The internecine infighting between Democratic U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson continued Wednesday amid their heated battle for the open Senate seat vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio.
Murphy has now circulated a media report accusing Grayson of padding his fundraising figures by using temporary personal loans to his campaign account, then paying himself back using the same pool of contributions.
In the first three months of the year, Grayson both loaned his campaign $200,000 and also paid himself back for a previous $200,000 loan,” the Murphy campaign quoted Kevin Robillard of POLITICO Pro in a memo to supporters. “That boosted Grayson’s total fundraising to just over $1 million — but it did not actually add any money to his coffers.”
“Grayson had raised just over $1 million in the first three months of the year and spent slightly more than $800,000, leaving him with $430,000 on hand. But a quarter of his spending went toward paying back that earlier loan. Other candidates in the past have used a series of recycling loans to artificially boost their fundraising and cash on hand numbers,” the story continued.
The story concluded by noting Murphy had raised $2 million and carried $5.6 million on hand as of last quarter’s reporting period.
The Senate hopefuls have not been shy about stridently attacking one another.
Grayson has called Murphy a “Republican sock puppet” and, somewhat mystifyingly, a “lickspittle pillock” in attacks which have focused on his right-of-center roots and support from big-money banking and industrial interests.
Murphy, on the other hand, has pounded Grayson as an “unethical” pol who “put voters second to his pocketbook” over the offshore hedge fund Grayson manages.
The hedge fund remains open, as does an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into charges he improperly used his name and title to drum up business for it. Grayson, for his part, insists the charges are politically motivated and will go nowhere.
Grayson recently pointed out in a heated exchange with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, however, that the Congressional Ethics Committee has opted not to open up an investigative subcommittee into the charges. Historically, Grayson said, that means the chances of any eventual censure against him are slim.