By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter
St. Louis (KSDK) - With Election Day inching closer, mud-slinging is sure to get even dirtier over the next couple of weeks.
One race everyone's watching is the fight for the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.
Each candidate has made claims about the other in ads, and in their debate.
So we put one of those statements through our own I-Team truth test.
There weren't big fireworks in the debate at Clayton High School, but there were some big claims. One of the most notable came not from panel or audience questions, but from Senator Claire McCaskill's closing remarks.
"His women staff make 23.4 percent less than the men in his office," she said.
Does Representative Akin underpay his female staff members?
The I-Team checked and double-checked salary staff numbers available on the website Legistorm.com. Over his 12 years in Congress, Akin paid men an average of $15,872 per quarter. Women on average made $12,152 per quarter. That is a difference of $3,720, or 31 percent. That's an even bigger difference than McCaskill's campaign came up with.
So on this claim, we say: true.
We did take a look at McCaskill's Senate staff salaries. We found she pays women an average of $24,405 per six month period. Men are paid an average of $23,966. That's a difference of $439, or two percent.
The I-Team asked Congressman Akin's office to weigh in on the discrepancies. His spokesman says there's no policy dictating a difference in pay between men and women on the staff.
He also says the congressman's chief of staff is a woman who was hired as a front desk employee and promoted.
The Akin camp also says right now, its female staff makes 14 percent more than the men.
Be sure to check out our Decision 2012 page. It has all of the information you need before going to the polls.