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GOP congressional hopefuls challenge Dem incumbents to volunteer for Benghazi committee

Monday, May 12th, 2014 by George Bennett

Calvin Turnquest, one of six Republicans who hopes to challenge Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Calvin Turnquest, the former Tequesta councilman who’s one of six Republicans running for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast seat of freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, says Murphy should volunteer to be on the select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack.

At least one other Florida Republican has issued a similar challenge to a Democratic incumbent. Jorge Bonilla, one of three Republicans running for the seat of Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, says Grayson should show the “guts” to volunteer for the panel.

Grayson and most Democrats voted against creating the Benghazi committee. Murphy was one of only seven Dems to join a unanimous GOP caucus in voting to approve it last week.

Two days before the vote, a spokeswoman said Murphy “respects the work his colleagues have done already investigating this matter” and “believes that Congress’ main concern needs to be focused on improving safety so that an attack like this doesn’t happen again.”

Turquest released a campaign statement calling Murphy’s vote for the committee a “sudden conversion” based on “pure politics” and said that if Murphy is serious about investigating Benghazi, he’ll ask to be on the panel.

Murphy and other House Dems from Romney districts stick out in Benghazi, IRS votes

Monday, May 12th, 2014 by George Bennett

Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch (left) and Lois Frankel (center) voted with their party's leaders on Benghazi and Lois Lerner last week. Rep. Patrick Murphy (right), whose district voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, broke ranks with most Dems. (GARY CORONADO/THE PALM BEACH POST)

Only nine of the 435 districts in the House of Representatives sent a Democrat to Congress while being carried by Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 is one of those ticket-splitting districts. Voters there went 51.5 percent for Romney in 2012 while narrowly choosing Democrat Patrick Murphy over Republican Rep. Allen West.

When there’s a largely party-line vote in which a few Dems cross the aisle to join Republicans, there’s a good chance Murphy and the other Democrats from Romney districts will be among them. That was the case in last week’s votes to find former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress and to approve a select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks were the latest examples.

Subscribers to can read more about it in this week’s Politics column.

Also in this week’s Politics column: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, offer different interpretations of the Benghazi vote; why an immigration reform activist who was a registered Democrat showed up at Gov. Rick Scott‘s campaign event in Greenacres.

Today: Carl Domino, 70, interrupts congressional campaign to receive law degree

Saturday, May 10th, 2014 by George Bennett

Former state Rep. Carl Domino, investment manager and congressional candidate, will get law degree from Nova Southeastern University today. (THOMAS CORDY/PALM BEACH POST)

At an age when many of his peers are in or nearing retirement, 70-year-old former state Rep. Carl Domino will join a crop of millennials today to receive a law degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Domino plans to take the bar exam this summer and then contend in the highly competitive job market — not for an entry-level post at a law firm, but for a seat in Congress.

He’s one of six Republicans running in the Aug. 26 GOP primary for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast seat of Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. If the election doesn’t pan out, Jupiter resident Domino will still run an investment management firm that handles nearly $300 million in assets.

Domino said he spent three years and about $120,000 pursuing his juris doctorate so he could better understand how legislation works and because he enjoys learning new things.

“I think if you keep trying to learn stuff, and I’ve always been a big reader, it just helps your mental acuity,” Domino said this week.


Murphy one of only seven House Democrats to vote for special Benghazi committee

Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by George Bennett

Five days after the terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice repeats talking points blaming spontaneous reaction to a “hateful video.”

Freshman U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, was one of only seven Democrats in the House to vote tonight in favor of creating a select committee to investigate the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

The final vote was 232-to-186, with Republicans voting 225-0 for the committee and Democrats voting 186-7 against.

Murphy spokeswoman Erin Moffet Hale released this statement:

“While the congressman respects the work his colleagues have done already investigating this matter, when it comes to American lives lost overseas in service to our nation, we must make sure that all questions have been answered. He sincerely hopes that this committee is not used as a way to politicize this tragedy and the deaths of four Americans.”

Murphy 1 of 7 Dems to get U.S. Chamber award; 1 of 6 voting to hold IRS official in contempt

Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by George Bennett

Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter

Freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, will make a pair of appearances Monday with a U.S. Chamber of Commerce official to highlight the pro-business group’s “Spirit of Enterprise” award, which goes to members of Congress who supported the Chamber’s agenda on at least 70 percent of votes in 2013.

The Chamber is handing out 206 of the awards in the House — but only seven to Democrats.

Murphy and the Chamber’s Moore Hallmark will appear at a Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce breakfast and a Martin County Council of Chambers of Commerce lunch on Monday. Murphy voted with the Chamber’s position on 10 of 13 selected votes in 2013 for a 77 percent score. The three other members of Palm Beach County’s House delegation — Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel and Alcee Hastings — each got 31 percent scores.

Murphy often highlights votes in which he joins Republicans since he represents a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district that has a slight Republican tilt and voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Six Republicans are competing for the right to challenge him in November.

On Wednesday, Murphy was one of only six Democrats to join 225 Republicans in a vote to hold former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about her role in delaying applications from conservative groups for tax-exempt status.

Murphy then was one of 26 Democrats to vote for a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate IRS targeting of conservative groups.

New Benghazi probe? Dem Murphy ‘respects the work his colleagues have done already’

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by George Bennett

Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

With House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announcing he’ll create a House select committee to investigate the deadly 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, the Obama administration and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., haven’t been clear on whether Democrats will participate.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday the administration cooperates with “legitimate” congressional oversight, but wouldn’t say if he considers the Benghazi committee legitimate. Pelosi today called for the panel to be split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Evenly divided committees are rare on Capitol Hill and Pelosi’s demand could be seen as laying the groundwork for Democrats to boycott the panel if Republicans don’t agree.

Erin Moffet Hale, a spokeswoman for freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, gave this answer when asked via e-mail if Murphy believes Democrats should participate:

“The Congressman respects the work his colleagues have done already investigating this matter in the Oversight and several other House Committees. He believes that Congress’ main concern needs to be focused on improving safety so that an attack like this doesn’t happen again.”

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, characterized the investigation as being aimed at potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack.

The offices of the three other members of Palm Beach County’s House delegation — Democratic Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings — did not immediately respond to e-mailed questions about the Benghazi panel.

Republican calls for a Benghazi probe have intensified since the recent release of an e-mail by Ben Rhodes, at the time a deputy national security adviser, coaching then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice before a series of Sunday talk show appearances to “underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”

Feuer appears to win circuit judgeship without opposition as filing closes; Murphy draws 6 GOP foes

Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by George Bennett

Attorney Samantha Schosberg Feuer appeared to win a Palm Beach County circuit judgeship without opposition when the state’s qualifying deadline for judicial and congressional candidates passed at noon today.

Feuer is the only candidate listed on the Division of Elections website as qualifying for the open Group 32 seat, but a division spokeswoman said it could be a few hours before the list is official because of late filers.

Follow and @gbennettpost on Twitter for updates.

The Group 32 seat became open this week when Judge Sandra McSorley withdrew her bid for re-election. The only other open circuit judgeship, the Group 30 seat, drew at least three candidates: Maxine Cheesman, Jaimie Goodman and Peggy Rowe-Linn.

Most circuit judges who seek re-election win new terms without opposition. But Judge Diana Lewis drew a challenge from attorney Jessica Ticktin.

At least six Republicans have qualified for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional District 18 seat of freshman Democrat Patrick Murphy. At least three Republicans qualified for the Palm Beach-Broward seat of freshman Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel.

Today at noon: Qualifying deadline for congressional, judicial candidates

Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by George Bennett

Attorney Samantha Schosberg Feuer (center) is one of several judicial candidates who have switched races this week. Will there be more changes before today's noon qualifying deadline?

The deadline for congressional and judicial candidates to qualify for the 2014 ballot in Florida is at noon today.

Some people to watch in Palm Beach County:

** Circuit Judge Diana Lewis: She holds the Group 14 seat and faced a challenge there from attorney Jessica Ticktin, who put $200,000 into the race. When Group 32 Judge Sandra McSorley decided not to seek re-election, Lewis switched to that race. Then Ticktin switched to the Group 32 race as well. Will Lewis switch again? If she does, will Ticktin follow her again?

** Attorney Samantha Schosberg Feuer: With impressive backing from the county’s legal establishment, Feuer opened a campaign for the open Group 30 circuit judge seat. Three other candidates entered as well, including attorney Jaimie Goodman, who has his own slew of endorsements and put $159,000 into the race. So Feuer switched to the Group 14 race after Lewis left. Feuer prefers to run for an open seat rather than challenge an incumbent, so if Lewis goes back to Group 14, she might switch again.

** Congressional District 18 Republicans: How many will end up running for the Palm Beach-Treasure Coast seat of freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy? By the end of Thursday, four Republicans had secured spots on the GOP primary ballot: former state Rep. Carl Domino, Beverly Hires, software designer Brian Lara and former Connecticut legislator Alan Schlesinger. A fifth Republican, former Tequesta Councilman Calvin Turnquest, says he has sent in his $10,440 check and should qualify today. Three other Republicans — Ilya Katz, Frank Lynch and Nick Wukoson — have shown some public interest in running for the seat as well.

** Henry Colon: He’s the Republican who filed for the Palm Beach-Broward seat of Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch but, as of Wednesday, his campaign was about $8,000 short of the money needed to pay the $10,440 filing fee. Colon appealed to big-name Republicans — including former Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin — to try to raise the cash.

Earth Day politics roundup: Hold hearing, tour recycling plant, celebrate Everglades, profess concern

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by George Bennett

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (left) with "Alligator" Ron Bergeron, Sr. at a recycling facility in Broward County.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera toured a recycling plant in Broward County. Sen. Bill Nelson held a hearing on sea-level rise in Miami. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, took time out from her visit to Ukraine to bemoan rising temperatures on Twitter. And a slew of other elected officials and candidates used social media to offer hashtagged expressions of concern for the environment and future generations on Earth Day 2014.

Some examples after the jump…


Murphy aide’s side business billed $91,500 in political consulting fees last year

Monday, April 21st, 2014 by George Bennett

Eric Johnson, left, when he was chief of staff to former Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler. (Sundance Channel photo)

Eric Johnson was chief political strategist for Democrat Patrick Murphy‘s victory over Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West in America’s costliest House race in 2012.

Murphy tapped Johnson to be chief of staff for his congressional office, a position that paid Johnson $113,417 last year.

For Johnson, taking the six-figure Capitol Hill job didn’t mean giving up his work as a political consultant. His company, Johnson Campaigns Inc., was paid a combined $91,500 in 2013 by the campaigns of Murphy, Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch and three Democratic state House members.

Subscribers to can find out more details on how Johnson balances his official and political jobs in this week’s Politics column.

Did Republican Domino spend $42,087 to raise $31,840 in congressional race?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by George Bennett

Carl Domino (left) and other Republican congressional candidates at a January forum.

UPDATED 5 PM – Former state Rep. Carl Domino, considered the leading Republican candidate to challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, listed $42,087 in fundraising expenses during the first quarter of 2014 while collecting only $31,840 in contributions.

Domino adviser Larry Casey said this morning that the campaign mislabeled some of its expenditures.

“Our fault in descriptions…many of those items listed as fundraising were not fundraising,” Casey said in an e-mail. He said the campaign will amend its Federal Election Commission report.

Late in the day, the Domino camp filed an amended FEC report reclassifying many of the expenditures it previously described as being for fundraising. The campaign now says it spent only $10,492 in the quarter on fundraising.

Murphy raised $674,369 during the quarter and began April with $2.2 million in cash on hand for his re-election bid in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18.

Domino’s campaign spent a total of $68,301 between Jan. 1 and March 31, according to the latest Federal Election Commission report, with the majority of the expenditures specifically identified as being for “fundraising” in some way.


Murphy, Frankel cite ’77 cents’ statistic on women’s earnings; their staffs have bigger gender pay gaps

Monday, April 14th, 2014 by George Bennett

Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Lois Frankel

Democratic Reps. Patrick Murphy and Lois Frankel joined President Barack Obama and other Democrats last week in promoting “Equal Pay Day” and its much-repeated statistic that women earn 77 cents for every dollar men are paid.

In Murphy’s and Frankel’s congressional offices, the gap between the average earnings of male and female staffers is even greater. Subscribers to can find more detail and context in this week’s Politics column.

A review of House records shows Murphy and Frankel provide similar pay to men and women who hold similar jobs. But women outnumber men in lower-paying jobs on both staffs, dragging down the overall female average compared to men.


Dems target Domino and Turnquest with web ads, robocalls blasting Ryan budget

Monday, April 7th, 2014 by George Bennett

With House Republicans expected to vote this week on Budget Chairman Paul Ryan‘s spending blueprint, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is paying for web ads and robocalls that single out two of the six Republicans running for the nationally targeted Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat of freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Former state Rep. Carl Domino and former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest are the targets of “Don’t Sell Out The Middle Class” web ads that launched last week and automated phone calls beginning today.


Murphy raises another $675,000, widens money advantage over potential GOP challengers

Friday, April 4th, 2014 by George Bennett

Freshman Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy began April with $2.2 million in his campaign account.

Freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, raised more than $675,000 for his re-election bid in the first quarter of 2014, widening his money advantage over the Republicans vying to unseat him.

Murphy’s campaign says the incumbent began April with $2.2 million in cash on hand.

Republicans hold a slight registration edge in Murphy’s Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18. Six Republicans have opened campaigns for the seat, which the national GOP has called a top target. Former state Rep. Carl Domino of Jupiter has been the GOP money leader, raising $121,464 from contributors adding $275,000 of his own money through the end of December.

Domino told that he added another $150,000 of his own money during the quarter that ended March 31 and raised less than that from contributors.

Former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest raised “significantly less” than Domino’s personal contribution during the first quarter, campaign manager Jacob Perry said.

Fundraising reports for the first quarter are due April 15.

‘Congressman who can count’? Blackjack player Schlesinger puts different spin on CPA Murphy slogan

Sunday, March 30th, 2014 by George Bennett

When Democrat Patrick Murphy ran for Congress in 2012 against Republican Rep. Allen West, he contrasted his experience as a Certified Public Accountant with West’s reputation for polarizing rhetoric.

“We need a few more people in Congress who can count, and a few less who divide,” Murphy said in one campaign ad.

Two years later, half a dozen Republicans are hoping to unseat freshman Rep. Murphy in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18. One of the Republican hopefuls is Alan Schlesinger, a former legislator and mayor in Connecticut who’s also a card counter at blackjack.

“Isn’t it about time we have a congressman who can count?” Schlesinger quipped last week.

Stories about Schlesinger’s gambling caused some problems for his 2006 campaign for Senate in Connecticut. Subscribers to can read Schlesinger’s explanation in this week’s Politics column.

Obama to speak on economy in Orlando, raise money at Alonzo Mourning’s house in Miami

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by George Bennett

President Barack Obama will speak about the economy on Thursday afternoon at Valencia College in Orlando, then head to Miami for fundraisers that include a $16,200-a-head Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, helped organize the DCCC fundraiser, which will also feature House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y.

The event’s $16,200 price tag includes a cocktail reception, photo opportunity and dinner.

Obama also visited Mourning’s house for a 2010 fundraiser for the DCCC and former Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton.

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, plans to attend the Thursday fundraiser but Reps. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, do not.

Good news for the St. Lucie Estuary

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Christine Stapleton

Good news for the St. Lucie Estuary came from Washington today: Deep in the 2015 budget proposed by President Obama is a line-item in the budget for the Army Corps of engineers that sets aside about $35 million for the C-44 Project.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy announced the proposed funding at a press conference this afternoon.

U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy holds up sample of contaminated water during a Senate Select Committee Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin Hearing at the Charles and Rae Kane center in Stuart on August 22, 2013. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

“This isn’t a guarantee that the full amount wil be there but it’s a really good indication,” Murphy said. “To get a line item – something specific in the Army Corps work plan is a big deal.”

The project in western Martin County got underway in 2011 is intended to clean runoff before sending it to the St. Lucie Estuary. The Corps is responsible for building the $225 million-plus project, which includes a 3,400-acre reservoir. The completion date is 2020.

Water quality and quantity in the C-44 Canal – which runs from Lake Okeechobee to the coast – grabbed headlines last summer when record-setting rains forced the Army Corps to release water from the lake to prevent a breach in its ailing dike. The water from the lake coupled with runoff from local roads, farms and yards, caused an ecological disaster in the estuary.

The ecological crisis turned political in August when Gov. Rick Scott, fed up with the Corps’ pace on the project, announced that rather than waiting for the corps to come up with $30 million for its share of the project, Florida will pay the entire cost.

However, just because the $35 million line item is in the President’s budget does not mean the money is guaranteed, Murphy said. The budget must now make its way through committees during  budget appropriation process, Murphy added.

GOP congressional hopeful Ellen Andel, endorsed by Allen West, drops out of race for Murphy seat

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by George Bennett

Ellen Andel speaks at recent GOP candidates forum.

The candidate endorsed by former U.S. Rep. Allen West for a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional seat is dropping out of the race.

Juno Beach Councilwoman Ellen Andel snagged West’s endorsement last year in her pursuit of the Republican nomination to challenge freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. Murphy defeated West in a close and expensive 2012 race.

In a statement this afternoon, Andel said: “After much thought and discussion with my family, I have decided to end my run for Congress. The stress on my family has become more than I am willing to accept, and their health and happiness are my first and foremost priorities. I have a deep gratitude for all those who have believed in me and supported me. You will remain in my thoughts as I continue to advocate for a better future for our children and grandchildren.”

While West was a prolific money-raiser in his campaigns, his backing didn’t boost Andel’s fundraising. She collected only $45,532 through Dec. 31 and began 2014 with $5,537 in her campaign account. Murphy has raised $2.1 million and began the year with nearly $1.8 million cash on hand.

With Andel’s departure, the GOP field still includes former state Rep. Carl Domino, former Tequesta councilman Calvin Turnquest, former Connecticut lawmaker Alan Schlesinger and Jupiter nurse Beverly Hires.

Rival consultant blasts Murphy jobs brochure as ‘campaign piece’

Monday, February 24th, 2014 by George Bennett

Murphy's brochure

A 60-page pamphlet distributed by the office of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, was blasted by potential Republican rival Carl Domino‘s consultant as campaign advertising.

“This is an out-and-out campaign piece and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Domino adviser Larry Casey said after seeing Murphy’s glossy brochure titled “A Plan For Jobs.”

About 500 of the booklets were printed at a cost of $2 apiece, Murphy Chief of Staff and campaign strategist Eric Johnson said. The money comes out of Murphy’s congressional office budget allotment, Johnson said, and the content of the pamphlet was reviewed and approved by the bipartisan House Franking Commission.

Obama campaign logo

Casey is a former congressional aide who worked most recently for the late Republican Rep. Clay Shaw. He said the Franking Commission has changed since Shaw left office in 2007. But Johnson, a Capitol Hill aide since 1997, contended Murphy’s booklet is similar to materials that Shaw and other members of Congress sent to constituents over the years. Johnson also compared Murphy’s brochure to taxpayer-financed newsletters that Domino sent as a member of the Florida House of Representatives.

Rep. Steny Hoyer's "Make It In America" logo

“Congressman Murphy takes communication with his constituents very seriously and the booklet is a very important part of that. This is his plan for jobs and people need to be able to see that,” Johnson said.

Casey also likened the circular stars-and-stripes symbol on the cover of Murphy’s booklet to President Obama’s campaign logo.

Said Johson: “It’s an American flag and I’m surpised they have an issue with that.”

Rep. Patrick Murphy pitches tax, regulatory relief to business groups

Monday, February 24th, 2014 by George Bennett

Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, speaking to business leaders at Gardens Mall this morning.

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, pitched tax breaks, regulatory relief and other measures to stimulate job growth during a morning meeting with business leaders from Palm Beach and Martin counties.

“Today is all about working together,” Murphy told more than 100 people at an event organized by the Economic Council of Palm Beach County and the Economic Council of Martin County at Gardens Mall.

A Democrat who narrowly won in a Republican-leaning district that includes northern Palm Beach County and all of Martin and St. Lucie counties, Murphy sounded several GOP-friendly themes during his remarks.

“I know there are many concerns with our government being too big, and I agree,” Murphy said. “Government doesn’t create jobs, but government does have a responsibility to create an environment that is conducive to job growth.”

Murphy also commended U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee, for his work to combat citrus greening. Rooney’s brother, state Rep. Pat Rooney Jr., R-West Palm Beach, was in the audience.

Murphy’s office distributed a 60-page “Plan For Jobs” highlighting Murphy’s past positions and some new initiatives.

Murphy’s plan includes a call for speeding up tax write-offs businesses take for depreciation on capital investments and shielding smaller community banks from “burdensome regulations designed for large banks.” He also mentioned corporate income tax rates and has voiced support for lowering them in exchange for closing business tax loopholes.

Murphy also called for expanding federal programs to help veterans get job training, incentives for businesses to hire veterans and Small Business Administration loans to veteran-owned businesses.

Murphy didn’t mention the Affordable Care Act, which many businesses have criticized.

Murphy has opposed repealing the health care law, but voted last year to delay implementation of its individual and business insurance mandates.

“My focus is legislation that will improve the Affordable Care Act,” Murphy said in an interview after the event. “It’s not going to be repealed. It’s there, so let’s focus on getting it right.”

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