Updated 11:55 a.m. | In the last days of the 2012 campaign, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $760,000 to the Missouri Republican Party, which appears to have used the money to run TV ads for Rep. Todd Akin's ill-fated Senate campaign.
By not transferring the money until the first two days of November, people could only speculate as to the source of the cash infusion until after casting their ballots. Democrats would no doubt have targeted Republicans in other battleground states with ads and statements that the GOP was effectively backing Akin, despite indications to the contrary by the group's chairman, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Democrats were quick to pounce on the news Friday morning after a report by the Springfield News-Leader outlining the apparent connection between the $760,000 transfer and an ad buy by the Missouri GOP for practically the same amount in support of Akin.
"It is not only wrong that the NRSC would provide funds to support a dangerous extremist like Todd Akin; it was underhanded and dishonest that they would purposely mislead the public about their actions," said Matt Canter, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Shortly after securing the Republican nomination, Akin appeared on a St. Louis TV program and made what became infamous comments in which he suggested that pregnancy does not result from incidents of "legitimate rape." That was the first of many issues for Akin.
Akin then issued a statement saying he "misspoke."
There may also be questions about why the NRSC considered it a wise investment to put the money in Missouri. Despite public polls showing the race close between Akin and re-elected Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, it was not. McCaskill prevailed, 55 percent to 39 percent. Her internal polls regularly showed her with a double-digit lead, in line with the actual result. The Missouri Senate race was just one of many with unreliable or misleading polling data.
The NRSC declined to comment.