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Todd Akin was my representative for many years, first in Jefferson City, MO, then in Washington, DC. We were never friends, but I've had opportunities to talk with him and been invited to his home on a couple of occasions through a few connections, one of which was my being a merit badge counselor in a Boy Scout Troop which included one of my sons and two of his sons, Perry and Micah.

Todd was born into wealth. He was able to sell land during his time in the Missouri legislature when he earned very little.

Todd and Lulli have the common touch. I've seen them talk to people from all walks of life in a sincere and friendly fashion.

Todd has always been ambitious and a hard worker. He built a base of support in his district by spending a lot of time courting church affiliated groups in particular, speaking whenever he got the opportunity.

I only had my son in that troop for one year. This was during the Clinton presidency and I was disturbed by the extent to which everyone in the troop was into the burgeoning militia movement. Todd is a true believer that the Bible is the founding document for the US and sees the constitution through this lens. The way folks like this reinvent history may seem simply ignorant to those of us that take history very seriously but the romantic glow with which Todd pitches his alternate US history is very attractive to most that hear it.

Hopefully, Todd is gone from Washington for good. I actually like he and his wife personally, but it frightens me how much power a fundamentalist theocon can gain.

The one lesson I would take from knowing Todd and Lulli is that if we want our views to prevail it isn't enough that we be on the side of reality based science, economics and history. We simply have to want it more and be willing to work harder.

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