Is Patrick Murphy legislating under the influence?

Murphy

Today the Progressive Democrats of Florida swung hard at Patrick Murphy and accused him of improper influence. Specifically, they noted that Murphy initially supported the All Aboard Florida high-speed rail project but changed his tune when his family business Coastal Construction was not selected as general contractor of the project.

This is a pretty strong accusation that implies that Murphy is legislating under the influence of his family’s powerful construction company – one that also has donated big money to his campaign and Super PAC.

If true, it’s an especially problematic appearance of impropriety for Murphy who has also been accused of trading campaign cash for endorsements and recently said in an op-ed: “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”

Patrick Murphy has gotten a free pass from most of the media during his fledgling political career. But if they gave his record the scrutiny that most politicians receive, they would see a pattern of conflicts of interest and influence-peddling that underlie his sudden rise from obscurity to U.S. Senate candidate.