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Tom Steyer aide offered money to Iowa politicians in exchange for endorsements, report says

A top campaign aide for billionaire Tom Steyer privately offered local Iowa politicians campaign contributions in exchange for their endorsements in the 2020 Democratic presidential race, the Associated Press reported, citing people with direct knowledge of conversations between the aide, Pat Murphy, and the local politicians.

Payments for endorsements would violate campaign finance laws if they weren’t disclosed to the Federal Election Commission, according to AP. There is no evidence that any local politicians accepted the money from Murphy or Steyer’s campaign.

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When asked about the AP report, Steyer’s campaign responded with a statement from Murphy, a former Iowa House speaker, who did not directly address the allegations.

“As a former legislator, I know how tricky the endorsement process can be for folks in Iowa. It was never my intention to make my former colleagues uncomfortable, and I apologize for any miscommunication on my part,” Murphy said in a statement to CNBC.

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