Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Story That No One Will Tell

[the blog firedoglake is having a fundraiser for progressive candidates. Florida Rep. Alan Grayson is in second place, and has written an essay there, articulating some of his thoughts]

--- by Rep. Alan Grayson

Please vote to make me one of your FDL Firedogs. If there’s one thing you know about me, it’s that I don’t back down.

The story that everyone wants to tell is that the Democratic Party is disheartened and disintegrating. Teabagger Republicans are juiced up and on top. Or so the media says, over and over again.

But the House candidate who raised the most money in the entire country during the last FEC reporting period — $860,000 in three months — is not a teabagger. He is not boosted relentlessly by Fox News. He’s not even a Republican. He doesn’t think that the Earth was created 6000 years ago, that President Obama was born in Kenya, or that global warming is a hoax.

This House candidate also, remarkably, had the largest number of contributors. Over 15,000 individuals contributed, many of whom have given time after time, whatever they could. The House candidate who raised the most money did so without French-kissing lobbyists, without flattering the idle rich, and without reaching into his own pocket.

The House candidate who raised the most money, from the most people, is an outspoken populist who tells it like it is on the war, on jobs, and on health care. His website is called CongressmanWithGuts.com. In the 100,000 e-mails that he has received this year, the most common refrain is, "You are saying what I’ve been thinking."

I know who he is. Because he’s me.

But no one has reported that the House candidate who raised the most money, from the most people, is a proud Democratic populist. No one.

There are something like ten thousand political reporters in this country, maybe more. The information above is readily available. Anyone could have visited an official government website, www.fec.gov, any time this past week, and seen it for themselves. We did our part — we sent out two news releases, both local and nationwide. But in lieu of any actual reporting in the media, there is instead what Simon & Garfunkel vividly described as the "Sounds of Silence":

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

The political reporters camped out in D.C. often act like a giant Xerox machine for the fib factory known as the national Republican Party. Recently, they saw fit to report (and repeat, and repeat) the Republican Party’s crackpot claim that we are withholding a secret poll with bad news in it for us. (We aren’t; there is no such poll, but the Republican Party is soooo good at manufacturing plausible lies.) Not one word from those reporters, though, about what would seem to be an irresistible "feel good" story — that thanks to People Power, that brash, plain-spoken Democratic Congressman from Orlando is the Number One fundraiser in the country. Nothing about that.

The fact that an unapologetic progressive Democrat could amass such support, not by trading favors for money, but by striking a chord with so many ordinary people, refutes the pervasive meme of Democrats divided and despondent. Particularly when it’s a Democrat who says that "you can’t beat a Republican by being one." Particularly a Democrat who quotes Harry Truman and Howard Dean: "If you run a fake Republican against a real Republican, the real Republican will win every time."

Freshman Democrat Alan Grayson, number one in the country. The story that no one will tell. It doesn’t fit their preconceptions. So you’re just not going to hear about it.

Please help me continue this momentum, and make me one of your FDL Firedogs.


Anonymous said...

I ♥ Alan Grayson. I have donated to Mr. Grayson and admire him very much. I wish I lived in Florida just so I could vote for him.

Anonymous said...

We like Rep. Grayson as well, but he's not being fair. Keith, Rachel and even Ed on MSNBC have all given him time to present his side of many issues. He has been a repeat visitor to those shows.

I don't mind him tooting his own horn, but let's remember one thing: he said he's been the top fund raiser yet he's asking FireDogLake to fund him when others who might share his philosophy might have more need of those funds.

I want Rep. Grayson to be re-elected, but I also want other Democrats who share his stand on the issues but don't have the funds at their disposal to fight off challenges from teabaggers or Republicans (I just heard that the Floridian Republican Party has announced today it is merging with the Tea Party - gag.).

We need more Representatives and Senators willing to stand up to conservative Democrats and even more conservative Republicans and Independents. We need a strong moderate to progressive team in both the House and the Senate.

Congratulations and continued good fortune to Rep. Grayson, but let's make sure he is not a lone voice after the elections in November. Let's send our money to those most in need. Rep. Grayson has a strong following. Let us seek out those who have had even less exposure but feel as strongly as he does on the same issues he does.

We need every single progressive voter to help every single progressive in Congress in any way they can.

anon. said...

the above comments pulling at your heartstrings could be boilerplate from the RNC or someone hired by Bruce O'Donoghue, Grayson's Republican opponent, or someone working for Mel Martinez or Toni Jennings .

Give to Grayson, if he get's too much money, he'll spread any surplus around.

Florida being Florida, we need Grayson.

Bill of Wasilla said...

I'm glad you gave the story space here, Phil.

I had no idea.

crystalwolf aka caligrl said...

Great News!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Grayson the asshole who wanted a blogger jailed for writing nasty things about him ? Seems like old foul-mouth gets wee-weed up when he gets a taste of his own bile. Funny.

anon. said...

No, Grayson wasn't doing anything like the mischaracterization you had hoped to pass off, anon@10:43

Grayson did ask that a long time Republican operative be investigated for lying to Federal Elections officials in relation to election and campaign finance laws.

Did that Repugnant operative say 'nasty things' ?

Are lies 'nasty things' ?

It's not what you say, it's whether you're breaking the law when you're trying to say it.

Free speech allows you to speak your mind, it won't get you off if all you're doing is lying.

Maybe you ought to look into that distinction between what is a lie and what is not.

From the way you talk, you seem to think there isn't any distinction.

Anonymous said...

"Are lies 'nasty things' ?"

I don't know...let's ask Mr. "I'll show Healthcare debate on C-Span" Obama, shall we ?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:43 You are not reporting the whole story accurately. And if blogs can't be "tasteless and juvenile", well in the interest of fairness there are a lot more of them that Grayson should be going after also.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando congressman Alan Grayson said the creator of the Web site MyCongressmanIsNuts.com should be fined and put in prison.

Grayson said Angie Langley of Clermont, who created the site that plays off Grayson's site CongressmanWithGuts.com, has violated election law.

Grayson recently referred to Langly by saying: "Everyone has to obey the law, even rude, right-wing cranks."

He recently sent a letter to the Federal Election Committee. He said Langley has violated several election laws because she is not a constituent of his, yet represented herself as one, and went about raising money the wrong way. Langley's Web site has raised $4,000.

"Ms. Langley has chosen a name for her committee that is utterly tasteless and juvenile," he wrote. "Of the thousands of campaign committees reporting to the FEC, I doubt that any other one sinks this low."

That prompted a letter from the FEC to Langley which said she must respond or it would result in an audit or enforcement action.

Langley said Grayson is trying to intimidate her.

"He obviously has a problem with anyone challenging him or opposing him, especially has a problem with women," she said. "He has obviously not read the first amendment freedom of speech."

Grayson's office said the issue is not free speech -- it's election law.

Philip Munger said...

Grayson isn't always on key. Commenters above have mischaracterized his reaction - and over-reaction - to publication of untrue information.

I'm not in agreement with Grayson on some issues. He's an ardent advocate of Zionist expansionism. I am not.

But in his attacks on the corruption of our financial institutions and their relationship to governmental policies, he's one of the most articulate representatives the U.S. House has had in generations.

Anonymous said...

"he's one of the most articulate representatives the U.S. House has had in generations."

If this is true then our nation is in worse shape then I had ever imagined.