Democratic presidential candidate and billionaire Tom Steyer is a disaster, and it turns out he should have been shown the door a long time ago.
A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa has privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing his White House bid, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations.
The overtures from Pat Murphy, a former state House speaker who is serving as a top adviser on Steyer’s Iowa campaign, aren’t illegal — though payments for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws if not disclosed. There’s no evidence that any Iowans accepted the offer or received contributions from Steyer’s campaign as compensation for their backing.
But the proposals could revive criticism that the billionaire Steyer is trying to buy his way into the White House. Several state lawmakers and political candidates said they were surprised Steyer’s campaign would think he could buy their support.
Tom Courtney, a former Democratic state senator from southeastern Iowa who’s running for reelection to his old seat, told The Associated Press the financial offer “left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Murphy didn’t respond to a request for comment. Alberto Lammers, Steyer’s campaign press secretary, said Murphy was not authorized to make the offers and that the campaign leadership outside of Iowa was unaware that he was doing so until the issue was raised by The Associated Press.
Courtney declined to name Murphy as the Steyer aide who made the offer, but several other local politicians said they received similar propositions, and all confirmed the proposal came from Murphy himself. Most requested anonymity to speak freely about the issue. Another, Iowa state Rep. Karin Derry, said Murphy didn’t explicitly offer a specific dollar amount, but made it clear Derry would receive financial support if she backed Steyer.
“It was presented more as, he has provided financial support to other downballot candidates who’ve endorsed him, and could do the same for you,” she said.
Courtney described a similar interaction with Steyer’s campaign.
“Tom, I know you’re running for Senate. I’m working for Tom Steyer,” Courtney recalled hearing from the aide. “Now you know how this works. ...He said, ‘you help them, and they’ll help you.’”
“I said, ‘it wouldn’t matter if you’re talking monetary, there’s no amount,’” Courtney continued. “I don’t do that kind of thing.”
No it's not illegal but Jesus, it's gross and immoral as hell. But hey, you know what is illegal? Having your aides steal other candidate's mailing lists.
A Tom Steyer campaign staffer accused of stealing voter data from Kamala Harris' campaign has resigned. Steyer's campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, released a statement explaining that last week, the South Carolina Democratic Party had turned off voter file access to his campaign briefly — and that when it was restored, Steyer staffer Dwane Sims, who had once worked for the state party, "had access to other presidential data."
"Within minutes of realizing this," Hargreaves said, "Sims called the South Carolina Democratic Party to alert them, and the access was turned off by the party authorities."
Steyer's national press secretary Alberto Lammers said that although the campaign wiped all voter data files from Sims' computer, Sims had already deleted the files in question.
Nonetheless, the Steyer campaign said that it put Sims on leave while it investigated. It "wiped Mr. Sims' computer to make sure the data was completely deleted and that there was no access to other campaign data."
The campaign did not overtly admit any wrongdoing, but it did state that "after that internal investigation, [Sims] resigned from the campaign."
The chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party said in a statement that the party "recently learned of a breach by an employee of the Steyer campaign, who obtained access to some of Senator Harris' volunteer data in South Carolina. This was a former SCDP employee, who was off-boarded at the end of September, and as we learned on Friday, maintained a separate user account, which is in clear violation of the VoteBuilder protocol."
"We take this matter very seriously, and that is why we immediately worked with the DNC to disable this employee's access to VoteBuilder," the statement continued. "All data downloaded by this individual was destroyed and was not provided to any third parties. It is critical that the Steyer campaign take immediate action regarding their employee. This user account did not have access to data from any other presidential campaign."
Hargreaves' statement includes an apology to the Harris campaign. "Tom Steyer and the Steyer campaign extend our deepest apology to Senator Kamala Harris and her campaign," Hargreaves wrote.
Oops we accidentally the voter data my bad. Hitting the black woman's voter list in South Carolina is a nice touch, non?
C'mon Tom, should have stuck with funding state races with your money. You could have made a difference. Instead you wasted tens of millions on your ego and oh yeah, you're a cartoon villain and a fool.
Drop out already.