WILLIAM TODD AKIN (born July 5, 1947) is an American politician who is a former U.S. Representative for Missouri\'s 2nd congressional district , serving from 2001 to 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party .
New York City
Akin's Congressional career ended after he lost a bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in the 2012 election . Akin, who had won the Republican primary in a crowded field, led McCaskill in pre-election polls until he said that women who are victims of what he called "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant . Akin eventually apologized for the remark but rebuffed calls to withdraw from the election. He lost to McCaskill by 54.7 percent to 39.2 percent. In a book published in July 2014, Akin said that he regretted apologizing and defended his original comments.
* 1 Early life, education, and business career
* 2.1 Elections * 2.2 Tenure
* 3 U.S. House of Representatives
* 3.1 Elections
* 3.2 Tenure
* 3.2.1 Social issues * 3.2.2 Fiscal issues * 3.2.3 Military issues
* 3.3 Committee assignments * 3.4 Caucus memberships
* 4 2012 U.S. Senate election
* 4.1 Home of record * 4.2 Controversial comments on "legitimate rape" and pregnancy * 4.3 Election result * 4.4 Aftermath
* 5 Personal life * 6 Electoral history * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links
EARLY LIFE, EDUCATION, AND BUSINESS CAREER
Akin's great-grandfather, Thomas Russell Akin, founded Laclede Steel Corporation of St. Louis in 1911. The company eventually passed to his grandfather, William Akin, and then to his father Paul, a third-generation graduate of Harvard University who served as an officer in the Navy during World War II.
Akin graduated from
John Burroughs School , a private prep school in
suburban St. Louis, and went on to attend Worcester Polytechnic
After graduation, Akin served as an engineer officer in the National
Guard of the U.S. Army , then served in the Army Reserve until 1980.
After leaving active duty, Akin sold large computer systems for
Akin earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1984 from Covenant Theological Seminary where he studied Greek, Hebrew, and a socially conservative interpretation of the Christian scriptures. He did not enter the ministry.
Akin is a longtime pro-life activist and former member of the board
MISSOURI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Akin was elected to the
Akin served as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
During his 12 years in the state house, Akin advocated for homeschool
rights, voted for carrying concealed weapons , voted against the
parks and soils sales tax , and voted against the 1993 tax increase
and education spending increase. Akin sponsored legislation to
prohibit casino companies from contributing to
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
In 2000, Akin ran in the Republican primary election to fill the House seat vacated by U.S. Representative Jim Talent , who was running for governor. Light voter turnout caused by heavy rains helped Akin win the tight, five-way primary by just 56 votes; he defeated two better-known candidates, former St. Louis County Executive Gene McNary and State Senator Franc Flotron. On the night he won the primary, Akin said, "My base will show up in earthquakes." He defeated Democratic State Senator Ted House in the general election, winning 55 percent of the vote. He never faced another contest as close, and was reelected five times. In 2010, Akin won re-election with 67.9% of the vote. He had been challenged for the seat by Democratic nominee Arthur Lieber, Libertarian nominee Steve Mosbacher, and write-in candidate Patrick M. Cannon.
Akin earned a 96% rating from the American Conservative Union in 2008, and 100% in 2007.
For most of his tenure, Akin was listed in the official House roll as "R-St. Louis," even though he represented St. Louis County , but no portion of the city of St. Louis.
Akin is an outspoken opponent of abortion in all cases, including health reasons or in cases of rape or incest , and he opposes embryonic stem cell research . In a 2008 speech on the House floor, Akin called abortion providers "terrorists" and alleged that it was "common practice" for abortion providers to perform "abortions" on women who were not actually pregnant.
Akin is a supporter of the right to keep and bear arms and has an A
rating from the
National Rifle Association
Akin also authored the Protect the Pledge (of Allegiance) Act. In late June 2011, Akin objected to NBC\'s recent removal of the words "under God" from a video clip of school children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance . After remarking that "NBC has a long record of being very liberal," Akin said, "at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God". Two days later, Akin said he did not mean all liberals hate God, only that liberals have "a hatred for public references for God." The next day, he apologized, saying his statement had been "directed at the political movement, Liberalism, not at any specific individual".
During his 2012 US Senate bid, Akin reaffirmed his opposition to legislation like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 , which he voted against as a Congressman.
In his early years in Congress, Akin brought back earmarks for his district, voted to raise the debt ceiling, voted for off-balance-sheet wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and voted to create the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit. More recently, he has opposed increases in taxation and spending. He voted in 2007 against an expansion of the State Children\'s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), objecting to its potential coverage of children in families making up to $62,000 a year, and stating that proof of U.S. citizenship was not required. He also said the bill would "weaken the private health care system" and lead the country "further down the slippery slope to socialized medicine." He has voted against federally funded school breakfasts and lunches, and called student loans "a stage-three cancer of socialism". He has also voted against increasing the minimum wage. He was a vocal critic of the September 2008 bank bailout, and voted against it. He voted no on the Affordable Health Care Act in March 2010, and on Paul Ryan's fiscal year 2012 budget.
Akin has spent time working on military and veterans issues. On the House Armed Services Committee he served as the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, which handles Navy and Air Force issues. He has served as Ranking Republican on the Seapower Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Akin has also introduced veterans-related bills, most notably the Open Burn Pit Registry Act, which creates a registry for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were exposed to burn pits . He opposed repeal of the Dover Policy, which banned media coverage of caskets of troops returning home from overseas, citing privacy and decorum issues.
* COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
* Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces * Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces (Chairman)
* COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGET
* COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, SPACE AND TECHNOLOGY
* Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics * Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
2012 U.S. SENATE ELECTION
In mid-May 2011, Akin announced he would seek the Republican
nomination in 2012 to unseat Democratic Senator
Claire McCaskill .
Other candidates in the August 2012 Republican primary included
businessman John Brunner, author and business executive Mark Memoly,
Akin faced McCaskill and Libertarian nominee Jonathan Dine in the general election, losing to McCaskill after his controversial comments on rape lost him a great deal of support.
HOME OF RECORD
In May 2011, questions were raised about Akin's official address for voting. For most of his political career, Akin had claimed Town and Country as his official residence. However, according to the Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , Akin moved to Wildwood , in far western St. Louis County, sometime between 2007 and 2009, after he and his wife purchased a second home there. However, he continued to vote as a Town and Country resident, and signed a polling place logbook attesting to his living there in April 2011.
CONTROVERSIAL COMMENTS ON "LEGITIMATE RAPE" AND PREGNANCY
In a local news interview, on August 19, 2012, discussing abortion , Akin claimed that victims of what he described as "legitimate rape" very rarely become pregnant . Airing on St. Louis television station KTVI , his response to a question on rape exceptions for abortion was:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
The comments from Akin, which came as he ran for the U.S. Senate seat held by Claire McCaskill , almost immediately led to widespread uproar. The term "legitimate rape" was called "loathsome" because it suggests that "there are different categories of rape — some real and awful and others that are not". Others took exception to the phrasing because it suggests that the victims who do become pregnant from rape may be lying . His claims about the likelihood of pregnancy resulting from rape were seen by some as being based on fringe ideas like stress-induced miscarriage or Dr. John C. Willke 's "spastic tubes" theory introduced in 1985 and trauma-based theory introduced in 1999. These theories are not accepted by the majority of the scientific and medical community. Akin was not the first to make such claims, but was perhaps one of the most recently prominent.
The comment was widely characterized as misogynistic and recklessly inaccurate, with many commentators remarking on the use of the words "legitimate rape". Related news articles cited a 1996 article in an obstetrics and gynecology journal, which found that 5% of women who were raped became pregnant, which equaled about 32,000 pregnancies each year in the US alone. A separate 2003 article in the journal Human Nature estimated that rapes are twice as likely to result in pregnancies as consensual sex.
While some colleagues such as Iowa congressman Steve King and Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield supported Akin, senior figures in both parties condemned his remarks and some Republicans called for him to resign. In the resulting furor, Akin received widespread calls to drop out of his Senate race from both Republicans and Democrats.
Akin apologized for his gaffe , saying he "misspoke." His campaign ran an advertisement in which he asked voters to forgive him, saying:
Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.
The incident was seen as having an impact on Akin's senate race and the Republicans' chances of gaining a majority in the U.S. Senate, by making news in the week before the 2012 Republican National Convention and by "shift the national discussion to divisive social issues that could repel swing voters rather than economic issues that could attract them".
Before the comments, Akin had been favored to win his race against McCaskill, but he lost in November, 54.7 percent to 39.2 percent. His loss was attributed to backlash from women voters. After the election between November 2012 and August 2013, Akin received $111,000 in donations that in part were for the 2018 Senate primaries.
In July 2014, Akin's book, Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom, was published by WND Books . In it, he said that he regretted apologizing, because "by asking the public at large for forgiveness, I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said." He also defended his original comments and attacked various Republicans for "wronging" him, including Karl Rove ; former National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Rob Jesmer; Senators Mitch McConnell , John Cornyn , John McCain , Roy Blunt and Lindsey Graham ; and House Speaker John Boehner . He also repeatedly attacked the Republican establishment for seeing his comments "as their opportunity to take out and select someone more palatable to their tastes", and the "liberal media " for making him "the target of a media assassination."
Akin married Lulli Boe, a graduate of
Hollins University , in June
1975. The couple has six children. Lulli became a home schooling
activist, and all of the children were home-schooled. Three sons
attended the Naval Academy and became officers in the Marines. One of
his sons served in the assault on
Akin enjoys playing guitar and singing gospel songs, and over the years, has dressed in Revolutionary War attire for Fourth of July celebrations.
Akin and his wife lived for many years in his childhood home, a house
owned by his father in affluent Town and Country,
YEAR OFFICE REPUBLICAN DEMOCRATIC LIBERTARIAN REF
CANDIDATE VOTES % CANDIDATE VOTES % CANDIDATE VOTES %
2012 U.S. Senate, Missouri Todd Akin 1,063,698 39.2% CLAIRE MCCASKILL 1,484,683 54.7% Jonathan Dine 164,991 6.1%
* Conservatism portal
* ^ A B Haberkorn, Jennifer (November 6, 2012). "Abortion, rape
controversy shaped key races". Politico.
* ^ A B "
* ^ "Carnahan blasts \'extremists\'". The Southeast Missourian. The
Associated Press. May 14, 1995. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
* ^ "
U.S. Representative – District 2 – Summary". Office of
Secretary of State, Missouri. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
* ^ A B C D E F G Horrigan, Kevin (August 21, 2012). "Horrigan: The
world discovers the weirdness of Todd Akin. Darn it.". St. Louis
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
* ^ "
U.S. Representative – District 2 – Summary". Office of
Secretary of State, Missouri. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
* ^ "Missouri". Election 2010. The New York Times. Retrieved
* ^ Barone, Michael ;
Richard E. Cohen (2009). The Almanac of
American Politics 2010 .
* ^ "2nd Amendment