May 23, 2016

Patrick Murphy’s Meltdown: Weekend In Review

After a whopper of a week, Privileged Patrick Murphy was probably hoping for a quiet weekend away from the numerous scandals engulfing his campaign. But the press was saying no dice, so it’s just another Manic Monday for Privileged Pat.

On Friday, the TC Palm, Murphy’s hometown paper summarized Murphy’s recent “avalanche” of woes:

The Democrat has seen an avalanche of news headlines and political attacks in the last week surrounding: money his family-owned company and father gave to a super PAC that supports him; donations he received from an admitted felon; and a House bill he co-sponsored that would have benefitted political donors and his family business.

The report went on to detail four separate scandals that have dogged Murphy in the past few weeks alone.

Then, on Saturday, Team Murphy came under media scrutiny from across the country, where the Sacramento Bee published an exposé on a shady donor-swap scheme involving Murphy’s parents and the parents of Rep. Ami Bera (CA-07) in 2014. Bera’s father recently pleaded guilty to felony campaign finance violations:

Another series of contributions occurred between Bera and Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

In 2011, three days after Janine Bera gave $5,000 to the “Friends of Patrick Murphy” committee, Murphy’s father, Thomas P. Murphy, provided $5,000 to “Ami Bera for Congress.” In 2013, the younger Murphy’s mother, Leslie, gave $5,200 to Bera. Babulal and Kanta contributed a total of $10,400 to Murphy two weeks later. Three months later, Janine Bera donated $5,200 to Murphy.

Murphy’s campaign sent $1,000 to Bera in 2014, and Babulal Bera sent $5,000 to Murphy last June.

Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen did not respond to specific questions from The Bee, including whether the families coordinated. Instead, Slayen pointed to a recent Treasure Coast Newspapers story quoting an email from her stating Babulal Bera did not arrange an exchange.

Murphy’s campaign was still in bunker mentality on Sunday, when the Associated Press reported that while outsider pick Alan Grayson glad-handed at a Florida Democratic Party dinner on Saturday, Murphy was mysteriously a no-show:

A not-so-angry Grayson made his way through a crowd of top Democratic donors, activists and elected officials at the event – the anti-establishment candidate working the establishment itself. He was pleasant and gracious, telling U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, “If there’s anything we can do for you while you’re here, please let me know.”

Ironically, establishment-backed candidate Congressman Patrick Murphy didn’t attend the Florida Democratic Party fundraising dinner. His campaign would not say why.

To be fair to Murphy’s campaign staff, it’s hard to respond to tough questions when you don’t have any good answers.