South Florida U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is taking off the gloves in what is already an intense campaign between himself and Alan Grayson for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, which won’t take place for another year.
With personal financial disclosure forms scheduled to be filed today, Murphy issued a statement, challenging his Senate opponent on the issue of the hedge funds that he controls.
In his statement, Murphy lists four questions for the public to digest, with his own commentary attached to those questions:
- 1. Did Grayson finally disclose his position as hedge fund manager of the Grayson Fund, LP as required by congressional ethics rules? In a likely violation of these rules, Grayson has never disclosed that he is the manager of this hedge fund.
- 2. What are the underlying assets of the Grayson Fund, LP? In a likely violation of congressional ethics rules, the investments of this multimillion-dollar hedge fund are not listed on Grayson’s previous financial disclosures.
- 3. How much money will Grayson report having earned from the more than $5 million in the Grayson Fund, LP? For years he has mysteriously reported no income whatsoever on this large investment.
- 4. Bonus Question: Will he ensure his financial disclosure can actually be read by the public, or will he once again fill out the financial disclosure forms in almost unreadable handwriting.
Grayson manages two Cayman Islands-based hedge funds and a third Delaware-based fund. The control of those funds has subjected the Orlando congressman to two separate ethics complaints. One is from noted critic Celeste Bush, chair of the St. Lucie Democratic Party. She is supporting Murphy in the race. The other was filed by the conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust.
“Alan broke no laws, violated no ethics rules and fully disclosed everything,” Grayson campaign spokesman Kevin Franck said last month in response to questions about the hedge funds by The Palm Beach Post. “Supporters of former Republican Patrick Murphy are on the attack because they can’t defend Murphy’s conservative record of siding with Wall Street and they know that Alan Grayson can’t be bought or bossed around.”
Grayson hasn’t been shy on attacking Murphy. Yesterday, he slammed the Jupiter representative after a congressional tracking website claimed the Murphy was one of the least effective members of Congress.
“Patrick Murphy is one of the least effective members of Congress, in part because he hasn’t passed a single bill out of committee,” Grayson said. “Some might assume that Murphy has not gotten anything done because he is just not that interested in the hard work of being a legislator, but I’m also worried that he might not have a firm grasp on the legislative process.”
InsideGov called Murphy the 21st least-effective member of Congress. The Murphy camp told the Miami New Times that the report was “deeply flawed,” as well “inaccurate and misleading.”