Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wall Street Eager To Finance Patrick Murphy's Senate Campaign


The NRSC has been lying about Patrick Murphy, insinuating his rich Republican father and daddy's shady collection of cronies and friends are the only source of funds for Patrick's campaign for the open Rubio Senate seat. And, although it is true that his father's contributions are, once again, his main source of cash, Patrick knows where else to go for money-- his pals on Wall Street.
The family money that fueled Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Fla.) in former campaigns and is responsible for his personal wealth is flowing into his Senate campaign early and often, according to his most recent campaign disclosure filing.

Murphy, who formally launched his campaign in March, reported $1.3 million in campaign contributions in the first quarter of 2015-- $484,300 of which Murphy received from PACs.

Also contributing to the large haul are Patrick Murphy family donations and the Coastal Construction Group, which is owned by his father and serves as the family business.

The Coastal Construction Group was the single largest donor to Murphy’s campaigns in both 2012 ($76,750) and 2014 ($50,300), according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics... He has not been able to run away from his father’s support. Financial disclosure statements show that a gift from his father at least tripled Murphy’s net worth in just one year.

Murphy was making $98,050 annually at Coastal Construction and had a net worth of between $136,000 and $320,700 in 2011, but in 2012 received stock in the company from his father worth between $1 million and $5 million.

“My dad is the primary shareholder, along with my brothers and some other family members, so (it’s) a family business,” Murphy explained in 2013. “And, like many family businesses, my dad’s getting older and gifting some of that to his children and relatives.”

The campaign finance disclosure also shows that Murphy’s campaign is quickly spending its money early on in the campaign, already spending more than 25 percent of the money it has raised.

Spending at that pace so early in a campaign is not considered wise campaign strategy.

Justin Barasky, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, recently criticized the campaign for Ohio Democrat P.G. Sittenfeld for having a first-quarter “burn rate” of 20 percent of his campaign cash.

When asked about the spending rate, a Republican campaign operative agreed, saying the report “will certainly trouble his donors.”

“It’s a very bad sign for a campaign to have such a high burn rate and it will certainly trouble his donors,” the operative said. “It seems that Patrick is treating his campaign account the same way he treated Daddy’s credit card.”
Murphy knows he can afford to spend now because Chuck Schumer has jumped into the primary on his side-- which means even more Wall Street money than Murphy had a right to expect. Murphy is exactly the kind of lazy, shallow conservative careerist Schumer always likes getting behind. The irony this time is that when the current chair of the DSCC, Jon Tester (D-MT), was first running for the Senate in 2006, he was a grassroots populist and Schumer, then DSCC chairman, recruited a Murphy-like figure-- John Morrison, an Establishment Wall Street shill-- to run against him in the primary. Tester, with help from grassroots and netroots activists, vanquished Morrison (and Schumer)... and then took exactly 5 seconds to utterly sell out and abandon any and all principles and values to join the boys' club.

With the help of Tester, Reid and Schumer, Murphy is scooping up tremendous amounts of Wall Street cash. The people who are threatening to stop funding Senate races for the Democrats if they don't shut Elizabeth Warren up are the exact same people financing Murphy. He raised $750,000 within a week of declaring his candidacy, much of it from "a host of Wall Street banks and financial-services leaders." Announcements like this on CNN doesn't endear politicians to actual votes... at least not actual Florida voters:

In his most recent filing alone, Murphy received money from a who's who of banking PACs: $5,000 from the American Bankers Association, $2,000 from Bank of America, $1,000 from Branch Banking & Trust Co., $10,000 from Capital One Financial Corp., $2,500 from Charles Schwab, $7,500 from Citigroup, $5,000 from the Community Financial Services Association, $1,000 from Compass Bancshares, $2,500 from the Consumer Bankers Association, $2,500 from Credit Suisse Securities, $1,000 from H&R Block, $5,000 from JP Morgan Chase Co., $2,500 from the Managed Funds Association, $5,000 from the Mortgage Bankers Association, and $5,000 from New York Life Insurance Company.

Going into 2016, officials from some top banks have said Democrats could lose that cash if the party doesn't soften its tone toward Wall Street, according to a Reuters report. Citigroup in particular reportedly said it would withhold donations to the DSCC for fear the party would promote more leaders like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Such threats prompted outrage from liberal groups, including the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, who are now calling on candidates to reject contributions from Wall Street in the 2016 cycle.

That these groups would shell out for Murphy is no surprise. Before the last election, Politico reported that the 11 freshman members on the House Financial Services Committee, including Murphy, each raised about $100,000 more than the average House freshman in large part because of Wall Street backers. Throughout his first term, Murphy and his financial-services colleagues-- including now-Sen. Tom Cotton-- led in fundraising among their freshman House colleagues, building up parts of the profiles that made both men attractive recruits for the Senate.

"It's the biggest reason people disengage. Those with the money have the power, and we know the impact Wall Street has had on our economy over the last seven or eight years," said Susan Smith, president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. Smith's group released a letter to Murphy and other Florida candidates asking them not to take Wall Street money going forward from mid-April.

"Some of Murphy's votes, his vote to weaken Dodd-Frank concerned us, his vote on Keystone, his comments on Social Security … and when you look to see that the banks are giving him money, we called for him to stop taking Wall Street money from this point forward," Smith continued.

Neil Sroka, a spokesman for the progressive group Democracy for America, said in an email that, "if Democrats want to prove that they're not owned by Wall Street bullies, that starts by making clear that they can't be bought, something that's exceedingly difficult when you're taking in money hand-over-fist from banking-industry PACs."

Both the Florida progressive group and DFA have said they would support Rep. Alan Grayson if he decided to challenge Murphy for the nomination. Smith said her group would also ask Grayson, who is independently wealthy and has gotten major support from small donors in the past, to take a pledge against Wall Street money.

...Grayson, who has also served on House Financial Services Committee and received some Wall Street money in the past, told National Journal in an interview that he would take the pledge if he got in the race. He sought to draw a contrast with Murphy on the issue.

"If you're on the Financial Services Committee and you take Wall Street money, it's not necessarily the fact that you're taking Wall Street money that matters, it's what you're doing in return. Are you, for instance, trying to water down the Dodd-Frank bill?" said Grayson. "When Wall Street lobbyists would see me walking down the hallway, they would turn and run the other direction. These are people who understand I'm not on their side, I wasn't going to do them any favors, and my vote was not for sale."

Help draft Alan Grayson-- here

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