the state.

The candidate is Representative Todd Akin, a Republican who is on the defensive for remarks he made in his campaign against Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat. The television station is KOMU-8, an NBC affiliate in Colombia, Mo., that reported that it had pulled Mr. Akin's ads midway through its intended run because of an unpaid bill.

The report immediately prompted questions about whether Mr. Akin had the cash to go forward with his bid.

His campaign has been operating without help from national Republican groups after he s aid on Aug. 19 that women's bodies could often prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape,” and G.O.P. leaders, including Mitt Romney, have urged him to step aside.

But speculation that the campaign is beset by both unpaid bills and empty war chests are “factually false,” said Rick Tyler, a senior adviser to Mr. Akin's campaign.

“In the last 18 days, we have raised over $400,000 online alone,” Mr. Tyler said. While he would not say how much of that is in the bank, he insisted the campaign was not in debt.

As for the ads, according to Mr. Tyler, the Akin campaign booked â€" and paid for â€" half a week of ads, thinking they would probably re-up for the rest of the week. And they did, he said â€" “but a day later.”

Tom Dugan, the general sales manager at KOMU, said the campaign booked a full week of ads, but only paid for half.

Both sides agree that after KOMU's news division ran an article saying the ads had been pulled because of lack of payment, the Akin campaign canceled its remaining buy.