Emails from Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy show he wanted Florida Gov. Rick Scott to delay the opening of a center that would help businesses affected by the massive toxic algae bloom in the state so he could announce the federal assistance at a news conference.
The emails made public by Gov. Rick Scott’s office show that Murphy, who is running for Sen. Marco Rubio’s Senate seat, asked the Small Business Administration for the delay the opening until Thursday so he could present it.
The SBA in turn emailed Scott’s office about delaying until Friday, which the officials in Scott’s administration refused. The center, which would offer loans to businesses affected by algae, was opened on Wednesday.
Scott’s office posted the exchange on the Project Sunburst site it set up to share to post the governor’s executive staff’s emails.
Murphy spokesman Anthony Kusich accused Scott’s office of taking things out of context and provided the Tampa Bay Times with an email not included in the chain.
“Of course our office did not request for this program to be delayed,” Kusich said in a statement to the newspaper. “Anyone who reads the original email can see that we did not. The official emails that Republicans are distributing to press intentionally leave out the Small Business Administration’s email to our office on Monday morning, which suggests no impending announcement.”
Murphy’s Twitter page has been highlighting his work on algae.
— Patrick Murphy (@PatrickMurphyFL) July 13, 2016
The algae bloom that erupted last month can kill wildlife and cause rashes and respiratory problems in humans. The guacamole-like goo has affected the state’s tourism industry, businesses say.
Murphy has been endorsed by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in his primary against Rep. Alan Grayson on August 30.