Just when upstart congressional candidate Stephanie Murphy looked like she might be gathering momentum in her 7th Congressional District bid against John Mica, she failed to make campaign disclosures required under the law. It the kind of serious ethics lapse that will dog her for the remainder of the race.
Case in point: the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a non-partisan ethics watchdog group, filed a complaint with the House Committee on Ethics yesterday, requesting an investigation into Murphy’s failure to file her mandatory Financial Disclosure statement before the deadline.
A recent poll from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee purported to show her within three points of Mica, but this ethics lapse will cost her.
“This is not simply a technical violation,” said Matthew Whitaker, Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust. “A candidate’s timely filing of a Financial Disclosure statement allows citizens to assess any conflicts of interest the candidate may have during her campaign for office, and ensures an ethical and transparent government.”
Whitaker is a former United States Attorney.
According to the complaint, Murphy filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on June 22, 2016, and also loaned her campaign $11,000 that same day. Under federal law, a candidate for the House of Representatives is required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement within thirty days of qualifying as a candidate by either raising or spending more than $5,000. Consequently, Murphy was required to file her Financial Disclosure statement by July 22, 2016. Not only did she not do so, but she only recently filed, almost seven weeks later, on September 12, 2016.
Whitaker maintained that no candidate should be permitted to disregard the law, and the extremely late filing in this case demonstrates that is exactly what happened here. FACT asks that the Committee on Ethics take appropriate action, including imposing a fine against Murphy.
A full copy of the complaint to can be read here.
A call placed to Murphy’s campaign phone asking for comment was not immediately returned.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.