Evidence doesn’t support logic of Patrick Murphy for Senate


Patrick Murphy seems to have a lot of money for his U.S. Senate bid, but he’s also dead wrong on the important issues that matter most to Floridians. So, how exactly is he Democrats’ “logical” choice to replace Marco Rubio?

In his 2012 race against Allen West, Murphy pledged to be more conservative on economic matters than the rest of the Democratic Party. That’s a promise he kept. 

At a time when Senate Democrats are calling for expanding Social Security, Murphy insists Social Security benefit cuts should be on the table. He supports Bowles-Simpson. He has voted to delay implementation of a key provision of Dodd-Frank and supported deregulation of Wall Street. He supports the Keystone pipeline voted against clean energy and supported undermining Clean Air Act protections. He even supported extending the Bush tax cuts.

As a matter of fact, he’s sided with the GOP on key votes twice as often as he sided with Democrats. According to Progressive Punch, he’s the 4th worst Democrat in the House.

When Murphy ran for reelection in 2014, the former Republican was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2014, a group that hardly ever endorses “real” Democrats. 

The other day, Sean Phillippi urged Florida Democrats to “think logically” about the upcoming senate race by taking the thoroughly senseless position that Patrick Murphy is a good as we can do. To his credit, Phillippi didn’t twist himself into knots trying to explain why Democrats should vote for Murphy. Instead his point was simply that Murphy is our best chance of elected a new senator with a D after his name because of his money connections, and a record conservatives will love. 

The evidence shows us that this is nonsense. Florida voters who want to vote for a conservative prefer the actual Republican candidate over the Republican-lite one. Just ask former Governor Charlie Crist about Phillippi’s argument. Remember when Florida Democrats just had to rally around Crist because he was the only “viable” candidate? And that he’d sail into office? Charlie Crist can raise a lot of money and he appeals to moderates, the Sean Phillippi’s of the world told us prior to the disastrous 2014 election.

And what happened to Crist? Voters looked at him and his opponent and couldn’t tell the difference. In a race against a real Republican, the same fate will befall Patrick Murphy. You win elections by giving voters an authentic choice, not by pretending to be something you aren’t.

Patrick Murphy has done everything he can to send the message that he’s actually not one of us. The most dangerous place in Washington is between Patrick Murphy and the next rotten “bipartisan” deal floating around. He would rather be one of a handful of Democrats supporting a Republican-backed deal than stand up for the economic populist ideals that bind the Democratic party together. 

Really though, aside from his ability to reel in boatloads of cash from his father and his father’s rich developer friends, Patrick Murphy doesn’t have a lot going for him. Floridians have historically responded to bold leaders. Patrick Murphy is neither bold, nor a leader. And running alongside a bold progressive presidential candidate, his tendency to embrace the middling mediocre miasma of false bipartisanship will be even more pronounced. 

In terms of viability a bold progressive such as Alan Grayson, which the Florida Democratic Progressive Caucus recently embraced as our preferred choice, could match Murphy’s fundraising and far outpace him in passion, boldness and policy acumen. Grayson has national fundraising base. In fact, he’s the largest small donor fundraiser in Congress. Unlike Murphy, Grayson’s campaign cash won’t come with strings attached from Wall Street, Big Oil or Big Sugar. 

So, Florida Democrats, here’s the question: Do you want to work your hearts out of the next 18 months to replace Marco Rubio with someone who will vote like him on so many important issues to you, or would you rather spend those hours making calls, knocking on doors and stuffing envelopes to elect someone who will stand with Elizabeth Warren and the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party?

It’s just that simple. 

Brook Hines is a marketing consultant providing communications strategy for partisan and policy campaigns, and former Director of Community Business Association. She’s member of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, a member of Organize Now, a board member of New Leaders Council – Orlando, and PR/Communication Chair for the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee. Views expressed here are her own and do not reflect the opinion of any affiliation.


  1. Reed Richards · · Reply

    Hear, hear. Anyone who buys off on that Wall Street / “Fix the Debt” fiction about Social Security being “broke” when it has a multi-trillion-dollar surplus is a poor Democrat in my book. If we can’t even stand against a blatant falsehood to protect the most successful social program in our history, what exactly do we stand for?

    And speaking of “common wisdom” that is neither, why do we always have to push against the idea that the only viable Democratic candidates who are pretty much just Republicans who couldn’t get a job in that party?

    When has that worked, exactly? Tant? Crist? How many times are we going to put up a vaguely less threatening Republican as one of own, only to get beaten by the real thing?

    Floridians who want to keep the Good Old Boy networks afloat and keep greasing the same well-oiled palms decade after decade already have a political party.

    Let’s do something better with ours.

  2. Or….. you could take a real look at Pam Keith, the OTHER Democrat who has announced for this race, despite the fact that the party is trying to pretend that she is not. Pam is a U.S. Navy Veteran, an attorney, and a class act. Find out about someone with REAL ideas at http://www.pamkeith.com

    1. Problem is she’s a moderate also albeit one without all the Wall Street and keystone baggage of Murphy! Better yes but not good enough. We need Grayson or someone of that ilk.

    2. Works for FPL, enemy of renewable energy.

      1. Melanie McRae · ·

        She was previously an employee of FPL, however she doesn’t work there and is not being backed by them at all. That should say something about her positions in and of itself.
        Additionally, her background is in employment and labor law.

  3. Michael · · Reply

    Except that Alan Grayson has alienated people with his polarizing remarks and is capable of going too far with his arguments. Need I remind you of Taliban Dan?
    And let’s not even get into the whole messy divorce thing.

    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      When was the last time a republican didn’t get elected because of a messy divorce? Or having affairs, or using prostitutes?

      1. Michael · ·

        My point is that the GOP will be happy to exploit any weaknesses during the general election.

      2. dianecbrown · ·

        I understand your point that GOP will exploit weaknesses, but they don’t need weaknesses, they plain out lie about Dems.

  4. Howard · · Reply

    Kartik’s column the other day was the best thing ever written on this site – this has tied it for first place!!!

    Bottom line – the corporate wing of the Democratic Party which is actually based around Broward and Palm Beach counties and backed by guys like Sean Phillipi who want to make $$$ off the process have corrupted this party.

    We need to take the party back or go bye-bye.

  5. Since this article had no actual evidence as the title implied, I offer the evidence for Murphy https://thefloridasqueeze.com/2015/03/16/guest-column-patrick-murphy-the-democratic-partys-dream-candidate/

    1. How many milk toast moderates who weren’t previously elected statewide have the Ds run since 2000 and won with? Take your numbers and FDP lover analysis and shove it!

      1. Michael · ·

        except that Grayson has a lot more baggage than Murphy that the GOP will use against him in the general election.

      2. dianecbrown · ·

        Can’t we hear other’s views without being nasty?

    2. dianecbrown · · Reply

      The writer ‘offered’ Murphy’s votes and that ought to be enough evidence to prove where he stands on important Democratic issues.

  6. dianecbrown · · Reply

    The writer must have been reading Charlie’s literature from the early 2000’s. What I read was no where near reflective of a moderate. I have seen number of suggestions from people a lot smarter than I on campaign issues that Charlie lost because Dems didn’t bother to vote.

  7. Further evidence that Kartik Krishnaiyer and his allies particularly from Central Florida are willing to impose an ideological purity test and force our parry left rather than accept reality.

    The truth is that this website are HELPING republicans and HURTING Democrats.

    Kartik wouldn’t have it any other way. He would rather lose being pure than win feeling dirty. Trust me, I know him
    and he’s bad for the party with this attitude.

    1. I love how so many people “know me so well,” yet always hide behind alias’. I am SO SICK of hearing this argument that the blog hurts the Democrats. That is incredibly simplistic and quite frankly silly considering we only get a couple thousand readers a day while Florida has close to 20 million residents.

      As for the purity test, I have time and again pointed out the long list of moderate candidates that have failed statewide running as Democrats. Trying something different won’t kill us. It might actually work and ADVANCE our causes rather than hurting us further and keeping us in this situation where we are living in a one party state.

      1. You assume though that these “moderates” as you call them lost because that was the issue. There is no proof of that. Without polling to prove “x number stayed home because the candidate wasn’t liberal enough” then this “trend” doesn’t mean much. It again also ignores that the last two midterms were TERRIBLE for democrats nationwide. Liberal dems lost in 2014 as did moderates and conservatives. We lost the Gov races in Illinois, Maine, Maryland. We held Vermont by 2,000 votes. Crist losing was tragic, and I am on the record saying the campaign had issues. But national environment does count for something. The same goes for 2010.

        Also in what definition are candidates who are pro-same sex marriage, pro raising the cap on social security taxes, pro progressive tax, pro everglades restoration, pro medicaid expansion, pro choice, anti social security cuts, pro a public option in the ACA act, moderates? That sounds pretty left of center to me.

      2. dianecbrown · ·

        Are your referring to Murphy?

  8. Great column! A logical follow up to Kartik’s awesome progressive manifesto last week!

    So right on Brook!

  9. The Hornets Nest · · Reply

    It’s stirring again…

  10. Progressive Liberal, Representative Edwards.

  11. Alan Who? · · Reply

    Alan Grayson is the Embarrassment of the Democratic Party. This was the man who was washed in with the wave of 2008, and summarily washed out again in 2010. He made a lot of noise, and took the Anthony Weiner route to say anything absurd enough to get more minutes of Fox News coverage, but he accomplished nothing for his district or his party.

    There is a difference between the Solid Blue Democrats like Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren who both say the right things and win people to their cause, and the flash in the pan types like Grayson and Weiner. Franken and Warren both have a workman’s attitude towards government. Franken, who in the past was no stranger to the Camera, actually made a point to avoid national media for the entirety of his first term. Instead, he devoted his time to supporting good legislation, and delivering for his district. I’m happy to be on his mailing list, and I donate because I am convinced that even though he might not be on this week’s episode of Bill Maher, he’s in his office doing the work.

    Never once did this liberal Democrat think that Grayson was the type of Congressman that was in it for the issues. He strikes me as the kind of person I wouldn’t trust around my wife or my children. I didn’t see him helping the ticket in 2014, and I won’t be voting for him in 2016.

    You may hate Patrick Murphy because he was born on third, but to abuse a metaphor Murphy’s not standing around bragging about a triple, he’s stealing home to win the game.

    You may hate him because he was born a Republican, but ask yourself who else has brought more Republican money into the Democratic Party in the last 4 years than Patrick Murphy.

    I’m voting for the Democratic winner that will champion our cause 80 percent of the time over the assured general election loser that will vote the way I would 85 percent of the time.

    Murphy for Senate 2016

    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Your user name gives the impression your job is to badmouth Grayson.

      What I would like to know is how you can calculate the percentage of money a candidate gets from Repubs and percentage from Dems. Is there a formula? I am serious.

      1. Alan Who? · ·

        Go through the campaign finance reports and look up the individual donors in the VAN for PartyID. Or cross reference the names for other political contributions.

        Either way, my point is that a statewide run in Florida is going to cost somewhere between 20 and 50 Million. Patrick Murphy is one of the few transformational figures in Florida politics who brings a deep well of campaign money in from the other side. He’s going to raise 10 million that otherwise would have been donated to the wrong party.

        Lastly, for all the hand-wringing that moderates and independents don’t for for center leaning Democrats over “real Republicans.” Explain to me how Bill Nelson is our sitting senior US Senator.

      2. Nelson had been elected statewide twice prior to 2000 when the malaise really set in so he was established. But every single person we have plopped to run since as a moderate has lost with the exception of Alex Sink for CFO in 2006. So basically we keep running and losing with moderates. Time to try something else. I want a liberal because I am a values-based voter not a hyper-partisan voter. But for the Democrats it makes tactical sense to run a liberal who can help with turnout.

    2. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Your suggestion of manually determining the amount a candidate receives by party is totally unfeasible. For one, there are hundreds of donors. Second, a number of big donors are from out of state.

      But the obvious point is, why would a Dem be comfortable with a candidate who received large donations from a lot of Republicans? There is a thing called quid pro quo.

    3. dianecbrown · · Reply

      As for your statement that Murphy is “transformational” you’ve got that right – transforming the party to one whose major focus is on PEOPLE. I recently read a survey sent to Murphy in a past election. I think it may have been from Progress FL. One of the questions was, basically, “will you promise not to join the Blue Dog Coalition.” (we should have asked Gwen this question). Now, Murphy responded he would not and he kept his word. But you have to wonder why that question was even on the survey. Why would a progressive/liberal group even think Murphy was a Blue Dog?

  12. old man on the sittin' on the bench · · Reply

    Once more the demand for purity rises to the top. The pure members of our party demand that our candidate must exceed their individual level of purity. Failure to meet this requirement will immediately lead to a circular firing squad. Instead of nitpicking let us all look at where are in agreement. I would suggest that the list is long.

    1. Far from a “purity test,” protecting Social Security is the backbone of “Democratic” values. And to send a Millennial to the Senate who is ready to cut or privatize the program would be horribly out of step with the rest of the party. It shouldn’t be too much to ask that the next Democratic Senator from Florida be able to stand with all the Dems (minus 2) who support *expanding* Social Security per their vote on March 27.

      1. old guy on the bench · ·

        Younger voters across the board must stand with us q-tips to support both Social Security and Medicare. Regrettably in your comment there was no mention of Medicare which is key element in the social contract between the population and our government. One of the major problems with Congress today is the bi-polar composition of the body. Historically what we see is the majority of Congress not in an ideological. Mr Murphy is a centrist.

        What is the number of the bill that you are questioning Mr Murphy’s vote on?

      2. This is a reference to an Amendment to the budget resolution in the Senate penned by Elizabeth Warren — every dem but 2 voted for it, and all Rs opposed. The last thing the Dems need is to put another no-vote in the Senate.

        This vote reveals a significant shift in what’s possible policy-wise with just a little bit of leadership. Polling shows supermajorities of voters stand with expanding Social Security –> 79 percent of likely voters in 2014 supported increasing Social Security benefits by boosting the amount wealthy Americans pay into the system. This supermajority included 73 percent of Republicans. This isn’t a purity test — it’s a rock solid American Value. Sending someone to the Senate who can’t uphold these values would be malpractice.

      3. dianecbrown · ·

        Speaking of Social Security — Murphy’s position on cutting/fixing SS was mentioned on NPR today.

      4. dianecbrown · ·

        I encourage everyone who cares about the party to research all sides of an issue. Here is a good sources to start with: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/02/corporate-friendly-democrats-mobilize-drag-party-rightward

        “To that end, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC)—whose list of members, historian Eric Zuesse pointed out in 2014, is “very close to being the same list as the members of Congress who are owned by Wall Street”—plans to unveil a policy platform as soon as this week in an attempt to chart a different course, one that focuses more on economic growth than on populist concerns.”

        Check NDC’s plan here: http://newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov/press-release/new-democrat-coalition-unveils-american-prosperity-agenda

        This column gives a taste of the the NDC’s ideas – a column written by officials with the Third Way referenced in above article. Published by the Wall St. Journal, Dec 2, 2013: ” Cowan and Kessler: Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats”
        The de Blasio-Warren agenda won’t travel. Colorado is the real political harbinger.


        FL members of the Congressional New Democratic Coalition:

        Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
        Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
        Gwen Graham (FL-02)

        Bill Nelson (FL, by 2001) – listed as member on Wiki but not the NDC website that does not appear to show senator members.


        NDC website: http://newdemocratcoalition-kind.house.gov/about-me

  13. The Observer · · Reply

    The real sad part of this process is how fast Deutch and Frankel jumped on board with Murphy without giving another candidate time to get in the race and state their particular platform. This has happened too many times in the past with bad results. Sadly the fix was already in before Murphy’s announcement came forth. Why are these people afraid of primaries and the people’s right to choose ????

    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Interesting tidbit. I checked Frankel’s voting record in a conservative source. It said that she more than any other Dem “reached across the aisle.” It also said she has missed more votes than anyone else.

  14. The debate between Murphy and Grayson fans is healthy and informative, however the Party insiders from Obama on down have already decided who our candidate will be. I do have a problem in the comparison of Murphy with Crist. There is no comparison. Crist was a hated, flip flopping opportunist. Murphy on the other hand Is a well liked, honest pragmatist, who was drafted by the party to flip this vulnerable Senate seat. It is going to take an all out, unified effort to accomplish this. We must win this seat.

    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Joe, what is the source of Obama’s position on Murphy?

      Does anyone else resent the “insiders” deciding what is best for the Democrats of Florida? The people should decide. If the Insiders have evidence one candidate is better than the other, get it out there so the people can decide. Not through a blog but through the DECs, Caucuses, clubs. Prove to me that Murphy is the best candidate with credible information from credible sources.

      1. I agree Diane. I Guess that’s what the campaign is about. I would like to see Murphy go around to all the clubs and take questions. It’s very early. I hope he doesn’t do the smoke and mirrors the way Crist did. Oh, and as far as my source on Obama is concerned, I can’t talk to that, but let me just say this. When the President came to Florida for a round of golf, the only person to meet him on the tarmac was none other than Patrick Murphy.

      2. dianecbrown · ·

        Was Obama golfing in Murphy’s district?

      3. Joe Kreps · ·

        Of all the places in the world to play golf. What are the odds?

      4. dianecbrown · ·

        That would explain why Murphy was there to greet Obama.

  15. Eric Cleese · · Reply

    Everyone needs to do a little more reading on Mr. Murphy. He’s no “centrist / pragmatist.” He has re-packaged Paul Ryan’s Kill SS / Medicare plan based on all the old false Republican talking points about how the “debt crisis” will hurt “our grandchildren” if we don’t slash benefits. Remember the fake “debt crisis” that supposedly requires cutting benefits? That’s a talking point of Mr. Murphy’s.

    His people’s heads are exploding at this very moment over people pointing this out, and they are disingenuously representing his position by talking around the fact he supports protecting benefits for *present beneficiaries only.* Per his own “accomplishments” page, he has also proposed protecting *only veterans* from privatization.

    This is not a “practical” Democrat. This is anti-progessive ex-Republican who has brought the Wall Street / Republican plan to kill the social safety net into our party.

    Please search on the “United Solutions Caucus.” This is not a choice between a more progressive Dem and a more “centrist” one, nor an “ideological purity test.” It is a question of whether someone whose core position on perhaps the most important traditional principle of the Democratic Party walks and talks exactly like the Republican one.

    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      You nailed him, Eric.

  16. InsiderMyself · · Reply

    Patrick Murphy is a republican. Patrick Murphy does not inspire. Alan Grayson does.

  17. Melanie McRae · · Reply

    Both Murphy and Grayson have their issues. I, personally, believed in Crist, yet see where Murphy as the Democratic candidate will likely fall to the same issues that sank the Crist campaign. Progressives aren’t excited about him and the minority turnout will not be stellar for him. Grayson has a few too many issues that could sink him–whether he runs is up to him. Pam Keith is not a known entity, yet she possesses progressive values combined with a thoughtful, practical approach. To me she is the WIN WIN candidate we’re looking for who could actually win and isn’t in the pocket of any special interests.
    Additionally, being multi-lingual she can take her message directly to Hispanic and Haitian voters. She can speak with heartfelt knowledge to Veterans’ concerns and,as a progressive woman, has the utmost credibility regarding women’s issues.

    What else could you ask for? (besides a million bucks)

    1. InsiderMyself · · Reply

      Grayson is the only member of Congress who finances the majority of his campaigns through small donations. You are incorrect when you refer to him as the others saying, “we’re looking for who could actually win and isn’t in the pocket of any special interests.”

      Alan Grayson is one of very few, who is not. And, can raise money from actual voters.

    2. You need to dig deeper into Pam’s actions/judgement. She is said to be teaming with a big troublemaker.

  18. BJ Chiszar-Fmr Chair Miami Dade Democratic Party · · Reply

    Pam Keith for Senate!

    1. InsiderMyself · · Reply

      Voting Grayson- our corporate dem party came out for murphy so fast before anyone was in the race. this is truly about maintaining the status quo. Murphy was a republican and is only republican lite, as I type. Not what we need, in these times. NO TO MURPHY.

  19. Joe Kreps · · Reply

    I fully endorse Alan Grayson, and will fight the good fight to see that we have a truly great Progressive Senator representing We the People of Florida and the U.S.A.

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