TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — An already nasty Senate race became even nastier Wednesday as U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy said fellow Democratic congressman Alan Grayson is a liar and lawbreaker who shouldn't be serving the public.
His remarks came the day after the House Ethics Committee found there is "substantial reason to believe" Grayson violated federal law and House rules in a number of business and legal activities and in managing his congressional office.
Murphy, though, didn't couch his words, saying directly that Grayson broke the law and used his office to make money.
"He broke the law. He broke ethics rules to make money with an offshore hedge fund. It's that simple," Murphy said on a conference call with reporters. "He's disqualified himself as being a public servant."
Grayson remains under scrutiny by the House Ethics Committee over the allegations, which center on the hedge fund he started when he was outside Congress and legal work done by others for which Grayson may have been paid while he was in office. The second allegation, if proven, would be a violation of federal law.
Grayson has said he's done nothing wrong. His Senate campaign didn't immediately comment on Murphy's remarks. The Democrats are seeking the seat being vacated by Republican Marco Rubio. Republicans in the race include Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera; U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly; and businessmen Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff.
Murphy said he would continue talking about the issue as the campaign continues. The primary is Aug. 30.
"He's going to continue being himself, trying to bully and bluster his way out of this," Murphy said. "I don't see any reason to think that he's going to drop out. I think he wants to continue making money off being a member of Congress."