Updated Nov 9, 2019

Tom Steyer's aide resigns amid accusations of offering money for endorsements

Tom Steyer. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Tom Steyer's Iowa political director, Pat Murphy, has resigned after allegedly offering campaign contributions to Iowa politicians if they agreed to endorse the billionaire candidate, ABC News reports. Murphy has denied the claims.

Why it matters: Undisclosed payments in exchange for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws. There is no record of any Iowans accepting funds from Steyer’s campaign in such a deal, and his press secretary has denied knowledge of the offer.

Flashback: One of Steyer's South Carolina aides resigned this week after an internal investigation into allegations that he stole volunteer data from the campaign of Democratic presidential rival Kamala Harris.

The backdrop: Since Steyer launched his long-shot campaign, he's been accused of trying to buy his way into the White House. He vowed to put $100 million of his own fortune toward his campaign.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Pat Murphy was the Steyer campaign's Iowa political director, rather than the political director at large.

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Billionaire Tom Steyer is a former hedge fund manager who's become known for his philanthropy and liberal activism. In 2017, he launched "Need to Impeach," spending $10 million on a national ad campaign urging Congress to impeach President Trump, according to Forbes. He has since resigned his position to pursue the Democratic nomination.

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Kamala Harris struggles to reignite presidential campaign

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The big picture: At the start of the campaign, Harris shot to the top of the polls, especially after she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden over his desegregation and busing policy. Flash forward to today, Harris is at the bottom of the polls in early states and is struggling to make a lasting impression on voters, the Times notes.

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