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Billionaire Tom Steyer’s 2020 campaign announced on Friday that an aide who is said to have offered local Iowa politicians donations in exchange for endorsements had resigned.
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The campaign released a statement that Pat Murphy was no longer with the campaign following an investigation into the matter.
“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.”
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Steyer came under fire on Thursday after it was revealed that Murphy was offering donations to local politicians in Iowa in exchange for endorsements.
The strategy is not illegal, but the payments would need to be disclosed.
It could, however, be a bad look for the only billionaire running for the Democratic Party’s nomination (so far), as party frontrunners rail against the outsized influence of the wealthy and large corporations across all sectors of society — politics included.
Democratic strategist and syndicated radio host Christopher Hahn told FOX Business that this is the problem with “inexperienced billionaires running for office.”
“They feel they can buy anything,” Hahn said. “These types of transactions should have no place in our politics.”
The Associated Press reported in 2015 that a deputy campaign manager to Ron Paul during his 2012 campaign was convicted of making secret payments to an Iowa senator for an endorsement — to the tune of $73,000.
Steyer’s campaign made headlines earlier this week, over accusations it stole volunteer data from California Sen. Kamala Harris’ campaign.
Steyer’s poll numbers are in the single digits.
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