Love him or hate him, Rep. Alan Grayson has moxie. How many first term congressmen do you know, after all, who have graced the stage of “Real Time with Bill Maher’ and held his own? But by opening his mouth has the Florida Democrat bitten off more than he can chew? Grayson, who represents central Florida, has become something of a cause celebre due to his controversial remarks on the healthcare debate. Now it looks like his critics are trying to band together against him with the launch of MyCongressmanIsNuts.com.
The site is funded by a “MyCongressmanIsNuts Committee,” which claims to be a group of central Floridians, and launched Thursday. The name derives from Grayson’s campaign site, CongressmanWithGuts.com. According to a counter on the site, the group has only raised $3,335 so far, which pales in comparison to the $234,375 Grayson’s site has hauled in. The new site is advertising a money bomb, a la Ron Paul, on December 16, though. Efforts to contact the group Friday were unsuccessful. Grayson’s campaign committee doesn’t sound to worried about the group. “Desperation is the world’s worst cologne, and they are clearly desperate,” said Julie Tagen, a senior adviser to Grayson’s campaign. This isn’t the first time Grayson’s critics have attempted to raise money since he said that the Republican healthcare plan is “Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.” The National Republican Congressional Committee launched AlanDisGrayson.com earlier this year. It is hard to say whether that site was successful because the NRCC didn’t release how much money it raised off of it and it hasn’t been updated in a month. Perhaps the biggest problem for Grayson’s critics is that they haven’t found a candidate to run against him next year. Grayson defeated former Republican Rep. Ric Keller last year by about four points, but most prognosticators generally consider Grayson farther to the left than his district. Charlie Cook rates Grayson’s 8th District, which includes Orlando, as Republican +2 in his Partisan Voting Index. Three Republicans have passed on running against Grayson. Armando Gutierrez Jr., a Republican fundraiser and the son of a prominent Florida political consultant, is the first Republican to announce he will run. There’s only one problem: Gutierrez appears to live hundreds of miles away from the district.Jeremy P. Jacobs is the staff writer at Politics. He can be reached at email@example.com