October 02, 2015

Alan Grayson blasts Patrick Murphy for previously supporting Benghazi probe



Florida Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy's support last year for a special House investigation into Benghazi proves he's only "feigning to be a Democrat" and it could make him a "major embarrassment" to Hillary Clinton if she's chosen as the party's presidential nominee, Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson said this morning in a conference call with reporters.

But Murphy's campaign says Grayson is only "further politicizing" a tragedy because he and Murphy are at odds in the Democratic primary race for Florida's U.S. Senate seat.

Grayson, a liberal from Orlando, continues to paint the more-moderate Murphy, of Jupiter, as a Republican in Democratic clothing. Grayson again lambasted Murphy for being one of seven Democrats -- only three of whom are still in office -- who voted with House Republicans last year to launch the Benghazi investigation. He accused Murphy of contributing to a "political witch hunt that could dramatically affect the presidential election."

But while Grayson chastised Murphy for making political life worse for Clinton, Grayson himself hasn't endorsed her for president as Murphy has. Grayson told reporters Friday he's "keeping his options open," but "he's on the verge of making" an endorsement.

Continue reading "Alan Grayson blasts Patrick Murphy for previously supporting Benghazi probe" »

September 29, 2015

As federal shutdown looms, Grayson touts bill to end 'self-destructive political ritual'


With another federal government shutdown possible this week because of disagreements in federal funding for Planned Parenthood, Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a U.S. Senate candidate from Orlando, released a video statement to talk about a bill he introduced earlier this year that would stop government shutdowns altogether.

Calling shutdowns "a dangerous and self-destructive political ritual," Grayson said his bill would avert such crises by "applying existing budget levels to all federal agencies until a new law is passed creating new ones."

"My bill, H.R. 1776, is our declaration of independence from the tyranny of government shutdowns, both actual and threatened," Grayson said.

The bill has just one co-sponsor, Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright. It was referred to the House Appropriations Committee in April, where it still awaits a hearing. GovTrack.us gives the bill a 7 percent chance at being enacted.

Grayson is running against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and North Palm Beach attorney Pam Keith in next year's August Democratic primary in the race to fill Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat.

Watch Grayson's video message in full:



September 28, 2015

Most Dems in Florida Legislature endorse Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate, campaign says


Five more Democratic state lawmakers are getting behind U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, in the party's primary race for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat.

Murphy's campaign announced the endorsements today from Amanda Murphy of New Port Richey, Cynthia Stafford of Miami, Richard Stark of Weston and Mia Jones and Reggie Fullwood, both of Jacksonville.

In statements provided by Murphy's campaign, the state legislators praised Murphy as "the kind of fresh, new leader we need."

The added support gives Murphy the backing of almost 60 percent of the 53 Democrats in the Florida Legislature: seven in the Senate and 24 in the House, his campaign said.

Murphy, who represents the Treasure Coast and part of Palm Beach County, is poised to have a showdown with fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, and North Palm Beach attorney Pam Keith in next year's August primary.

August 26, 2015

Alan Grayson boasts of his bill-passing record in web ad

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson is out with a new ad in the U.S. Senate race -- this time boasting about his own legislative record.

“In the past two years in Congress, I have written more bills, passed more amendments on the floor of the house and enacted more of my bills into law than any other member of the House.”


In July, PolitiFact Florida fact-checked the same claim by Grayson when he stated it in his announcement video.

It’s true that Grayson is No. 1 in writing bills and resolutions but Grayson omits some caveats. The 10 bills he sponsored ended up passing as part of other bills, not as stand-alone measures. Of those 10, all but one ultimately landed in the same bill that passed with a fairly wide margin. He had 21 amendments pass, largely on voice votes, which suggests they were not controversial matters. Congressional experts say that the sheer number of bills or amendments written and passed doesn’t tell the full story of a member’s accomplishments.

PolitiFact Florida rated his claim Mostly True.

The Orlando Democrat is battling U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter in the primary for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat.

Grayson released his first online ad attacking Murphy’s legislative record earlier this week -- leading to push back from Murphy’s campaign.

Grayson’s campaign wouldn’t divulge details about the ad buy.

July 27, 2015

Group attacks David Jolly for refusing to cut money for botanical garden in D.C.

U.S. Rep. David Jolly’s Senate campaign was only hours old when he began taking fire from his fellow conservatives.

The Club for Growth, a political action committee backing Jolly’s GOP primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, said that Jolly may have only been in office for 16 months, but during that time he "racked up a terrible record on fiscal issues."

"Jolly is so addicted to big government, he couldn’t even muster up the courage to cut spending for a national greenhouse in D.C.," the PAC said in a statement emailed on the afternoon of July 20, 2015, the same day Jolly announced that he would be vying for Marco Rubio’s soon-to-be-open Senate seat.

Jolly has only been in office since March 2014, after winning a special election for the late C.W. "Bill" Young’s 13th congressional district seat. Given such a short tenure, we wondered what action was so wasteful it would warrant Club for Growth’s assertion that Jolly had squandered too many greenbacks on a greenhouse.

See what Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida found.

July 23, 2015

Alan Grayson fundraises off fictional Allen West candidacy

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, that tea partier Democrats love to hate, is the inspiration behind two of U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s fundraising pleas in his U.S. Senate race.

“At 3:23 am this morning, there was a tremor in the Force. No, it was not the planet Alderaan being destroyed – that doesn’t happen until Episode IV. The tremor was caused by another e-mail that landed in my inbox touting Allen West for Senate,” states an email by Grayson who is running against a fellow Democrat in the House, Patrick Murphy. “This is the same Allen West who once called me “despicable,” “demeaning” and “disgusting” – the Triple Crown of insults starting with the letter “D”. Perhaps West was angling for the Nobel Prize in Literature, if it were awarded by Sesame Street.”

This is based on a Denver-based group that is fundraising for West for the Senate in Florida, Politico reported. But West, who lost to Murphy in 2012, isn’t running in Florida -- he moved to Texas last year to become the CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis.

“No, he is absolutely not running,” Catherine Daniell, a spokesperson at the center told the Miami Herald. “He lives in Texas now. The “fundraising” effort is a scam, which he says is disgusting.”

But that hasn’t stopped Grayson from citing his name to drum up dollars.

“West thinks that I’m a Marxist. (Karl, not Groucho.) How do I know that? Because he said so,” Grayson wrote in a fundraising email.

At a town hall meeting in 2012, West said that about 78 to 81 House Democrats “are members of the Communist Party. ... It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

Grayson along with some other Florida Democrats are members of that caucus.

"Trust me -- if a member of Congress applied to join the Communist Party we would know about it," Libero Della Piana, vice president of the Communist Party USA told PolitiFact Florida at the time. "It would set up some red flags -- pardon the pun."

It raised red flags for PolitiFact Florida too -- earning the claim a rating of Pants on Fire

July 20, 2015

Fact-checking David Jolly, GOP candidate for Marco Rubio's seat

With only 15 months of congressional experience under his belt, U.S. Rep. David Jolly is announcing that he’s running for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.

The 42-year-old Dunedin native announced July 20, 2015, he was seeking the Republican nomination after winning a March 2014 special election in Pinellas County’s 13th congressional district. The district has been one of the few genuinely competitive districts in the country, but the state Supreme Court ruled that it’s one of several that will have to be redrawn to conform to fair-districts rules passed by ballot measure. Those changes are expected to make the seat significantly more Democratic-leaning by adding heavily Democratic-leaning St. Petersburg in southern Pinellas to the district.

A lawyer and former lobbyist, Jolly was an aide to the district’s longtime congressman, U.S. Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, who died in office in 2013. After winning the tight special election, Jolly won a full term more easily in the 2014 general election, without significant opposition.

He’s joining a Senate field that already includes U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who announced in May, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who announced his campaign on July 15. U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller and former Attorney General Bill McCollum also are considering running. U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and U.S. Rep.Patrick Murphy are looking to win the seat on the Democratic side.

Turn to Joshua Gillin's story about Jolly's Truth-O-Meter record from PolitiFact Florida.

July 17, 2015

Was Carlos Lopez-Cantera an enthusiastic supporter of bringing an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida?

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera became the first Hispanic candidate to enter the Florida Senate race to replace U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio on July 15.

Florida Democratic Party chair Allison Tant leveled a series of charges against the Republican, but the one that caught our attention was this one: that Lopez- Cantera "voiced enthusiastic support for bringing an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida, calling the measure 'common sense.’ "

Lopez-Cantera, who was born in Spain to Cuban parents, is hoping to draw part of his support from Hispanic voters. Is it true that he was an enthusiastic supporter for an Arizona-style law, which some Hispanics feared would lead to racial profiling?

Tant has omitted the full story about what Lopez-Cantera said about bringing such a law to Florida. Turn to PolitiFact Florida for our fact-check.

July 14, 2015

Did Alan Grayson pass the most bills and amendments?

Though U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, is perhaps most famous for his colorful language about Republicans, in his campaign for U.S. Senate he wants to portray himself as a politician who gets things done -- even when Republicans are in charge of Congress.

On July 9, Grayson announced that he will take on fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Grayson repeatedly made claims that he is No. 1 in terms of legislation passed:

"In the past two years in Congress, I’ve written more bills, passed more amendments on the floor of the House and enacted more of my bills into law than any other member of the House -- No. 1 out of 435 of us," Grayson said in an announcement video on senatorwithguts.com.

Is Grayson No. 1 in introducing bills as well as passing bills and amendments?

Turn to PolitiFact Florida for the answer and see Grayson's full Truth-O-Meter record.

July 10, 2015

Are more businesses dying than starting? Let the claims begin in Florida's Senate race

An Orlando businessman vying for Marco Rubio’s soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat announced his candidacy by saying fresh blood is needed to change the worst economic climate the country’s ever faced.

"It's time to restore America's prominence both here at home and abroad," Todd Wilcox, a former Green Beret and CIA veteran, said in a statement announcing his candidacy on July 8, 2015.  "The economy is growing at a dismal rate. More businesses are closing than are opening for the first time in our nation's history."

The recent recession obviously has been an economic low point, but are the number of new businesses being eclipsed by the number of businesses closing for the first time ever? Well, it’s certainly true for as long as the government has been tracking that statistic. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.

Turn to Joshua Gillin's fact-check from PolitiFact Florida.