AD: Murphy Held Ritzy Fundraiser During Hurricane Irma

Murphy gets hits from both sides of the aisle.

By Sean David Hartman

Congresswoman Murphy seems to be having a no-good-very-bad day, as two of her opponents have now come after her for separate reasons.

The one-term Democratic Congresswoman is under fire from the Scott Sturgill campaign for a $3200 fundraiser at the Charlie Palmer Steakhouse shortly after the events of Hurricane Irma.

The advertisement from the Sturgill campaign, set in a horror genre, is the first political advertisement from his team, despite facing off Orlando State Representative Mike Miller in the Republican Primary. Representative Miller recently touted a new poll showing him above Sturgill in his home county, but the Sturgill campaign feels confident enough to focus their first attack ad on the incumbent Congressman.

“The responsible thing would have been to postpone the fundraiser and head home as soon as possible,” said Abigail Hirn, the Sturgill campaign’s communications director.   “You shouldn’t need staffers to point out the poor optics and bad timing.”

The Sturgill campaign is attempting to label Congresswoman Murphy “Steakhouse Stephanie” over the scandal, which also plays on the theme of her Democratic Primary opponent.

Chardo Richardson, a progressive candidate running against Congresswoman Murphy, has made political corruption a major point of his campaign, pledging against taking special interest money. Congresswoman Murphy has accepted millions of dollars from multiple special interest groups ranging from establishment liberal outfits to the military-industrial complex.

But Richardson was not attacking Congresswoman Murphy on her special interest donors or poor timing for a fundraiser while many of her constituents were hurting. Rather, Richardson is attacking Congresswoman Murphy to her closeness to President Trump.

“First she voted in favor of [President] Trump’s disastrous budget giving massive tax breaks to the rich,” Richardson said in an email. “Now she’s voted with Republicans and [President] Trump to ease regulations on banks. The same regulators that were put in place to protect people.”

Richardson points out that, despite Murphy running an anti-Trump campaign back in 2016, she has voted with President Trump and Republicans 44.7% of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Congresswoman Murphy ran a bipartisan campaign in 2016. I don’t think she meant a bipartisan opposition against her.


Sean David Hartman is a freelance reporter for the Central Florida Post, with a wide portfolio ranging from entertainment to politics. He is a centrist political operative and blogger and a student at UCF. Hartman is autistic and bipolar, and supports the neurodiversity movement.