Tom Steyer’s Iowa political director resigns amid controversy

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Tom Steyer’s Iowa political director has resigned amid multiple allegations he privately offered local legislators campaign contributions in return for endorsing Steyer’s 2020 bid.

Pat Murphy, who denied those claims, resigned Friday evening, according to a statement from campaign manager Heather Hargreaves.

“Our campaign policy is clear that we will not engage in this kind of activity, or any kind of communication that could be perceived as improper. Violation of this policy is not tolerated,” she said in the statement. “The endorsements Tom receives are the sole result of his consistent efforts engaging communities, meeting them where they are, and earning their trust and respect with his unifying messages. The campaign will continue to seek them in Iowa and other parts of the country.”

Steyer’s campaign on Thursday said it was standing by Murphy, formerly Iowa’s House speaker.

Murphy’s resignation is the second significant exit under pressure of scandal for the Steyer campaign in just days. Earlier this week, an aide in South Carolina resigned after being accused of downloading volunteer data that belonged to fellow presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

The Associated Press reported that multiple current and former state legislators in Iowa had conversations with Murphy related to down-ballot campaign contributions in return for endorsing Steyer.

“It was never my intention to make my former colleagues uncomfortable,” Murphy said in a statement to ABC News at the time, “and I apologize for any miscommunication on my part.”

Steyer told ABC News on Friday night “there hasn’t been any quid pro quo in Iowa.”

“Look, we had a couple of incidents,” Steyer added. “We tried to make sure that we understood what was going on. I’ve always run my businesses with complete integrity. When things happen, you try and ascertain what happened and deal with them openly and cleanly, and that’s what we’ve done.”

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