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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa has privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing his White House bid, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations.
The overtures from Pat Murphy, a former state House speaker who is serving as a top adviser on Steyer’s Iowa campaign, aren’t illegal — though payments for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws if not disclosed. There’s no evidence that any Iowans accepted the offer or received contributions from Steyer’s campaign as compensation for their backing.
The article goes on to state the following:
But the proposals could revive criticism that the billionaire Steyer is trying to buy his way into the White House. Several state lawmakers and political candidates said they were surprised Steyer’s campaign would think he could buy their support.
According to the Associated Press, a former Democratic state senator from Iowa was put off by the offer.
Tom Courtney, a who’s running for reelection to his old seat, said it “left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Several other local politicians said they received similar propositions from Murphy.
Steyer’s campaign press secretary Alberto Lammers said Murphy had not been authorized to make the offers and that the campaign was unaware he was doing so.
New: A top aide to Tom Steyer in Iowa has privately offered local politicians campaign contributions in exchange for endorsing his White House bid. Multiple current & former lawmakers told me Pat Murphy, Steyer’s IA sr adviser, made the offer. https://t.co/kfZHogqets
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) November 7, 2019
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 7, 2019
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