Tom Steyer Aide Reportedly Tried to Buy Endorsements From Political Leaders in Iowa
“A spokesman for Steyer’s campaign told the AP that Murphy was not authorized to make the offers”
In August, liberal billionaire and 2020 Democratic candidate Tom Steyer was accused by some people of buying his way into the September debate.
Now his campaign faces accusations of trying to buy endorsements from political leaders in Iowa.
Alexandra Jaffe reports at the Associated Press:
AP Exclusive: Steyer aide offered money for endorsements
A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa 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.
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 purchase their support.
Tom Courtney, a former Democratic state senator from southeastern Iowa who’s running for reelection to his old seat, told The Associated Press that the financial offer “left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Murphy said concerns about his outreach were the result of a “miscommunication.”
Consider the fact that Steyer has spent nearly every waking moment of the last three years calling President Trump a threat to our democracy, or worse.
Then read this statement from Montana Governor Steve Bullock:
.@GovernorBullock issues a statement on the Pat Murphy story. “First he buys his way onto the debate stage and now Tom Steyer’s trying to buy endorsements,” Bullock said in a statement. pic.twitter.com/T5JM3Az1gY
— Adam Brewster (@adam_brew) November 7, 2019
John Bowden of The Hill has a statement from a Steyer spokesman:
A spokesman for Steyer’s campaign told the AP that Murphy was not authorized to make the offers and that campaign leadership was unaware he had done so until the news service alerted them to Murphy’s efforts.
“Tom has not made any individual contributions to candidates in Iowa this year, and he will not be making any contributions. The endorsements he receives are earned because of Tom’s campaign message, his decade-long work taking on big corporations who put profits over people, and his work registering and organizing voters across the country to support progressive causes. Our campaign policy is clear that we will not engage in this kind of activity, and anyone who does is not speaking for the campaign or does not know our policy,” a campaign spokesperson told The Hill on Thursday.
“Tom and his wife Kat Taylor have a long history of supporting progressive causes and candidates, which have helped Democrats in Iowa and across the country. Their work helped Democrats take back the U.S. House of Representatives last year and fueled more Democratic victories this week, including in Virginia,” added the spokesperson.
Steyer is set to participate in a CNN town hall event in Iowa next week. Do you think this will come up?
CNN to host Iowa presidential town halls with Joe Biden and Tom Steyer https://t.co/edAm29UgGA pic.twitter.com/uHVQ7E8kYg
— CNN (@CNN) November 4, 2019
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
“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.”
How is this not illegal? How many politicians publicly acknowledge they were paid to endorse another politician?
Why would it be illegal? How could it be illegal? What do you think “Leadership PACs” are all about, if not precisely this? This guy just tried to speed up the process and make it more explicit.
The contribution must of course be disclosed, if it came from the campaign. Maybe even if it came directly from the candidate’s pocket, rather than from a PAC he leads. But there is no need to acknowledge that it was linked to the endorsement. How many politicians ever acknowledge that anything they do has any connection to contributions they received? But everyone understands that that’s how it works.
Get ready for the same accusations against Trump. Naturally, zero evidence.
Aren’t all political endorsements essentially bought? Maybe not with money, but with favors or anticipated favors?
A quid pro quo? Oh, only if he were a Republican.
Not all, but many. That’s what “Leadership PACs” are for. But it’s usually not stated in so many words, and takes place over a longer time scale. There’s no explicit quid pro quo, it’s just understood.
It seems kind of WATERGATE can’t-didate to me.
And this is a surprise why ???
Steyer is all over the TV. He’s annoying, but I just laugh because he’s wasting a lot of his own money on those advertisements.
This is how machine politics works. Money is the lubricant, favors are the currency. He’s just bad at it. There is literally nothing to see here, it is how our system has worked for well over a hundred and fifty years.
It’s interesting he cannot find a better bag man with his level of cash.
It’s not so much that he’s bad at it as that he has less time than these things usually take. But yes, he’s an amateur, so of course he’s not as good at it as the professionals are.
Time for bitter Tommy to just hang it up. He wasn’t cut out for politics.
Except in extreme cases (like, say, anything involving one or another Clinton), nobody buys anything from a politician. They make contributions to his re-election campaign fund instead. Since re-election campaign funds are a real thing, it’s hard to make this illegal even if there’s some justification in doing so. The only way to eliminate it is to eliminate re-election campaigns themselves; and the only way to do that is strict one-term limits for all elective offices. Which isn’t going to happen.
“A spokesman for Steyer’s campaign told the AP that Murphy was not authorized to make the offers and that campaign leadership was unaware he had done so until the news service alerted them to Murphy’s efforts.”
Yeah, I believe that. Really, I do. I mean, a Democrat wouldn’t lie, right? They honest and upright. Com,n, a Democrat wouldn’t do anything underhanded.
Like I said, I believe the campaign’s version.
I hope Trump doesn’t ask for an investigation. Revealing a crime by a Democrat is apparently a crime in and of itself.
I find this very hard to believe. /sarc
Yale to Morgan Stanley to Goldman Sachs to private hedge fund.
Truly, the Democratic Party is the party of the common man.