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Pam Keith says Patrick Murphy “bought” endorsements from Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson

North Palm Beach County-based attorney Pam Keith is having a difficult time breaking through in her long-shot candidacy for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, with the political media focused on the almost daily back and forth exchanges between Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy.

She’s frustrated that she’s not getting help from the Congressional Black Caucus political action committee along the way, and says it’s because South Florida black Congressional members Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson have endorsed Murphy, who represents the Treasure Coast in South Florida. And she makes the controversial claim that those lawmakers only did so because they received financial contributions indirectly from Murphy, though either his political action committee or donations given by his parents, Thomas and Leslie Murphy.

“They have effectively blocked me from getting any financial assistance or getting any kind of connection to their donors, or even sending getting access to their donor email list,” says Keith about the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. She says CBC PAC executive director Benjamin Branch told her earlier this year that she needed to be “sponsored” by the CBC Florida delegation in order to get any access to the PAC’s resources.

“By buying Hastings and Frederica’s endorsements, Murphy effectively blocked me from getting any access to the Congressional Black Caucus,” Keith claims.”I don’t know if that was his intention, but that was the result, whether he knew it or not,” she says, adding, “Alcee and Frederica certainly did.”

Federal Election Commission records show that Hastings has received $5,000 this year from PEM Pac, Murphy’s political action committee and $5,400 from Coastal Construction, the company owned by Murphy’s father, Thomas. Hastings also received another $5,400 from Leslie Murphy, Patrick Murphy’s mother.

FEC records also show that Wilson received $5,400 from Leslie Murphy and $5,400 from Thomas Murphy earlier this year in her bid for reelection next year.

“Patrick not only bought their support, but he effectively blocked me out of my natural support,” Keith says of the fact that the CBC won’t help her out because of the two key members of the black caucus in Florida are endorsing Congressman Murphy.

Keith did meet with Congressman Hastings earlier this year. She related that their conversation consisted generally of Hastings attempting to talk her out of running for Senate.

FloridaPolitics.com reached out to the congressional offices of Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson for comment,  but neither office responded. Neither did the Patrick Murphy campaign.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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