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Alan Grayson

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Member since: Sat May 22, 2010, 01:02 PM
Number of posts: 473

Journal Archives

Republicrat Patrick Murphy is Attacking Me

If you’ve been following the race to replace Marco Rubio in the Senate lately, you know that former Republican Patrick Murphy has gone on the attack. Murphy, who was a Republican for his whole life until a month before he ran for Congress – Murphy, who contributed $2300 to Mitt Romney’s campaign – Murphy is claiming that a real Democrat like me cannot win statewide in Florida. So we Democrats have no choice but to nominate a fake one like him.

Patrick, have you heard of Barack Obama? He’s won Florida, twice. You can look it up.

Oh, and two different polls show me beating the GOP candidates in the general election.

What’s Murphy’s real motivation? Maybe it’s because today, the fourth poll in a row came out showing me beating him in the Democratic Primary. Or maybe it’s because in the first 24 hours after I told you about my decision to run for Senate, we received contributions from more than 1,000 individuals.

Maybe Republicrat Patrick Murphy is attacking me because he can’t obviously talk about his plan for “across the board” cuts to Social Security or Medicare, or his votes to weaken the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law (in exchange for lots and lots of PAC contributions, of course). Maybe he’s slinging mud because he doesn’t want anyone to notice that the lobbyists and special interests he dials every day, to get them to dump money into his campaign coffers, are the same uber-rich elites that that have stacked the deck in Washington, DC against everyday people like you. He gets along well with them, because he’s one of them.

Do you want to talk to Patrick Murphy about some issue that’s important to you? No problem. Just bring along a $10,000 check.

You’ve heard the phrase “time is money”? Well, Patrick Murphy’s time is your money.

Whatever Murphy’s reasons are, one thing is clear: With powerful special interests behind him, we know that he’ll have plenty of money for his campaign. And he’s used that money to hire a “communications team” dedicated to smearing me, 24/7. That’s their full-time job: slinging mud at me. It’s outrageous.

But I’m not worried. Murphy may have Big Money behind him, but I’ve got you. Grassroots progressives like you are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. You are the ones who lick envelopes, knock on doors, and do the hard work that helps Democrats win.

So I need your help.

I’m running for the Senate because deepening inequality is choking off opportunity for almost everyone. We must expand Social Security and Medicare, because seniors deserve a raise. We need to make sure every American can attend college without racking up outrageous debt, because education is the key to being all that you can be.

In order to win in the general election, in order to be fair to the voters and give them a real choice, the winner of this Democratic Primary must draw a contrast between what we believe and what Republicans believe. With me, what you see is what you get. But the contrast between Republicrat Patrick Murphy and Republicans is like the contrast between khaki and ecru, or Diet Coke, Coke Light and Coke Zero. It barely exists. Murphy and the GOP nominee would be just two more candidates who want to cut the law into little pieces, and then auction it off to the highest bidder.

Here’s a real contrast for you. Unlike my opponent, I am unbought and unbossed. That’s why I need your help, and that’s why I deserve it.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

Another Day, Another Allen West E-Mail to Me

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.

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.

We need to stop Allen West from entering the Senate. Please contribute whatever you can to our Stop Allen West fund. Every dollar counts.

Why Allen West? Because, the e-mail says, “In Congress, Allen West was a principled conservative and a leader in the Tea Party movement.”

You can see what this is all about. You thought that the Tea Party was dead. Well, apparently, it is undead. And all of the reanimated corpses have an insatiable hunger to see Allen West in the Senate.

Allen West is a hero to the Tea Party. Is that what we want to see in the U.S. Senate? No-No-No! Help make sure that that never happens, by donating to our Stop Allen West fund.

West thinks that I’m a Marxist. (Karl, not Groucho.) How do I know that? Because he said so. On April 10, 2012:

Weird Question: “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists?“

Weird Allen West Answer: “It’s a good question. I believe that there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”


Yes, yes, you can put away the rubber hoses, I confess – I’m a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In fact, it’s a matter of public record that I’m the Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus PAC. (“The horror! The horror!” as that other famous colonel, Colonel Kurtz, would say.) Hence Allen West has concluded that I’m a commie.

So, basically, if you support justice, equality and peace – if you’re in favor of progress, for goodness sake – then West thinks that you’re a Communist.

The Tea Party group “Restore American Liberty” says that “Allen West is the strong conservative leader needed to take on the Democrat in the general election and help the Republican Presidential nominee win Florida’s electoral votes.”

Don’t let that happen! Contribute $20.16, $50 or $100 to our Stop Allen West campaign today.

In 2012, Allen West left Congress, and I returned to Congress. It was a massive Allen/Alan upgrade. Let’s keep it that way.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

“I ain’t missing you at all,
Since you’ve been gone.
I ain’t missing you.”


- John Waite, “I Ain’t Missing You” (1984).

May I Have 7 Minutes of Your Time?

Most campaign announcement videos look like someone played MadLibs with drivel:
LeadershipRobustFutureTaxcutsEconomyValuesVisionChangeStrategicIncentiveAccountabilityGood.

I really tried hard to do something different with mine. I didn’t want it to be a concatenation of clichés, a pastiche of platitudes. I wanted it to mean something.

So we put together a video explaining why I’m running for the Senate, and what it will mean to you (not to me, to you) if I’m elected.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a look.

Here is what I say at the end of the video:

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 – #1, out of 435 of us. Slate magazine labeled me the most effective Member of the House. Because of all the good we have done, more than 100,000 supporters have given their hard-earned money to our campaign. That’s more than any other Democrat in the House. In 2012, and again in 2014, I was the only Member of the House of Representatives who raised most of his campaign funds from small donors – not lobbyists, or special interests, or millionaires, or multinational corporations. I don’t work for them; I work for you. I am unbought, and unbossed. I owe nothing to anyone but the People.

I wake up each day knowing that there are 700,000 Floridians who are counting on me to do something good for them in their lives. Next year, with the voters’ support, that number will be over 19,000,000. I will do my best to help every one of us, whenever we need help. I will work hard to be your representative, your champion and your friend.

If you want to learn more, or you want to join us and show your support, then go to the website SenatorWithGuts.com. I’m Congressman Alan Grayson, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida, and I approve this message of justice, equality and peace. Thank you.


Maybe words like this mean something to you. If so, then come take a look at our video. Forward it to your friends. And while you’re at it, maybe you could toss in a few shekels for our campaign – yours and mine – for justice, equality and peace.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

You Really Ought to See This Video

We’ve put together a video explaining why I’m running for Senate, and what difference it will make if I’m elected.

Please take a look.

Here is what I say at the beginning of the video:

I’m Congressman Alan Grayson, and I would like to explain why I’m now a candidate for the U.S. Senate. I grew up in the tenements in the Bronx, surrounded by people who were different from me, and from each other. People of different races, different languages, different religions – even the food that we ate. And I learned from that that our differences are not something to overcome, or tolerate, but rather something to cherish. The things that make us different are the things that make us special. And with so much in common as human beings, we all deserve equality, dignity and respect.

I was a sick child. I had to go to the hospital four times a week for treatment. Luckily for me, my parents both had good union jobs that provided health coverage to them and to me, even when they were on strike. If not for that, I might not be alive today, and talking to you. That’s why it’s so important to me that everyone, young or old, rich or poor, can see a doctor when he or she is sick.

Where I grew up, you had to work hard just to survive. And I realized that if people had genuine opportunity, unchained by poverty, prejudice, poor health, poor education or discrimination, then we all would be better off. I’ve met plumbers who could be engineers, truck drivers who could be lawyers, nurses who could be doctors. That’s the real American Dream – to be all that you can be. And when everyone is better off individually, then everyone is better off together.


Maybe words like this mean something to you. If so, then come take a look at our video. Forward it to your friends. And while you’re at it, maybe you could toss in a few shekels for our campaign for justice, equality and peace.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

“If your life were on video tape,
Wouldn’t everything be all right?”


- “Video Tape,” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1984).

The Euro – A Burning House With No Exit

William Hague, the U.K. Conservative opposition leader and Foreign Secretary, once referred to the euro, the European Union currency, as a “burning house with no exit.”

That sounds about right.

If Greece leaves the euro, it will suffer the tortures of the damned. And if Greece stays in the euro, it will suffer the tortures of the damned.

Listen, I love Greek tragedy as much as the next theatre-goer. Especially Sophocles. But this is ridiculous.

Consider how we came to this point. Virtually all of the world’s economies got whacked, very, very hard, by the Crash of ’08. Essentially, “aggregate demand,” the total demand for goods and services, collapsed, because much of that demand had been sustained by borrowing against wealth (think, “home equity loans,” “margin loans,” etc.), and then wealth collapsed. When aggregate demand drops, there are only four ways out of that hole:

(1) Borrow and spend (a/k/a fiscal policy).

(2) Print and spend (a/k/a monetary policy).

(3) Put everything on sale (a/k/a trade policy).

(4) Say goodbye (a/k/a emigration).

That’s it. There are no other solutions to that problem.

So let’s look at what happened to Greece after the Crash of ’08, when aggregate demand collapsed.

When Greece joined the European Community/Union in 1981, it had to agree to zero tariffs and the unencumbered movement of goods between Greece and other EC/EU members, as well as an external trade policy that is uniform throughout the EC/EU. So after the crash, Greece couldn’t impose tariffs, subsidize exports, establish import quotas, or anything like that.

Trade policy – no.

After Greece adopted the euro as its currency in 2001, it could no longer expand the money supply in order to spur domestic production. The European Central Bank had that authority, not Greece. Nor could Greece impose any capital controls to keep euros circulating within its borders. And as Greece’s economic problems deepened, capital fled the country.

Monetary policy – no.

A government accepting the euro as its currency must commit to keeping its annual budget deficit below a certain ceiling. Fair enough. But what happens if large chunks of government revenue are shipped outside the country to pay external debt, rather than circulating within the country? That just depresses aggregate demand more and more. Greece went into the Crash of ’08 with an external debt of around 300 billion euros – for a country of 11 million people. The mere interest on that debt (forget about principal) sucks an enormous amount of money up out of Greece each year, and sends it elsewhere. That made it impossible for the Greek government to borrow more money and spend it domestically, to restore aggregate demand (think “American Recovery Act”). And Greece’s creditors have insisted that the government run a “primary surplus,” meaning that net of the debt payments, the government actually removes money from the domestic economy.

Fiscal policy – no.

With no trade policy, no monetary policy and no fiscal policy, the Crash of ‘08 and the ensuing turmoil utterly crushed Greece’s aggregate demand. Gross domestic product has dropped 25% – the largest peacetime collapse in any advanced economy since the Great Depression. Unemployment in Greece was more than 25% before this month – imagine what it is now, after the banks were closed. That left desperate Greeks only one option: to leave. And, in fact, the population dropped by 1.5% in just four years. But there are very stiff barriers to exit; among other things, you have to learn a new alphabet. And the population drop further depressed aggregate demand, especially in the housing market.

Emigration – no.

John Maynard Keynes said that the government’s most important economic responsibility is to match aggregate demand to aggregate supply. Too much demand = inflation. Too much supply = unemployment. Greece simply has no tools to match that match. Domestic aggregate demand is far, far short of supply, and it’s getting worse.

The superficial problem in Greece is the external debt. The deeper problem is the relinquishment of national sovereignty, the tools that are needed to raise domestic demand and bring about an economic recovery.

And the alternative, the neologism-of-the-year “grexit,” where Greece just drops the euro? That is, in fact, the only alternative to the slow suffocation of the Greek economy. But no one wants even to think about how fiendishly complicated that might be. How do you mop up a currency that’s been sloshing around for 15 years inside your borders, and replace it with money backed by the “full faith and credit” of a bankrupt nation?

At least for Greece, the euro is one of those many, many things in life that are wonderful in theory, and horrible in practice. And the amount of pain that has been inflicted is staggering.

The house is burning. And there is no exit.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

“Watch out – you might get what you’re after.”

- Talking Heads, “Burning Down the House” (1983).

You're Running for the Senate

I announced today that I’m running for the Senate. If you read these posts, then there’s a good chance that you and I think alike. We are kindred spirits. We see things the same way.

So in a way, it’s sort of like you’re running for the Senate. I’m just doing it for you.

Think about it. You and I have a lot of shared beliefs, a lot of shared values. You and I see what needs to be done, and how to do it. If I make it to the Senate, there’s a good chance that I’ll do that job just as you would.

And one thing is for sure: You deserve your support. As the Jewish scholar Hillel asked, “If I will not be for myself, who will be for me?”

The same goes for me: I deserve your support. Because if I’m elected, then I will do that job the way you would. I will be a champion for justice, equality, compassion and peace.

I think that you should support your candidacy with a modest contribution. You can join thousands and thousands of others who contribute $20.16 each month. Or a lump sum of $20, $50, $100 or $500. Every dollar counts, because every person counts.

Let’s be realistic. You may not make it to the Senate next year. But there is a great chance that I will – if you help. And that’s almost as good, isn’t it?

I need your help, today, so that I can be a Senator that you will be proud of. Just as if you had the job.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate
Posted by Alan Grayson | Thu Jul 9, 2015, 08:50 PM (1 replies)

I’m Running for the Senate, and I Need Your Help. Here’s Why.

I’m running for the United States Senate, I need your help, and I deserve your help. Let me tell you why.

This is going to be an enormous undertaking. I will not be getting any assistance from the Koch Brothers, the Chamber of Commerce or corporate lobbyists, but I would be honored and forever grateful to have your help. Would you please give me a hand?

I wake up each day knowing that there are 700,000 Floridians who are counting on me to do something good for them in their lives. Next year, with the voters’ backing (and your generous support) that number will be over 19,000,000. I will do my best to help every one of us, whenever we need help. If you are just plain folks, I will work hard to be your representative, your champion, and your friend.

Please help our campaign by giving us whatever you can, right now! Every dollar counts, because every person counts.

By now, you might already know me.

You might also remember that in a truly do-nothing Congress, I actually passed more amendments and wrote more bills than ANY OTHER MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Democrat OR Republican. And these were good, solid progressive laws, not handouts to lobbyists and special interests.

When I say I fight for progressive values, I don’t mean it lightly.

I fight to win. I fight for results. I GET RESULTS:

• I passed amendments to move tens of millions of dollars from the bloated military budget to fund biomedical research on Gulf War illness and a cure for cancer.

• I passed amendments to increase the budget for bilingual housing counseling by 50%, increase free tax assistance to seniors by 33%, and reverse 43% of the cruel budget cut for senior housing.

• I passed amendments instituting a “contractor death penalty” that shuts off federal contract dollars for contractors who commit crimes or fraud.

I have fought for these results because I am committed to making this world a better place, for everyone, one change at a time. If we can do this in the Tea Party’s House, imagine what we will do in the Senate, alongside Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown!

So please, give us a helping hand, so that way we can accomplish even more substantive, progressive results.

I fight so hard for what’s right, because I’ve been doing it my whole life.

Let me explain…

I grew up in the Bronx. Life was not easy. In the neighborhood where I grew up, you had to work hard just to survive. I’ve met plumbers who could be engineers, truck drivers who could be lawyers, nurses who could be doctors.

I realized that if they had a genuine opportunity, unchained by poverty, prejudice, poor health, poor education or discrimination, then we all would be better off. And when everyone is better off individually, then everyone is better off together.

I was a sick child. I had to go to the hospital four times a week for treatment. Luckily for me, my parents both had good union jobs that provided health coverage to them and to me, even when they were on strike. If not for that, I might not be alive today….

Back in 2009, I told the American people that the opponents of affordable healthcare demanded you “don’t get sick…and if you do get sick, die quickly.” You can see now that that wasn’t a political stunt. I actually owe my life to affordable healthcare. That’s why I want everyone to be able to see a doctor when he or she is sick, and get the care needed to stay healthy and alive. It’s personal.

At 16 years of age, I received an acceptance letter to Harvard College. But for me and others like me, that meant more hard work. I worked as a janitor, cleaning toilets, and then as a night watchman, on the midnight shift. I made less than four dollars an hour, but I survived.

I learned the hard way that the people who do the most unpleasant jobs often get paid the very least.

But education was my ladder. Education gave me my chance to be all that I could be, live a better life, and be of greater service to others. That’s why I want every student to be able to afford college, without suffering a lifetime of debt.

After I finished school, I founded the Alliance for Aging Research. I was an officer of the Alliance for more than 20 years. We increased funding for research on cures for diseases of old age by more than 500%.

While you work to help seniors as long as I have, you realize that Social Security and Medicare are covenants that we make with each other, from one generation to the next. People shouldn’t have to pay taxes when they pay into Social Security, and then again when Social Security pays out to them. Medicare should cover your eyes, ears and teeth, and every healthcare need. And seniors deserve a raise.

I went on to become the first President of a company that broke the back of the monopoly on international long distance phone calls. As a lawyer, I filed lawsuits for the benefits of the taxpayers against war profiteers in Iraq. I won the first case against those profiteers that ever went to a jury. I saw the worst side of war, and I saw how war has so many bombastic promoters –and how much our country and our soldiers need a champion for peace.

When I say that I want the opportunity to join Elizabeth Warren in the Senate, I don’t say it because I want a job.

I want to DO A JOB.

I don’t want to be something. I want to do something. Something called justice.

I am un-bought and un-bossed. I carry the banners of justice, equality, compassion and peace. My compass is the greatest good for the greatest number. With your help, and the help of all kindred spirits, we will continue this fight, and we will WIN!

Sincerely,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Candidate for the U.S. Senate

P.S. In 2012, and again in 2014, I was the only Member of the House of Representatives who raised most of his campaign funds from small donors – not lobbyists, or special interests, or millionaires, or multinational corporations. I don’t work for them, I work for you. PLEASE, help me today. That way we can make sure that in the SENATE, we CONTINUE to demonstrate that you don’t have to sell the law to the highest bidder in order to succeed in American politics today.

Why Don’t Democrats Vote? I’ll Tell You Why.

As you may have heard, Democratic turnout dropped off a cliff again last year, just like it did in 2010. I was wondering why, so I asked. I polled Florida non-voters. I found that the main reason why they didn’t vote last year was simple: They couldn’t see any difference between the candidates. When there is no difference between the candidates, Democrats don’t vote, and Democrats lose.

By way of background, the top race in Florida last year was the race for Governor. The Republican incumbent was Rick Scott, whose hospital chain perpetrated the largest Medicare fraud in history. (That is not a misprint.) Nevertheless, because he had an ® next to his name on the 2010 ballot, he won. He has been a horrible governor, easily one of the worst in the country. Everyone knew that the Democrats had a chance to bring him down last year, especially since our Democratic President had carried Florida twice in a row. There are 500,000 more registered Democrats than registered Republicans in Florida.

The Democratic nominee was Charlie Crist, a REPUBLICAN former governor. Crist was so far to the right that he was known as “Chain-Gang Charlie.” In 2010, when Scott was first elected, Crist killed the Democrat’s chances for a US Senate seat from Florida by dropping out of his own Republican primary, where he was 25 points down, and running as an “independent.” That “stinking maneuver” (as Yitzhak Rabin would have put it) made Marco Rubio the junior senator from Florida.

Rather than shunning Crist for blowing that 2010 Senate race for the Democrats, the Democrats actually recruited him. They crowned someone who was a Republican just a few years earlier, and a conservative Republican at that, as the “Democratic” nominee for governor.

Political strategists called this a brilliant move by the Democratic Party. And Democratic voters were appalled, as my own little poll showed. Democratic voters stayed home in droves, and the Democrats lost.

As Gov. Howard Dean has said, if you offer people a choice between a real Republican and a fake Republican, they will choose the real Republican every time. And they did. Getting back to our poll, we focused on people who actually could have voted, not permanent residents, convicted felons whose rights had not been restored, or children. We offered the non-voters 12 different reasons to explain why they hadn’t voted. Reason #1, the most “popular,” was that “people did not like either choice for Governor.” Forty-one percent of the Democratic non-voters said that this was the main reason why people didn’t vote.

By the way, the non-voters were overwhelmingly Democratic, whether or not they were registered as such. When asked whom they had favored in the 2012 Presidential race, they chose Obama over Romney by 17 points. President Obama won Florida – among the actual voters – by less than one point.

So, let’s be honest. When we put up a pseudo-Democrat or a neo-Democrat or a quasi-Democrat or a semi-Democrat for Team Blue, our voters are not amused. They are not fooled. And we only hurt ourselves.

The voters deserve a choice. In fact, they insist on it. Or they simply won’t vote.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

P.S. Big news tomorrow.

My New Declaration of Independence

The original Declaration of Independence, declared 239 years ago, was a philippic against King George and his tyranny. I am no fan of King George. But the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution laid most of his tyranny to rest, and what remained was then laid to rest with him.

We need a new declaration of independence. FDR took a stab at this, with his “Four Freedoms.” Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Freedom from want. Freedom from fear. That’s a good start.

But now, eight decades later, we need to declare our independence from other forms of oppression.

We hereby declare our independence from bigotry, in all its evil forms. We declare our independence from racism, sexism, homophobia, language discrimination and chauvinism. Everyone has equal rights, no matter where you‘re from, what you look like, what language you speak, and whom you love. Everyone deserves respect.

We hereby declare our independence from narrow-minded, extremist or violent religious fundamentalism. We live in a land where church and state are separate. Religious belief, no matter how sincere, is no license to dictate to others whether to terminate a pregnancy, whether to use contraception, or whom to marry. Earlier this year, I placed my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution; I didn’t place my hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

We hereby declare our independence from the greedy. Malefactors of great wealth have no right to buy and sell elected officials thorough the legalized bribery of “independent expenditures.” They have no right to despoil our land and our water, the air we breathe and the food we eat. They have no right to manipulate or gut our laws in order to increase their lucre. They have no right to jack up the price of what we buy, or determine what we see on TV or on our computer screens.

We hereby declare our independence from “1984”-style surveillance. Neither the Government nor a private company has any reason to monitor the activities of innocent people, without their express, informed and freely given consent. Who I’m with, what I say, what I buy, what I read; that’s none of anyone else’s business. Privacy – the fundamental right to be left alone – is an essential part of what it means to be a human being.

We hereby declare our independence from exploitation. Bad bosses are today’s King George. They want to work employees as hard as they can, and pay them as little as possible in return. They call the difference profit. If workers are organized, they can fight back. But if not, then they need legal protection from exploitation. If you have a job, you should have a living wage, and time-and-a-half for overtime. If you have a job, you should have health coverage. If you have a job, you should have paid sick leave. If you have a job, you should have a pension. As John Mellencamp would say, “Ain’t that America?”

We hereby declare our independence from misinformation. Fox News is a lie factory. Special interests used to lie to us about the dangers of smoking; now they lie to us about the dangers of pollution and climate disruption. They claim a right to “free speech,” but we have a right to honest speech. We have to be part of what a Reagan aide once dismissed as the “reality-based community.”

We hereby declare our independence from hubris. No, we can’t bring peace through war. No, we can’t force our way of life or our way of thinking on seven billion other people. No, we aren’t going to end the 1200-year-old civil war between the Sunnis and the Shia. No, we aren’t going to go and kill everyone everywhere in the world who harbors some harsh views of us. And no, they won’t greet our soldiers with flowers, bake apple pies for them, and salute the American flag with a hand on their hearts. They want to be them, not us. We can care for victims, protect ourselves and help our friends without sticking our nose into every else’s business.

We hereby declare our independence from a rigged system of fake trade. We buy their stuff, creating tens of millions of jobs in other countries. But they don’t buy an equal amount of our stuff. Instead, they buy our assets – $11,000,000,000,000.00 of our assets. They not only rob us of our jobs, but they drive us deeper and deeper into debt. When did Uncle Sam become Uncle Sap? If we don’t declare independence, the endgame is national bankruptcy.

And me? I hereby declare my independence from the corrupt system of campaign finance. I will not carve up the law into little pieces, and sell it to the highest bidder. I will not make “friends” with lobbyists and special interests and the minions of multinational corporations, and then “help” those “friends.” I will not forsake my real job – doing something good for the 700,000 people who chose me to be their Congressman – in favor of begging millionaires and billionaires for a few crumbs from their tables.

In fact, I already have declared my independence. In 2012, I was the only Member of Congress to draw most of his campaign funds from contributions of less than $200. And in 2014, again. This coming year, whether I run for the House or the Senate, I hope to do it again – I’ll get by with a little help from my friends, my supporters, the progressive community.

We declare our independence. We are not cattle. We are not sheep. We are human beings.

Happy birthday, America. Let Freedom Ring.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sat Jul 4, 2015, 02:58 PM (4 replies)

Should I Run for the US Senate?

You are a supporter. That’s why I send you these notes. Now, I need to ask you an important question.

Should I run for the U.S. Senate?

I’ve been thinking about this decision for a long time.

If I do decide to try to join Elizabeth Warren and other good Progressive Democrats in the Senate, I need to know that I have your support.

If you think that I should run, please let me know, by contributing $20, $50, $100, $250 or even $500 today.

Every day, inequality is soaring. Social Security checks are worth less and less. The minimum wage is stuck at $7.25. America is the only advanced country without paid sick leave and paid vacations. Thirty million of us still can’t see a doctor when we are sick. College education is hopelessly expensive. The yoke of discrimination still weighs heavy on so many necks. And the law itself is up for sale to the highest bidder.

Someone has to fight back. And that “someone” is me.

You are one of many people who serve on the front lines, fighting for justice, equality and peace. People like you were grassroots leaders when Democrats took the Senate and the House in 2006, and took the White House in 2008.

Now we must stand together, and do it all over again in 2016.

My grandfather survived the Great Depression by going to the dump each day, and finding something that he could sell. I worked my way through Harvard by cleaning toilets, and then as a night watchman on the midnight shift. I know what it’s like to struggle; very few of today’s candidates and elected officials do. That’s why I fight so hard to improve the lives of ordinary people.

Your early support, now, will confirm that I can win this race, and make me feel that I’m doing the right thing. Contribute whatever amount you can, and show that you’re on our side. Every dollar counts.

When I returned to Congress in 2013, many Democrats were dispirited and defeatist. But during the 113th Congress, I wrote more bills than any other Member of the House of Representatives, passed more amendments on the Floor than any other Democrat, and had more of my bills signed into law than any other Member of the House, Democratic or Republican. The amendments I successfully passed through the U.S. House of Representatives have sought to transfer millions of dollars from military operations to medical research, increase bilingual housing counseling by 50%, restore almost half of the proposed cuts to HUD’s Housing for the Elderly Program, protect our privacy, and eliminate federal contracts for contractors who have cheated the government previously.

Salon magazine said that I’m the most effective Member of Congress. Business Insider said that I’m the most productive Member. And Time magazine said that I’m a stand-out Member in a do-nothing Congress.

What I’ve shown is very simple: That progressive Democrats can fight – and win! That’s leadership.

What worked in the House can work in the Senate. But only with your support.

Contribute $20, $50, $100, $250 or even $500 today at ActBlue now, and I’ll know that I can count on your support.

The next few days will make the difference. I need to know that I can count on you.

So what do you think?

Should I run for the Senate? And will you help?

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson
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