Just weeks after Rep. Steve King (R-IA) appeared to publicly defend the idea of white supremacy, he received a four-figure donation from a political group run by a controversial one-time colleague, disgraced former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).
Akin’s leadership PAC, Takin Back America PAC, donated $2,000 to King’s campaign on Feb. 2, according to a newly filed financial disclosure statement. That was less than a month after King, in an interview with The New York Times, asked, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?”
King also got a $2,000 contribution from the campaign of former Rep. Lamar Smith, who retired in January, about a week before King’s interview with the Times.
King’s comments in that interview drew swift condemnation from both sides of the aisle, and House Republican leaders quickly stripped King of his committee assignments.
Akin himself is no stranger to controversial remarks. His 2012 Senate bid fizzled after he was caught on tape in a bizarre anti-abortion rant questioning whether women could be impregnated through rape.
Takin Back America PAC appears to have focused its support of late on some of the GOP’s most contentious elected officials and office-seekers. In September 2017, Akin’s leadership PAC donated $2,700 to the Senate campaign of former Alabama supreme court justice Roy Moore, who lost a special election to Democrat Doug Jones after several woman accused him of sexual misconduct.
Akin’s group also donated $2,500 in October 2018 to the campaign of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who was reelected in spite of federal criminal charges against him for allegedly misusing campaign funds.
That donation was disclosed in a Federal Election Commission filing by Hunter’s campaign. Takin Back America, on the other hand, failed to mention it in its own filing with the FEC, despite a letter from the commission noting the apparent oversight.
Takin Back America PAC hasn’t reported any income since Akin himself donated $5,000 to the group in 2014. That money, plus some cash on hand from his time in office, has financed the few contributions it’s made since then.