That didn’t take long.
Barely 24 hours after he entered the 2012 U.S. Senate race, former Treasurer Sarah Steelman lobbed what could be described as the first criticism at U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town and Country.
Specifically, Steelman chastised Akin for voting for a budget deal that likely forestalled a government shutdown in April. From an e-mail just sent a few minutes ago:
This problem needs to be solved NOW. Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain are crashing under the weight of debt and we will soon be joining them if Washington doesn’t have a plan to control spending and reduce our debt. Standard and Poors, the credit rating agency has already downgraded our debt rating to a negative outlook, another warning signal and yet Congress does nothing but talk talk talk.
Now Congressman Todd Akin has announced that he will run in the primary for Senate. But he voted for the weak-kneed budget compromise between the House Republicans and President Obama. I would have demanded that the Republican Party honor its campaign commitment and exact the full $100 billion in cuts ($62 billion prorated). Akin’s failure to do so showed the House Republicans to be toothless dragons as we battle over the debt limit.
The House should be proactive and use their leverage to vote on current cuts combined with systemic changes in the budgeting process which means passing a balanced budget amendment with a limitation on the size of government relative to the GDP (gross domestic product), and they should defund Obamacare.
Akin told the Associated Press that the budget deal was critical to funding the Department of Defense.
Up until yesterday, Steelman was the lone challenger to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. Now it is looking like she will join Akin and possibly businessman John Brunner in the race to take on the first-term Democratic senator.
Akin starts the race with a fundraising advantage - he has over $900,000 in the bank. Steelman - who is the only candidate in the race who has run statewide so far - raised only $186,000 last quarter and has $193,527 of cash on hand.