Primary season is coming to a close but there are still a few very important ones, including House races in Michigan (Rashida Tlaib and Andy Levin) and Washington (Jason Call) and a Senate race in Missouri (Lucas Kunce). On August 13, we’re hoping Hawaii Democrats replace Blue Dog Ed Case with progressive challenger Sergio Alcubilla. But the races we want to focus on for the next couple of weeks are on August 23 in two crucial states— Florida and New York.
This week we’re asking you to help us raise funds for Alan Grayson, who gave up his old House seat in Orlando and, since it is now open, is seeking the nomination there again. Grayson was one of Blue America’s greatest hits. We helped him defeat a Republican incumbent in 2008 and he proved himself one of the best and most productive members of Congress. He was so effective that Sarah Palin told Glenn Becks’ audience that “It's okay if the Republicans lose every seat in the Senate and the House except for one. As long as that one is Alan Grayson losing.” In 2013 Dave Weigel dubbed him “the most effective member of the House” just as he was reaching a strange position for a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Congress: “the congressman who’s passed more amendments than any of his 434 peers.”
An economist and attorney, Grayson was the most effective member of Congress to have ever taken on the Federal Reserve and the video of him questioning Fed Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman was viewed over 5 million times. He was Elizabeth Warren and Katie Porter before either of them got started! His GOP Health Plan speech (“Don’t Get Sick! And If You Do, Die Quickly”) is a classic.
It’s a crowded primary and anything could happen. He’s been organizing a get-out-the-vote effort and could certainly use some help with that— and now is the best time to lend a hand. Please consider contributing here.
Last night when I spoke with Alan he told me that “What Democrats now need, and want, and deserve, is someone who can carry the ball over the goal line— not just repeat whatever is the last thing that someone said on MSNBC, or merely express the righteous indignation that we all feel. Our people deserve more than words; they deserve action. So although I wrote more laws and passed more laws during the last four years I was in Congress, we’re doing something different in this campaign. We’re looking forward, not back, and making promises that I think we can keep.
“As it happens, those correspond to what’s causing the most pain right now in Orlando, which is the staggering increase in the cost of living. For instance, rent in Orlando has gone up 30% this year, the most in the country. A person working full time at the minimum wage in Orlando now pays 107% of his or her income on rent. ‘The rent is too damn high.’ So we are promising lower rent, and lower tolls, and lower taxes— see it at ElectGrayson.com. I can see how to get to ‘yes’ on all of these.
“The purpose of this is not only to solve the problem in people’s lives (although that would be a welcome change). The purpose is to restore faith in our voters that their vote can make a difference in their lives— that politics is meaningful and real to every voter. As we say: Your vote is your power. Your power is your vote.”