Democratic Challenger to Republican Senator Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race Patrick Murphy lied about his business background when he ran for his Congressional seat in 2012 and 2014.
The small business that Murphy claims to own is “Coastal Environmental Services,” an oil-skimming company that owns six boats in Louisiana. Murphy mentioned repeatedly on the campaign trail that he understands the problems that people face when trying to start a small business because he started his own business.
According to CBS’ local Miami station, Patrick Murphy didn’t start his own business. In fact, Thomas Murphy, his dad, purchased an existing business called Crescent SR. Crescent currently had two existing contracts with the local Coast Guard. Shortly after Murphy’s company took over the company and renamed it, the Coast Guard cancelled the contracts.
During the six years that Patrick Murphy “owned” CES, the company has never won a contract, despite being an oil-skimming company in the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In fact, the company has consistently lost money in those six years.
In the course of its investigation, CBS Miami uncovered that the boats that the company owns are actually in drydock, rusting away in an abandoned lot with weeds growing up around the gate.
According to Investopedia, the definition of a “tax shelter” is a way to minimize your income tax by owning something that lowers taxable income, resulting in a lower bill. Thomas Murphy, Patrick Murphy’s father, owns “Coastal Solutions,” the company that actually runs CES.
Murphy also used his status as a “certified CPA” to advocate for his ability to cut back spending in the government. Murphy is certified, but in Colorado, a state in which he has never lived. According to industry insiders, Colorado is known for having lower certification requirements than any other state in the nation. Murphy’s certification still took nine tries, with eight failures on the test.
Murphy was thus unable to legally practice as a CPA in Florida, something that he claimed to do. Either he broke the laws and practiced without a license, or he overstated his role with accounting firm Deloitte and Touche. CBS uncovered that Murphy wasn’t an accountant with the firm at all, Deloitte paperwork lists Murphy as an “audit assistant.”
Murphy made his background a central argument of his campaign, “one of the biggest problems we have in our country is our debt, is unemployment, you need to understand numbers to do that. I believe I bring that experience to the table. Having a small business background, understanding the issues, the problems small businesses are dealing with on a day to day basis, I think I bring that experience to the table.”
Murphy currently is polling 7 points over Democratic challenger Alan Grayson for the Democratic Primary. Before the results of this investigation were published, Rubio polled 7 points higher than Murphy if the general election were held Wednesday. President Barrack Obama formally endorsed Murphy over challenger Alan Grayson.
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