Steyer aide offered money for endorsements

California

Tom Steyer speaks during the California Democrats 2019 State Convention at the Moscone Center on June 01, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Several Democratic presidential cadidates are speaking at the California Democratic Convention that runs through Sunday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A top aide to Tom Steyer in Iowa has privately offered local politicians campaign contributions in exchange for endorsing his White House bid.

Multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations told The Associated Press that the overtures came from Pat Murphy, Steyer’s Iowa director. There’s no evidence any candidates in Iowa accepted the offer or received contributions for an endorsement.

Murphy did not respond to a request for comment. Alberto Lammers, Steyer’s campaign press secretary, says 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.

The proposals could revive criticism that the billionaire Steyer is trying to buy his way into the White House.

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