GUEST COLUMN BY SEAN PHILLIPPI: “No good, just bad and ugly for Grayson”

Dear Democratic friends —

With the potential for a fractious primary in the U.S. Senate race on the horizon, I wanted to make sure you were all aware of some recent news stories about Congressman Alan Grayson. I truly believe his candidacy would prevent Democrats from retaking the Senate.  In fact, conservative GOP groups are already meddling in the primary to support Grayson with TV ads because they are so sure they will beat him in a general election (see article below).

From his very controversial public divorce, to his erratic behavior with the press, to his suspect business dealings, he has the potential to be a serious anchor for Democrats nationwide in 2016 — and cause grief for our Presidential nominee at the top of the ticket.   Below are highlights and full articles are attached.

The Hill, 5/26/15

The right-wing Super PAC Club for Growth is also now supporting Grayson with hundreds of thousands of dollars in TV ads.  He refuses to demand the ads be taken down despite the fact that this is a Tea Party-backed group that has openly advocated for privatizing Social Security and Medicare.

I am a proud member of our party’s Progressive Caucus, but Grayson’s electoral weaknesses are numerous and well-publicized:

Tampa Bay Times, 5/13/15:

When questioned about his vulnerabilities in a primary, he told Adam Smith — the leading political reporter in the state — that “this is a whole ‘nother level of bull—-.  Are are you some kind of sh—–g robot?  You go around sh—-g on on people?”

Politico, 5/14/15

Despite claiming to be a anti-Wall Street populist, it came to light that Grayson has incorporated mutiple hedge funds in the Cayman Islands, where potential investors dodge taxes.  This is the same attack that dogged Mitt Romney throughout the 2012 race.

Palm Beach Post, 5/25/15

In the middle of his bigamy trial, Grayson recently called the mother of his five children a “gold digger” because she wanted child support payments, and he tried to sue her for using their joint credit cards to buy groceries and gas.

National Journal, 5/19/15

Because of these severe problems, Democrats across the country now fear Grayson’s baggage will make him our version of notorious Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin, costing Democrats “a must-win seat — and threatening their chances at a Senate majority.”

Congressman Grayson does share many of my progressive ideals, but he is simply unelectable in a Florida statewide general election and would set the Democratic cause back with his candidacy.  I hope you will join me in taking these very real concerns to heart.


  1. Naoya6161 · · Reply

    Glad to see someone gets it!


  2. · · Reply

    I share your concerns about Alan Grayson. However, I guestion Patrick Murphy’s ability to win a state wide election. There is, however, a greater threat for Democrats anbnd that is that Corry Westbrook deliberately violated Florida law when she attempted to be the first legal resident of Washington, D. C. to obtain a Florida Voter Registration Card. She has done nothing about returning the campaign donations given to her by a small cadre of ill- informed voters. Her FEC account H4FLo8077 shows she has some cash available to meet this moral obligation.


    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Would you please provide proof Westbook attempted to be the first legal resident of Washington DE to obtain a FL voter regisration card?


  3. Opinions vary…and baggage is abundant with some of the National Candidates. I think what is important is the issues and how well he does his job. People need to focus on the issues. And we all know stories can be planted in the press. Especially if someone has another reason why they don’t want someone to run. We need to start focusing on issues and let the rumor mills grind.


  4. Let’s try and get a strong candidate whose treatment of people is not so sordid. Adam Smith is a reliable reporter and Grayson’s treatment showed disrespect .Cayman hedge funds a deal breaker.
    Will not vote for Grayson.


    1. W. Reichman · · Reply

      Thought the Cayman thing turned out to be for foreign investors and not a tax haven for Grayson? Haven’t seen anyone contradict Grayson saying so. Thought the blogger was obviously carrying some water there.


  5. Sean, I think it’s about time the Democratic party decides whether they want a primary selection system or a convention selection system. Primaries are meant to allow voters to choose the candidate they want. They don’t always make the best choice, but at least the discussion is had. I supported Nan Rich, the party supported Charlie, he lost, who was right? here is no such thing as a perfect candidate. Alan speaks out and can be abrasive, but is a strong Progressive Patrick is a nice guy, ex Republican who often votes with the other side. You pay your nickel and you take your choice, then hope for the best. Democratic candidates lose statewide races mainly because our state FDP can’t seem to light a fire under the rank and file to turn out the vote!


    1. Naoya6161 · · Reply

      If you’re saying you can do better, you have to offer a real alternative. In reality, Grayson’s outlandish statements will rub badly on most.
      It’s kind of pointless to talk about exciting the base on the same year of a presidential election. Everyone shows up for that. And most voters actually do care about things beyond the issues… Just ask Akin or Mourdock.


  6. I agree with you Sean. That is why I am supporting Pam Keith in the primary. We need primaries-I think your wallet benefited from Nan Rich’s campaign, didn’t it?


  7. Hard to believe these are the only qualified candidates in the State of Florida. What has happened to the Democratic Party????


  8. You All I go with supporting Alan Grayson the greatest Congressman ever sent to Washington from Florida over Patrick Murphy who not only supported Mit Romney over Barack Obama in the last election but also has the infamous distinction of being only one of four Congressional Democrats endorsed by the US Chamber of Commerce which has the distinction of being the most notorious anti liberal and anti progressive lobbying group in Washington spending millions to fight against advances in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, progressive taxation and the entire economic and social policies of the Democratic Party. Enough said. This endorsement alone – not rejected by him – should be enough to disqualify him as a Democratic standard bearer. Grayson’s flowery language and depictions are a welcome relief As far as his domestic life is concerned – I am more interested in his leadership on substantive issues in Congress. My opinion. Chester Just Member – Board of Directors Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida


    1. Naoya6161 · · Reply

      No you’re thinking of 2008 when Murphy donated to Romney’s campaign.
      In any case, a lot of people have already been turned off by Grayson’s stupid actions over the past few weeks.


      1. Personal insults never make a good case for your side.Right Naoya, that means you also…


      2. Naoya6161 · ·

        Here? No.


      3. dianecbrown · ·

        Humm. I must be overlooking Naoya’s personal insults. How about pointing them out?


  9. I disagree with the premise that this early in the campaign we should declare somebody as “un-electable.” Let’s all remember how “useful” that argument was for the Democratic Party in last year’s gubernatorial election. In retrospect, I firmly believe that had there been debates between Charlie Crist and Nan Rich there would have more interest generated amongst Democrats to vote in November (not that Nan Rich would have still won — her campaign organization was anemic). Let the VOTERS decide in a primary who is electable and who is not.


  10. What if both sides of this debate are right? What if Grayson has too much baggage to be electable and Murphy is incapable of being a strong advocate on the issues that are important to Democrats? What is the answer? PAM KEITH! I am a knowledgeable advocate and former Navy veteran. I speak French, Spanish and Portuguese. I can appeal to a broad range of voters and am a leader on the issues that matter to Democrats. I am the best candidate, the one who will be of most aid to Hillary,
    and in time, that will be revealed.


  11. […] The winner of every Presidential Election since 1980 has been the winner of the question of who would you rather have a beer with, which proves likability matters in elections.  So far, four of Alan Grayson’s colleagues have endorsed Patrick Murphy even though they all know that Grayson is considering a bid.  It is rare when elected officials overwhelmingly endorse one of their colleagues over another.  It is telling that three of the four (Deutch, Frankel, and Wilson) each served with Nan Rich in the Florida Legislature, yet none of the four endorsed Charlie Crist over Nan Rich despite the fact that Rich had a tougher race than Grayson potentially faces.  Just this week, Politico wrote about Grayson’s problems with the Congressional Progressive Caucus (Check out the full article here).  I have written before on why progressive Democrats should embrace Patrick Murphy (See Here), and how Alan Grayson has been his own worst enemy (Read Here). […]


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