After sending shockwaves through Florida and national political circles with its first report on Wednesday, Miami Herald news partner WFOR CBS-4 Miami aired Thursday evening the second installment in its two-part investigation probing deeper into Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy's résumé inflation.
The 4-minute report on Thursday focused on the oil-skimming boats that Coastal Environmental Services -- under Murphy's direction -- owned, developed and operated, which the company promised would "leave conventional skimming vehicles in its wake."
Murphy was vice president of the company for no more than six months after the BP oil spill in 2010 and touts the experience repeatedly on the campaign trail as part of what makes him a "small business owner." (Whether Murphy actually owned the company -- a subsidiary of his dad's construction company -- is unproven, despite his campaign's assertions to the contrary.)
CBS Miami investigative reporter Jim DeFede found that the skimmers Coastal owned weren't actually "tested and proven" the way the company claimed and that other marketing materials it distributed in 2010 inflated the company's experience.
Here is the second part of the investigative report:
The first installment, which aired Wednesday evening, sent the Jupiter congressman's campaign into damage-control and spin mode well into the night and much of Thursday. The Murphy campaign released Thursday morning a detailed point-by-point rebuttal, alleging the CBS Miami report was "deeply false" and "misleading."
While CBS Miami did clarify small aspects of its initial report, the key conclusions of the story are true -- that Murphy never "worked" as a CPA and isn't a "small business owner."
The CBS Miami investigation built off and echoed previous reporting by the Miami Herald, the Tampa Bay Times and Politico Florida, which in recent weeks exposed embellishments and contradictions in Murphy's academic and professional credentials -- including his time at Coastal Environmental and as a CPA.
Republicans quickly capitalized on Wednesday's TV story to slam Murphy, including a new pro-Marco Rubio super PAC -- which released an attack ad Thursday afternoon using footage from the first report.