A top aide to 2020 Democrat Tom Steyer’s campaign has resigned after offering campaign contributions to Iowa politicians in exchange for their endorsement of the billionaire candidate.
While Pat Murphy defended his actions as aboveboard and claimed the controversy stemmed from a “miscommunication” after Thursday’s revelation, he resigned the next day. A statement from Steyer’s campaign confirmed his departure Friday.
“After the conclusion of an investigation alleging improper communications with elected officials in Iowa, Pat Murphy has offered his resignation from the campaign effective immediately,” the statement read. “Our campaign policy is clear that we will not engage in this kind of activity, or any kind of communication that could be perceived as improper. Violation of this policy will not be tolerated.”
No Iowa politicians admitted to accepting the donations. Murphy, who was once the Iowa House speaker, blamed the “tricky” endorsement process and said he never meant to make “my former colleagues uncomfortable” on Thursday.
“As a former legislator, I know how tricky the endorsement process can be for folks in Iowa,” he said in a statement. “It was never my intention to make my former colleagues uncomfortable, and I apologize for any miscommunication on my part.”
Steyer, 62, who is polling at an average of less than 1%, was also under fire last week when a South Carolina campaign aide was accused of trying to steal volunteer data from fellow contender Sen. Kamala Harris. Steyer has spent more than $47 million of his own money on his 2020 presidential bid, prompting criticism that he could be trying to buy his way into the White House.
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