Business Group Courts Women, Also Supports Todd Akin

Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT/ ZUMAPRESS.com

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It wasn’t all that long ago that Republicans were publicly begging Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to drop out of the race following his comments about how women who are the victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant. But Akin has managed to rebound, and on Tuesday scored the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), a conservative business group.

NFIB, a non-profit that bills itself as the “voice of small business,” was already supporting Akin’s campaign through a direct mail effort bashing incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill. NFIB had also given Akin a $5,000 donation for his House race in 2000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The group also endorsed Wisconsin state Rep. Roger Rivard, the guy who last week recalled a this really classy chestnut from his father: “Some girls, they rape so easy.”

All of this might make NFIB’s current campaign to get women to join seem a little … gross. The group’s “PowHER” campaign offers a variety of prizes, and NFIB pledges to make a donation to breast cancer research for each new member who joins this month. I’m sure many women might be bothered by the fact that their $180 membership fee will help support candidates who think that women are a bunch of lying liars when it comes to rape.

Meanwhile, as my colleague Josh Harkinson has reported, it’s an open question whether NFIB can still legitimately say it represents small businesses. The supposedly nonpartisan group has spent nearly $2 million so far this election season—all of it either in support of Republican candidates or attacking Democrats. As a 501(c)4, the group doesn’t have to disclose its funders—but we do know that it received $3.7 million from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS in 2010 to support its work. The group also launched a new arm earlier this year, The Voice of Free Enterprise Inc., that takes donations from individuals and groups that aren’t small businesses.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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