Politics

Murphy's Dad Spends $1.75 Million on Son's Campaign

Critics have claimed donations violate super PAC rules

The father of Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy of Florida donated to various super PACS in support of his son's Senate bid against incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Patrick Murphy's father recently donated $250,000 to the pro-Murphy super PAC Floridians for a Strong Middle Class, bringing his total contributions to the race to $1.75 million.

The super PAC reported the donations in a quarterly disclosure report filed Saturday night to the Federal Election Commission, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

Multimillionaire Thomas Murphy Jr. donated $1 million to the Senate Majority PAC over the summer, and he and his company, Coastal Construction Group, had previously given $500,000 to Floridians for a Strong Middle Class. 

Super PACS are prohibited from coordinating campaign efforts with the candidates, but can raise unlimited funds.

Because of the immediate family connection, Murphy's campaign has received flak for his father's donations.

Last month, a conservative watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, alleged the elder Murphy's donations demonstrated illegal coordination between Patrick Murphy's Senate campaign and the groups his father donated to. His Democratic primary competitor Rep. Alan Grayson made similar accusations earlier this year. 

[Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide: Senate]

Floridians for a Strong Middle Class ran advertising for Murphy over the summer, but nearly $440,000 of its funds went to Senate Majority PAC, the newspaper reported. Senate Majority PAC pulled millions of dollars in planned advertising for Murphy last month. 

Murphy's opponent, GOP incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio, maintains a lead in the polls. A RealClearPolitics average of polls from Oct. 3 through Oct. 13 has him up by 4. 7 points. 

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Leans Republican.

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