By Juliwegrace Brufke, DCNF
The Republican Party of Florida called on Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Patrick Murphy to return campaign contributions Sunday from employees at a law firm linked to improper donor practices.
Murphy takes in a whopping $21,800 from Thornton Law Firm workers, which is allegedly matching its employees donations and listing them as “bonuses.”
Between 2010 and 2014, partners David C. Strouss and Garrett Bradley donated $1.6 million to Democratic groups and politicians while listing $1.4 million in bonuses given to lawyers at the company with 280 of those being matched within 10 days a contribution was made, the Boston Globe reports.
Thornton maintains its actions were legal, but a number of experts argue reimbursements are a violation of Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules since it masks where the money is actually coming from.
It is “among the most serious campaign violations, in the view of both the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice,” Daniel Petalas, the former general counsel for the FEC told the paper.
The Florida GOP slammed Murphy’s decision to take in the funds, saying it is not the first time the politician has been involved in a campaign finance scandal.
“It should not come as a surprise that once again, Patrick Murphy has added another shady campaign contribution case to his long list of politically illegal and unethical campaign finance problems,” RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. “As more illegal campaign contributions are revealed by the day, even his daddy’s money cannot save Murphy and his drowning Senate campaign. Murphy should do what others have already done and return the tainted contributions.”
Ingoglia and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist were accused of receiving contributions in June from Ibrahim Al-Rashid, a former classmate of Murphy’s who was allegedly using straw donors to get around campaign finance regulations.
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is currently leading Murphy by 9 points, according to the latest Emerson poll.
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