Murphy Confronted Over Tax Return Hypocrisy

This morning, Patrick Murphy stumbled on Miami radio when the conversation turned to taxes. Since the Murphy campaign is unlikely to ICYMI this one, we thought we’d share:

Rep. Patrick Murphy
Radio Interview with WIOD’s Jimmy Cefalo
November 7, 2016
http://bit.ly/2fvgtMD

A partial transcript is below. Listen to the full interview here.

MURPHY: “What happened to our country where all the sudden it’s cool not to pay taxes? Where it’s cool to take advantage of all these loopholes. I mean—the system we have designed, and as a member of Congress will tell you, the businesses and the people that are up there, you know, on a day-to-day basis, trying to get these loopholes. It’s ridiculous. The people that Marco Rubio is getting support from. America and the lower class and the working class deserve better than that.”

HOST: “Congressman, have you released your tax returns? I’m not aware of it. You probably did, but I’m not aware. Have you released yours?”

MURPHY: “I pay a 32 percent tax rate and I do a personal financial disclosure.”

HOST: “So you did release your tax returns?”

MURPHY: “I haven’t. I released my personal financial disclosure, which actually has more information than a tax return. Assets, liabilities, net-worth. Everything.”

HOST: “Well, yeah, but that’s the question. That’s a very important question.” [CROSSTALK] “No, well, look. That’s a very important question. Whether or not if you released them. And quite frankly, I’m surprised that you haven’t. That you want to go down that road with it.

Just a few months ago, Patrick Murphy co-sponsored legislation that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

On June 6, 2016, Murphy co-sponsored the “Presidential Tax Transparency Act.” “This bill amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require any candidate of a major party for the office of President to file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) a copy of the candidate’s income tax returns for the three most recent taxable years for which such a return has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service as of the date of the nomination.” (Congress.gov, Accessed 10/23/16)

According to the author of the legislation Murphy supported, tax returns are “highly instructive” and “contain vital information” for voters. “Tax returns are highly instructive. They contain vital information, such as did the person pay any taxes; did the person make charitable contributions; did the person take advantage of tax loopholes; or did the person keep money offshore.” (Rep. Anna Eshoo, 6/7/16)

In January 2015, Murphy tweeted: “Democracy requires transparency.” (Twitter, 1/21/15)

But Patrick Murphy is refusing to release his own tax returns.

Tampa Bay Times: “Patrick Murphy declines to release tax returns but details tax rate.”“Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy will not release his tax returns though his campaign said today his tax rate over the past five years was 32 percent. That’s a departure from the 2010 Senate race, when Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio released theirs, but in line with other Senate contests in Florida. Murphy has made Donald Trump — and Rubio’s support for the nominee — a focus of his campaign. Trump has refused to release his returns, saying he is under audit, though there is nothing preventing him from disclosure.” (Tampa Bay Times, 10/21/16)

When asked, Murphy couldn’t answer “what harm could come from the transparency of releasing his tax returns.” “Asked again Sunday why Murphy won’t release his tax returns — something Rubio on Friday officially called on Murphy to do — Murphy repeated his campaign’s previous talking points that ‘that’s what presidential candidates do.’ However, in Rubio’s first Senate race in 2010, Rubio, Kendrick Meek and Charlie Crist all released their tax returns. … He would not say, when asked by a reporter, what harm could come from the transparency of releasing his tax returns, or even a summary of them as Rubio has done.” (Tampa Bay Times, 10/30/16)

In the 2010 Senate race, Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio both released 10 years of tax returns.

In 2010, both Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio released tax returns going back to 2000. “Looking for an edge in 2010, Crist releases his returns going back to 2000 and challenged Rubio to do the same. Rubio obliged and released more as a presidential candidate.” (Tampa Bay Times, 10/21/16)

In February 2016, Marco released five more years of tax returns. “Marco Rubio released summaries of his last five years of tax filings on Saturday, revealing him to be a candidate with a senator’s steady annual income of $176,000 who reaped repeated windfalls from book deals.” (Tampa Bay Times, 2/27/16)

Politico reported that Patrick Murphy personally loaned $1 million to his campaign.

Politico: “Murphy gets Senate campaign $1M loan to beat Rubio.” “Congressman Patrick Murphy is personally guaranteeing a last-minute $1 million loan to his U.S. Senate campaign against Sen. Marco Rubio, a decision designed to help the Democrat boost his name ID as some polls show he’s now within striking distance of the GOP incumbent. The independently wealthy Murphy went forward with the loan as fellow Florida Democrats began openly criticizing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority super PAC for reneging on a promise to spend $16 million more in badly needed TV ads for their party’s nominee.” (Politico, 10/27/16)

The vast majority of Murphy’s net worth comes from stock his father gifted him. “In his annual financial disclosure for 2015 — filed this spring — Murphy reported a net worth of between $72,000 and almost $4.8 million. Much of that wealth comes from stock in his family’s Coastal Construction Group, shares valued at between $1 million and $5 million. (The gift from his father, Coastal chairman and CEO Tom Murphy, tripled Patrick Murphy’s net worth when he received it in 2012 before he first took office in Congress.) (Miami Herald, 10/27/16)

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