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Akin ad says McCaskill benefited from stimulus

"Ever wonder why Claire McCaskill called the stimulus bill 'wildly successful'? The stimulus that didn't create jobs, that cost us billions. Well, now we know: The stimulus made McCaskill rich," a narrator says, pointing to $1 million from the bill that allegedly went to McCaskill's family.

It includes an audio clip of McCaskill saying that she and a group of Senators went through the bill "line by line," and closes with the assertion that McCaskill got "rich off us, line by line."

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At issue is a grant provided by the stimulus bill to federally-subsidized housing projects in Missouri and Illinois, in which McCaskill's husband, Joseph Shepard, had invested. His share of those projects, however, was less than 5 percent, so he received less than that $1 million investment from the stimulus, and McCaskill's campaign has said that the projects in which Shepard was invested predated the stimulus.

McCaskill communications director Caitlin Legacki told the St. Louis Beacon that Akin's new ad was "desperate," and asserted that he "should be ashamed."

"This ad is factually incorrect and is exactly the kind of nasty, desperate campaigning that Missourians hate,” she said. “Todd Akin can't defend his own extreme record, so he's resorted to false, misleading attacks against Claire's family. Todd Akin should be ashamed."

But the launch of another ad in Akin's bid for Senate reflects a steadily strengthening campaign from a candidate who seemed all but finished just a few weeks back.

Republican leaders, including Mitt Romney, called for Akin to remove himself from the race after comments he made about pregnancy in cases of rape went viral, concerned that his continued candidacy would jeopardize the party's chances at taking back the majority in the Senate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee said — and Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) recently reiterated — that the group will not be spending in the race, and outside Republican group Crossroads GPS withdrew funds as well.

But Akin persisted and has recently begun to see the fruits of his efforts as prominent Republicans begin to offer their support.

Last week, he received the endorsement of former GOP presidential nominees Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, as well as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Former Missouri Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent offered their endorsements on Friday, and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) asserted on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "Todd may well yet win" the race.

--This post was published at 11:16 a.m. and updated at 1:28 p.m.