For the third time in a week, Congressman Patrick Murphy has been caught in a resume-padding scandal, this time involving his qualifications as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). And when questioned about the series of discrepancies, which also include evidence of academic fraud and overstatements about his work on the BP oil spill, Murphy attempted to blame Republicans.
The latest twist in the plot came this morning, when POLITICO reported that Murphy “overstated” his CPA experience. The Republican-turned-Democrat claims “several years” of experience as a CPA, when in fact he has only been certified for less than one year.
Locked in an ugly primary battle with Democrat Alan Grayson, questions about Murphy’s background could be damaging, especially when the lies all fit neatly into a narrative about his personal integrity and qualifications.
Recognizing the danger he finds himself in, Murphy attempted to go on offense in front of the media today: “The finger pointing has got to end,” he told reporters , even as he pointed his own finger at Republicans launching “baseless attacks” about his resume.
To her credit, the Miami Herald’s Kristen M. Clark did not let him shift the blame:
It’s common for Republican and Democratic operatives — and especially candidate’s campaigns — to offer story ideas to political journalists. But in this case, the stories didn’t arise from such tips. They’ve come, instead, from reporters at the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times and Politico Florida vetting Murphy’s background and uncovering discrepancies between what he has said publicly in his Senate campaign and what public records and his own previous accounts have shown.
A pattern has developed — with questions about his University of Miami education, his time “leading cleanup efforts” after the 2010 BP oil spill and, most recently, how much time he spent working professionally as a certified public accountant.
For now, Murphy holds a slim lead over Grayson in the Democratic primary, 31% to 23%, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll, which came out before the latest Murphy scandal broke. As questions about Murphy’s academic fraud and resume padding continue to swirl, the race will likely begin to tighten.