A Republican Senate candidate from Arkansas voted against billions of dollars in assistance for Hurricane Sandy victims in January 2013 and then proceeded, both in interviews and on his campaign website, to stubbornly defend his votes opposing the federal disaster relief.
But it appears Rep. Tom Cotton's (R-Ark.) campaign has taken down two blog posts in support of those votes from his website.
According to an Internet archive, the blog items, which were posted months before Cotton announced his bid to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), were online until late January of this year.
The first post from January 2013 was a letter to the editor calling Cotton's approach to the federal aid for Sandy victims "sensible." Cotton had explained that he believed that "a lot of that money was not going to natural disaster relief" and he didn't "think Arkansas needs to bail out the Northeast."
The second, from the same month, was a piece that spoke positively of how Cotton decided which way to vote. The representative told the author that he would have voted for the relief if it had been offset by spending cuts.
Cotton was the sole member of Arkansas' congressional delegation to vote against $9.7 billion in funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be able to pay out flood insurance claims.
The only remaining issue-specific blog post now up on Cotton's website from before he announced his Senate campaign is also from January 2013: The piece quotes the representative speaking in favor of a government shutdown.
Cotton Communications Director David Ray told The Huffington Post in a phone conversation Tuesday that the removal of the posts was purely a matter of "maintenance."
"Once Tom announced for the Senate, we archived old material so the site would be navigable," Ray explained in a follow-up email. "That's why you don't find press releases or other news dating back to Tom's 2012 run for Congress."
Pryor has contrasted his own support for the disaster assistance with Cotton's opposition.
An NBC/Marist poll released Monday found Pryor, who is perceived as one of the cycle's most vulnerable incumbents, leading Cotton by 11 percentage points among voters.
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