Republicans think they’ve got Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., in a scandal that could help derail his already-struggling Senate candidacy.
With Murphy — the presumed frontrunner — already trailing Republican candidate Linda McMahon, local media reported that he got a low-interest loan just a few years after twice being sued for failing to pay his rent.
“On Dec. 12, 2003, Southington Meadows LLC filed a complaint against Murphy in New Britain Superior Court’s housing session, citing “nonpayment of rent” for an apartment at 12C Darling St., Southington, according to a case summary in the court’s electronic filing system,” according to the Hartford Courant. “The case surfaced a day after Courant columnist Kevin F. Rennie disclosed that in early 2007, Murphy was sued by Chase Home Finance for foreclosure of the mortgage on the house he purchased in Cheshire in 2005.”
The Courant went on to note that Murphy eventually received a loan from Webster Bank in 2008, while he was a congressman seated on the House Financial Services Committee.
McMahon’s team pounced on the report. “Recent press reports highlighting Congressman Chris Murphy’s legal troubles and an apparent sweetheart mortgage deal from Webster Bank raise serious questions that Congressman Murphy must answer,” campaign manager Corey Bliss said in a statement today.
Her campaign suggested that Webster Bank gave Murphy that loan at a “below-market rate”, and those campaign contributions, in order to secure his support for the bank bailouts (through which the bank received $400 million from the federal government).
“Congressman Murphy sat on the Financial Services Committee with oversight responsibility for the institutions from which he was requesting loans,” Bliss added. “Congressman Murphy was able to get approved for a sweetheart home loan deal at a below-market bank rate of 4.99% shortly after defaulting on his mortgage. And Congressman Murphy voted to give a $400 million bailout to the same bank that gave him that below-market loan, the same bank he previously worked for as a private lawyer, and the same bank he received campaign contributions from. Those are irrefutable FACTS.”
McMahon, even before this story broke, leads Murphy by three points (49-46) in the latest poll of the race by Quinnipiac University.
Murphy’s struggles raise Republican hopes of taking the seat — long-held by Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent who still caucuses with his old party — which would be a big boost to their efforts to take control of the Senate, especially after the recent setback in Missouri.