Tom Steyer Campaign Aide Accused of Offering Money for Endorsements Resigns

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A top Iowa campaign aide for Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer has resigned after accusations he offered donations to Iowa legislators in exchange for public endorsements of Steyer.

An Associated Press report Thursday said former Iowa Speaker of the House Pat Murphy, who was acting as the Iowa director for Steyer's campaign, offered contributions to local politicians' campaigns if they endorsed Steyer.

Those actions would not be illegal, but payments for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws if not disclosed.

Campaign Manager Heather Hargreaves released a statement about Murphy's resignation:

“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.

“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 is not tolerated.

“The endorsements Tom receives are the sole result of his consistent efforts engaging communities, meeting them where they are, and earning their trust and respect with his unifying messages. The campaign will continue to seek them in Iowa and other parts of the country.

“The campaign will continue to build on Tom’s momentum in Iowa and across the country as voters respond to his vision of breaking the corporate stranglehold and investing in people. This is especially true in Iowa, where voters are increasingly expressing support for Tom's plan to build real Partnerships with Rural Communities that will tackle the unique challenges of our rural areas.”

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