Alan Grayson's Journal
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You know that great positive ad for our campaign that we showed you a couple of days ago? That breath of fresh air, dispelling the stench of paid political advertising?
It's off the air. We have assumed broadcast silence.
Why? Because the Super PACs have spent $25.6 million on Orlando TV, and the cost of TV spots here has tripled.
We told you that we need your help to keep our positive ad on the air. And we meant it.
Click here to see our ad. If you like it, then please help us put it back on the air. If you give us $45, then 300 people will see the ad.
Here is what we're going to do. We will take whatever contributions that we receive by the close of business tomorrow, and we will spend them to put this beautiful, uplifting ad back on the air on Tuesday.
So it's come down to you. And now it's up to you. Will you help?
The Grayson Team
P.S. Today marks the end of the FEC quarterly reporting period, and blah, blah, blah, blah. That's one more reason for you to help.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:59 AM (4 replies)
Here is a startling statistic: Every single penny of the $59 million that Karl Rove’s Super PAC, American Crossroads, has put up on the air has been spent on a negative ad. And every single penny of the $36 million that the Koch Brothers’ Super PAC, Americans For Prosperity, has put up on the air has been spent on a negative ad. The same thing is true of $23 million in DNC ads, and $22 million in RNC ads. 100% negative.
This is how the brother of Colorado’s Sen. Michael Bennet describes the situation in the current issue of The Atlantic: “This advertising seem less like the currency of democracy than like a grotesquely stupid exercise to enrich political consultants and local televisions stations, and to drive voters away from the polls.” It makes every election seem like a choice between the lesser of two evils.
My goodness. Didn’t Karl Rove’s mama tell him that if you don’t have anything good to say about someone, then don’t say anything? Rove should wash his mouth out with soap.
Well, you know how we are. When everyone’s doing one thing, we’ve got to do something else. It’s in our nature.
We’re running a positive ad.
We’re giving our voters a look at Alan Grayson, facing the camera, speaking to them directly. Now, admittedly, Alan is no George Clooney. Alan is no Brad Pitt. However, our voters do deserve to hear a few words out of Alan’s mouth (other than “I’m Alan Grayson, and I approve this ad”) before they make up their minds.
To see our positive ad, click here.
For sure, this positive ad will help to dispel the cartoon version of Alan that the other side has tried to draw. And maybe also help to dispel the stink of all those Rove and Koch Brothers ads we are forced to watch for the next 39 days.
Speaking of which, the aforesaid right-wing political committees are, in fact, firebombing Orlando TV screens with their political napalm, and this has pushed the cost of TV ads eight miles high. Orlando now is the second most expensive market for political ads in the country, after Cleveland. So . . . we need your help to keep our positive ad on the air.
The current cost of running this ad in Orlando is 15 cents per viewer. If you give us $30, then 200 people will see this ad. If you give us $45, then 300 people will see this ad. If 1,000 of us each gave $45, then every voter in the district would see this ad once.
Click here to see our ad. If you like it, then you can help pay for it. And you can support our going-against-the-grain effort to say something good about someone.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:39 AM (3 replies)
I'm going to assume that if you are reading this, you want us to win. If you want us to lose, then why are you wasting your time this way? If you want us to lose, then stop reading this right now, and get a life.
As for everyone else, if you want us to win, it's a good time to explain how you can make that happen. Here are some options:
(1) You can click on that red button below. But you knew that already. Nevertheless, you can do that, and we need the help.
(2) You can help us the way that Sally B. helped. Sally B. pledged $50, but then she got sick, she incurred over $1 million in hospital bills, and she couldn't meet that pledge. We told you about it, and set up Sally B.'s Page on ActBlue. Well, hundreds of us decided to make good on Sally B.'s pledge, which raised over $6000 for the campaign. You can do the same. It's easy. If you haven't set up a contribution page before, here is a step-by-step guide. And here is how you can ask people to contribute, on your own personal page.
(3) You can sign up for our "virtual phone bank." What the heck is that, you may be wondering. Well, it gives you a "script" full of those pesky "talking points," and then it tells you whom you can call in our district to urge them to . . . wait for it . . . "Vote for Alan Grayson." And let's face it - anyone in our district who gets a telephone call from you is going to vote for us. You can be very persuasive - that we all know. After each call, you can tell us how it went. And the system keeps track of how many calls you make, which tells us which of our friends are BFFs. It's too late to sign up for our virtual phone bank yesterday, so sign up today.
(4) Last but not least, you can add to the list of our friends on Facebook, by inviting your friends to join our list. I must admit that I am basically a 20th Century kind of guy, so I had to ask the staff how one would do that. This is what our 21st Century staff came up with:
Alan Grayson wants to connect with you on Facebook. To accept, click here.
To accept this request, go to: https://www.facebook.com/alangrayson, and click "Like"
So there you have it. There is an unwritten rule in campaign e-mails: ask for only one thing. And we just asked for four. But hey, rules are meant to be broken, right? And if you really, really want us to win, then you can do all four. Either way, we're just happy to have your help.
From my heart, thank you for that.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Thu Sep 27, 2012, 05:46 PM (0 replies)
The choreography for the Romney Presidential Campaign couldn’t possibly have been any simpler:
During the primary, two steps to the right. During the general election, two steps to the left.
God, it was so easy for Romney. Two steps to the right, and then two steps to the left. That’s all that America wanted from Romney: just show a little bit of rhythm. As that esteemed news analyst Huey Lewis once noted:
When they play their music, ooh that modern music,
They like it with a lot of style.
But it’s still that same old back-beat rhythm,
That really, really drives them wild.
- Huey Lewis and the News, “The Heart of Rock and Roll” (1984).
To be fair, Romney got the first steps right. He used to be pro-choice; during the Republican primary, he became anti-choice. He used to be in favor of equal rights; during the Republican primary, he became an opponent of equal rights. In his own words, he became “severely” conservative. Right step, right step, pause.
And after the Republican primary, it wouldn’t have been so hard for Romney to take those next steps to the left. Look, Romney has a record. Nothing really terrible happened when he was Governor of Massachusetts. The trains ran on time, and all that. Sure, Romney was awful at creating jobs when he was Governor, but that’s only because he enjoys it so much when he fires people. The “worst” thing that you can say about Romney’s time as Governor – and he was attacked mercilessly and viciously about this during the Republican primary – is that everyone in Massachusetts got to see a doctor when they were sick. Oh, well – nobody’s perfect.
So Romney easily could have completed that little right-left jig. But he didn’t. After he locked down the Republican nomination, Romney picked Paul Ryan as his VP candidate. Paul Ryan is so far to the right that even Republicans voted against the Ryan Budget when it was introduced during the 111th Congress. What, exactly, is Paul Ryan’s appeal? That he can cut your Social Security and your Medicare with a smile on his face?
And then came the Republican Convention, which the Romney Campaign orchestrated. My goodness – why didn’t they just unfurl a giant banner above the stage that shouted “WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU!!” Unless you’re a billionaire, or a fetus.
And here is the result. According to our campaign’s internal polling, in our district in Battleground Central Florida, during the past 10 weeks, President Obama’s share of the Republican vote has almost tripled. It has gone from 10% to 28%.
At this point, Republican voters are having a lot of trouble relating to Daddy Borebucks. They just don’t seem to like the idea that they pay higher taxes than Romney does. And that Romney thinks that he needs a tax break more than they do.
By moving so far to the right, Romney hasn’t consolidated his base, he has fractured it. Because instead of right-right-left-left, Romney has gone right-right-right-right-fall-off-the-edge-of-the-earth.
Poor Mitt. I understand why he can’t dunk. But I thought that he could dance.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Wed Sep 26, 2012, 04:15 PM (1 replies)
Recently, the Grayson for Congress campaign received a handwritten letter from Sally B., in Sierra Madre, California. This is what Sally said:
I am an ardent admirer of yours, since "Republicans want you to die quickly." I received a phone solicitation from you requesting a financial contribution, and I pledged $50. However, as luck would have it, I had two subsequent strokes (March 12 & March 21, 2012). I no longer have the financial liberty to carry out my pledge, regretfully. Fortunately, I am expected to make a 90% recovery. I was fortunate to have medical insurance, as my hospital bills are $1 million and climbing. That's a little hard to pay when you are pulling in $50K per year.
My prayer for you, Alan, is that all those idiots in the Tea Party are sent packing, and all those who want to repeal Obamacare end up eating road kill. I'm almost 70, and I cannot believe what has happened to my country. I have never seen such greed + stupidity + arrogance. I worked my butt off for Obama, and I am deeply saddened I can't be in the trenches with everyone.
God Bless You for your genuine values. May God help us all if we don't pull this off.
Congressman Grayson called Sally, thanked her for her support, and wished her a speedy and complete recovery. Sally told Alan, "You keep fighting for us!"
If you want to fulfill Sally's pledge to our campaign, click here to go to "Sally's Page" on ActBlue.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Mon Sep 24, 2012, 06:33 PM (1 replies)
Yesterday, I wrote that all the crocodile tears that the Right Wing sheds for the supposed insolvency of Social Security are just a cover story for what they really want to do, i.e., destroy Social Security. My Tea Party opponent is a perfect example of this: he calls Social Security a “Ponzi scheme”; he calls Social Security and Medicare “robbery”; he calls them unconstitutional; and somehow we’re supposed to believe that he’s the one to save them.
So it has ever been. So it will ever be.
Germany introduced Social Security in 1889. It came to America “only” 46 years later, in 1935. When the Social Security program was introduced here, one of its most vociferous critics was former Republican President Herbert Hoover. Having led America into the Great Depression, Hoover wanted to make sure that no one led it out. (Does that ring a bell?)
According to an Associated Press report on May 6, 1935 (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=19350506&id=79MgAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6WoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1522,2944240), and a New York Times report on May 22, 1938 (sorry, no NYT link), Hoover attacked Social Security in apocalyptic terms. Regarding the security for seniors that the program would provide, Hoover said that “we can find in our jails. The slaves had it .” Hoover said that programs like Social Security would put Americans in cages: “Our people are not ready to be turned into a national zoo.”
It’s odd that Sarah Palin hasn’t deployed the same metaphors. Yet.
Hoover said that rather than indulging in programs like Social Security, Americans should “cling to their family life, to their homes, to their individual self-respect, to their rights, to their individual liberties.” He urged that we must not shift “from the self-made man to the government-coddled man.”
I know that this sounds just like Paul Ryan, but it was Herbert Hoover. Really.
Hoover added that the way to achieve genuine “social security” was not through government handouts, but by “saving pennies and producing more.”
Yes, those pennies sure add up, don’t they? Save five of them, and you’ve got a nickel. Or, in Mitt Romney’s case, a quarter.
Hoover said that he believed in private charity, not government handouts. He predicted that government programs like Social Security would destroy private charity, “one of the most fundamental of inspirations in the spiritual growth of the family or individual.”
Now you know whom Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum got their ideas from.
With unemployment in America approaching 25%, Hoover said that social programs like Social Security simply weren’t needed to feed, house and clothe people. “We could do that by the simple methods of bread lines, barracks and dungarees.” The government could do nothing to ameliorate these problems; the only answer was “courage and vision in adversity.”
This sounds like something that Mitt Romney would say, right? Either that, or something equally vacuous.
Herbert Hoover led the Republican effort to strangle Social Security in its crib. And now, 77 years later, Republicans are trying to suffocate Social Security as it lies in bed.
At least they’re consistent.
When a right-wing Republican talks about how to “save” Social Security, I don’t know whether to laugh or (like John Boehner) cry. Republicans have as much interest in saving Social Security as they do in saving the whales. Or the rainforest. Or the Queen. Or the last dance. Meaning none.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sat Sep 22, 2012, 07:46 PM (7 replies)
So I was in a debate against my Republican opponent Todd Long a few days ago, and the subject of Social Security came up. He spat out the usual buzzwords about how Social Security is broke, how the Democrats stole all the money from it, etc., etc. I said that he sounded like Chicken Little, but he kept right on going, and then imparted his “solutions.”
By way of background, my opponent paid to publish a book that brings together, in one place, all of his bizarre misconceptions and crackpot schemes. Sort of like “The Thoughts of Chairman Todd.” In his vanity book, on page 136, he histrionically announces that: “Projections indicate that by 2037, the Trust Fund will be exhausted.”
What that actually means is that if absolutely nothing changes for the next 25 years, then we may reach a point when we will have to pay Social Security benefits out of tax revenue or borrowing – the exact same way that we pay for every other federal program – rather than by withdrawals from the Social Security Trust Fund. And if absolutely nothing changes in the next 25 years, and if we don’t raise Social Security taxes at that time, and if we don’t borrow the money, then Social Security benefits – 25 years from now – may drop by 10 or 15 percent. In any event, the revenue generated under current law will be enough to pay for 85 to 90 percent of the benefits under current law. We’re talking about 25 years from now, when I will be 79 years old, if I live that long.
See what I meant by “Chicken Little”? Right now, we have almost 25 million Americans who can’t find full-time work, we have almost 50 million Americans who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick, and he wants us just to forget all about that and concentrate on the year 2037.
But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that every one of his so-called “solutions” actually would make the problem worse. He wants to raise the age of Social Security eligibility to 72. That’s a 100% benefit cut for people between the ages of 65 and 71. And in his “privatization” scheme, he wants to take away tax revenue for Social Security, and dump it on Wall Street. That really would make it impossible to maintain the current level of benefits. And in his “government guarantee” scheme, he wants the federal government to insure these Wall Street accounts against losses – Wall Street losses that totaled $7 trillion after the 2008 crash.
Listening to all this ridiculous nonsense, I sort of scratched my head, wondering how anyone could think that this would “save” Social Security. And then I realized what was really going on:
He doesn’t want to save Social Security. He wants to destroy it.
My opponent (like Gov. Rick Perry) calls Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” (p. 134). Is that something that he would want to save? He says that Social Security is unconstitutional, simply because it meets “individual needs” (p. 96). Is that something that he would want to save? He evidently thinks that Social Security, like Medicare, is “one generation rob from the next” (p. 141). Is that something that he would want to save?
Answer: No. He doesn’t want to save Social Security; he wants to destroy it. That was my small epiphany at the debate, and that’s what I said. (In candidate debates, a little bit of truth goes a long way.)
And at the same time, I came upon another modest insight: he’s not the only one. In fact, there are huge numbers of Fox-fed, Rove-raised, Koch-coddled candidates and elected officials all over the country, just like him. They think that if they beat their chests and scream loud enough about how they must save Social Security, then they can kill it. It’s perhaps the Biggest Lie of all the Big Lies in American politics today.
My advice to America:
(1) Don’t believe them.
(2) Defeat them.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Fri Sep 21, 2012, 04:50 PM (13 replies)
The local CBS affiliate in Orlando, WKMG, has reported that my opponent, Todd Long, was “very abusive” to his ex-wife.
Given Long’s history of severe alcoholism, this should surprise no one. Long passed out drunk outside a schoolyard, 200 miles from home. He was convicted of driving under the influence. He is barred for life from the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, for being drunk and disorderly.
And he is the Republican nominee against me. Wow, the Republicans sure know how to pick them, don’t they?
The local news report on Long’s abusive misconduct comes out of sworn testimony. In open court, Long’s wife, Ninette, said it directly to Long’s face: “You were very abusive and manipulative.” Long testified right after Ninette, and he didn’t even endeavor to contradict her testimony.
Todd Long has taken the Republicans’ war on women to its logical conclusion. With Long, it’s not a metaphor. It’s the real thing.
I could give you a hundred reasons why Long must be beaten. He wants to prohibit the teaching of evolution in the schools (possibly because he himself shares so much with the apes). He wants to ban abortion even the case of rape and incest, and when the mother’s life is in danger. He wants to drill and spill and frack offshore, on the beaches, in the Grand Canyon, in Mt. Rushmore, and in your backyard – abusing Mother Nature.
Let me tell you this: We have to defeat this miscreant. Whatever it takes. We have to win.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Wed Sep 19, 2012, 03:40 PM (41 replies)
It may interest you to know that Jim Greer, the disgraced former head of the Republican Party of Florida, has confessed to Republican voter suppression, in brutally honest terms.
Greer testified under oath that Republican leaders held meetings to discuss ways that they could suppress the African-American vote. As Greer put it: “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days.” Greer also testified that Republican Party officials said that “minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.”
This really is no surprise. According to one group suing Florida Governor Scott for voter suppression, 87% of the Florida voters whom Scott has struck from the voter rolls belong to minorities. In the Bush v. Gore election in 2000, 54% of the voters that Bush’s brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, purged from the voter rolls were African-American, even though only 15% of Florida’s population was African-American.
Here’s more: Jim Greer described many Florida Republican leaders as “whack-a-do right-wing crazies.” He said that Florida Republican leaders decided to get rid of him, and former Governor Charlie Crist, because Crist endorsed John McCain rather than an extreme right-winger in the 2008 Presidential Primary, and because Crist appointed an African-American to the Florida Supreme Court.
Greer also testified that Republican legislative leaders covered up the fact that they used Republican Party credit cards “like drunken sailors,” to pay for millions of dollars in personal expenses. As Gov. Crist had pointed out earlier, one of them was Sen. Marco Rubio, who put more than $100,000 on his Republican Party credit card – including a back wax.
Look, you don’t have to take my word for it. Listen to Jim Greer. Voter suppression is alive and well in Florida, and it could steal the 2012 election from Democrats – again.
In our district, we have a simple plan to fight voter suppression. We are going to sign up as many Democrats as we can to vote by mail. They will get their ballots almost a month before the election. If there are any voter suppression “problems” for those voters, there will be plenty of time to work them out.
We go door-to-door to Democrats in our district, signing them up to vote by mail. They will help President Obama win Florida. They will help Sen. Nelson keep the U.S. Senate for Democrats. They will help Democrats in county and municipal races. And . . .
They will help us win our race.
Going door-to-door, it costs us around $5 to collect each absentee ballot request. Those absentee ballots get mailed out in three weeks. Which means that we need your help today. Please contribute to our “Fight Voter Suppression Fund” today.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Mon Sep 17, 2012, 10:34 PM (2 replies)
The Right Wing is bent on making voting as difficult as possible. You've heard a lot of people complaining about it. Well, we're doing something about it.
Here in Florida, where the Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Governor's Mansion, the Right Wing is field-testing every means known to mankind to discourage voting. They have criminalized voter registration; even the League of Women Voters gave up on it. They have purged the voter rolls in express violation of the Voting Rights Act; Governor Scott basically said, "so sue me." They cut early voting days in half, because so many African-Americans were voting that way. Their extremist voter ID laws place the burden on the voter to provide his identity to their satisfaction. They have made election administration completely partisan ; do you remember that the head of the 2000 Bush campaign in Florida was in charge of counting the votes? They have created artificial shortages of voting machines in heavily Democratic precincts. They have excluded convicts from voting, and made it virtually impossible for them to restore their constitutional rights. They have even set up roadblocks between voters and polling places on Election Day.
Well, we're not taking this lying down. We're fighting back.
Our approach is this: we want to sign up every progressive voter to vote by mail . Here in Florida, when you vote by mail, you get your ballot a month early. It comes to your home, so there is no chance of your going to the wrong precinct. If you lose it, you can get another one. After you mail it in, you can call the Supervisor of Elections, and make sure that it's been counted. If there is any problem with your ballot, there is plenty of time to fix it.
Compare that to voting on Election Day. If you bring the wrong ID, then if you're lucky, you'll get a provisional ballot. You'll have to go back the next day, and give them what they want. Half of all provision ballots are never counted.
Someone who votes by mail is twice as likely to vote as someone who doesn't. The highest voter turnout in the 50 States is always in Oregon, where everyone votes by mail.
So we are fighting back by signing up Democrats to vote at home. We are literally going door to door throughout our district, handing Democrats the paperwork that they need to vote at home. We've signed up thousands and thousands of them.
And it's not just for us. Since Florida is the ultimate swing state, we suspect that on Nov. 7, President Obama will be thanking us. And Senator Bill Nelson, too.
It's still 90 degrees outside on many days here in Orlando. Our district is 100 miles long, and it has almost half a million voters. It's hard work to drive all around our district and knock on all those doors. To get the numbers that we need, we have to pay people to do it. It costs about $5 for each absentee ballot request that we collect.
But unlike the folks on the other side, we actually want people to vote, and we want every vote to count. So it's worth it.
What's it worth to you? If you contribute $10, we can sign up another two progressive voters to vote at home. If you contribute $50, we can sign up ten more.
Those absentee ballots get mailed out in three weeks. We need your help. Please contribute to our "Fight Voter Suppression Fund" today.
"It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
- Chinese Proverb, paraphrased by UN Ambassador (and Democratic Presidential Nominee) Adlai Stevenson.
Posted by Alan Grayson | Sun Sep 16, 2012, 06:21 PM (2 replies)