he battle between U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, and Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy has featured dueling ads in which they portray each other as criminals.
And now West has reloaded his attack with a dramatic ad that suggests that when Murphy was arrested when he was a college freshman after a night of drinking and swearing at a police officer, his well-to-do Daddy got the case dismissed.
Earlier in the campaign, West ran an ad that attacked Murphy for an arrest about 10 years ago -- the charge was ultimately transferred to traffic court where it was dismissed. And Murphy attacked West for an incident during his Army career, when West fired over the head of a detainee in Iraq and prompted a military investigation. That led to a fine and reprimand, and West retired from the Army. You can read more about our analysis of those ads in our earlier fact-checks in the race for congressional district 18 in Florida’s Treasure Coast.
Here we will focus on West’s latest attacks about Murphy’s 2003 arrest in this ad:
The narrator begins: "Patrick Murphy isn’t being honest about his drunken assault of a police officer."
The ad then shows Murphy saying: "I took responsibility and it was dismissed."
The narrator then continues: "The truth is after Murphy’s charges were dropped, Murphy’s father gave the prosecutor a huge campaign donation."
On screen, two men in suits shake hands in a stairwell; another image shows someone pushing stacks of cash across a table.
"Now Murphy is hiding behind his dad again using his money to fund a negative campaign. ... "
The ad paints a portrait of Murphy as relying on his Daddy’s big bucks to get him out of trouble and support his campaign. (West has called Murphy a "spoiled brat.")
Here we will focus on West’s claim that that after the charges against Patrick Murphy were dropped, his father "gave the prosecutor a huge campaign donation." We will also briefly explain West’s reference to the role of Murphy’s father’s money in the campaign. Read PolitiFact for our full analysis.