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Group that filed FEC complaint against McCaskill adds Akin in filing

Group that filed FEC complaint against McCaskill adds Akin in filing

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Sen. Claire McCaskill and Rep. Todd Akin in second debate

U.S. Rep. and Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin and Sen. Claire McCaskill shake hands following a debate at Clayton High School on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Clayton, Mo., for their second formal debate in Missouri's U.S. Senate race. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford, elunsford@post-dispatch.com

WASHINGTON • A group that filed a Federal Election Commission complaint against Sen. Claire McCaskill based on a passage in her new book has now amended the complaint to include her 2012 opponent Todd Akin.

The conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust earlier this month filed a complaint alleging that McCaskill, D-Mo., broke federal campaign laws covering in-kind contributions by allowing her pollster to talk with an Akin campaign adviser about the effectiveness of an advertisement Akin had run in the 2012 Republican primary. A McCaskill spokesman said then the actions were "above board."

Akin, a former Missouri congressman, went on to win that primary, only to lose the general election to McCaskill in one of the nation's most-watched Senate races that fall. Akin was not named in the original complaint but was added in an amendment by the group last week.

Citing McCaskill's own words from her new book "Plenty Ladylike," the group's Executive Director Matthew Whitaker said that through McCaskill's own urging, "Akin's campaign accepted and received valuable polling data and information.

"Akin's acceptance of the donation, as well as the failure to disclose it, was in violation of federal election law," the amended complaint said.

McCaskill said after the initial complaint that no data was shared, only "broad generalities."

Attempts to reach Akin on Friday by phone and email failed. He has told the FEC that he has shut down his 2012 campaign accounts. Akin wrote in his own book, "Firing Back," that he didn't think McCaskill had a substantial impact on the GOP primary.

When the original complaint was filed earlier this month, McCaskill spokesman John LaBombard said McCaskill's 2012 political moves in the GOP primary were "smart and strategic" but not illegal.

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Chuck Raasch is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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