McCaskill's 'conflict of interest'

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Chad Groening (

Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin says it's a "conflict of interest and a breach of trust" with voters that the husband of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was enriched from federal low-income housing contracts that she approved while in office.

According to The Associated Press, McCaskill's financial reports show her husband, Joseph Shepard, earned between $400,000 and $2.6 million from his businesses that received almost $40 million in federal payments from 2007-2011. McCaskill voted for some of the bills that funded the federal housing and agriculture departments, which provide the housing subsidies.

Perry Akin, Todd Akin's son who is serving as campaign manager, agrees with his father's assessment of the situation.

"Trust is a big deal here. We really feel like if you're going to go to Washington and make a lot of decisions that impact our families, impact the jobs that we hold, then we expect that you do that in a way that's honorable and transparent," Akin insists. "And certainly, this is an indicator that that hasn't been the case."

He goes on to point out that the candidates' differences are emerging on the campaign trail.

"Obviously the policy differences come forward, but also you start to see a candidate's character," the campaign manager notes. "This is one of those cases where we're starting to see a window into [McCaskill's] character, and I think a lot of people in Missouri are going to be very concerned about this view that they see of her character."

Meanwhile, Senator McCaskill claims that many of those housing contracts existed before she won the election in 2006 and that much of the income came from non-government sources.

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