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Alan Grayson

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Subject: Florida's 8th congressional district, United States congressional delegations from Florida, David Jolly, U.S. Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013, Dennis A. Ross
Collection: 1958 Births, American Businesspeople, American Health Activists, American People of Canadian-Jewish Descent, Businesspeople from Florida, Businesspeople from New York City, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Florida Democrats, Florida Lawyers, Harvard Law School Alumni, Harvard University Alumni, Jewish Members of the United States House of Representatives, John F. Kennedy School of Government Alumni, Living People, Members of the United States House of Representatives from Florida, People from Orlando, Florida, People from the Bronx, The Bronx High School of Science Alumni
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Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 9th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Gus Bilirakis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 8th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Ric Keller
Succeeded by Daniel Webster
Personal details
Born Alan Mark Grayson
(1958-03-13) March 13, 1958
The Bronx, New York City, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lolita Grayson
Children 5
Residence Orlando, Florida
Education Harvard College (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
John F. Kennedy School of Government (M.P.P.)
Alma mater Harvard University
Profession Economist
Businessman (telecommunications)
Religion Judaism[1][2]
Website Congressional website

Alan Mark Grayson (born March 13, 1958) is the United States Representative for Florida's 9th congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as Representative for Florida's 8th congressional district from 2009 to 2011. He was defeated for re-election in 2010 by Republican Daniel Webster[3] and was then elected in 2012 for a second, non-consecutive term in the House of Representatives, defeating Republican Todd Long.[4] In 2014 he defeated Republican challenger Carol Platt to win re-election.[5]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Law career 2
  • President of IDT Corp. 3
  • U.S. House of Representatives 4
    • Elections 4.1
    • Tenure 4.2
      • 2009–2011 4.2.1
      • 2013–present 4.2.2
    • Political positions 4.3
    • Committee assignments 4.4
      • 2013–present 4.4.1
      • 2009–2011 4.4.2
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Early life and education

Grayson was born in the Bronx, New York City, New York, to Dorothy Ann (née Sabin) and Daniel Franklin Grayson.[6][7] He graduated from Bronx High School of Science in 1975. Grayson worked his way through Harvard College as a janitor and nightwatchman, and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts summa cum laude degree in economics in 1978.[8][9] After working two years as an economist, he returned to Harvard for graduate studies.[2] In 1983, he earned a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a Masters of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Additionally, he completed some of the requirements for a PhD in government—the course work and passing the general exams.[8][10] While in college Grayson was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Grayson wrote his

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gus Bilirakis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 9th congressional district

Preceded by
Ric Keller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
Daniel Webster
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Donald Payne, Jr.
D-New Jersey
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Ann Kirkpatrick

External links

  • Alan Grayson: "Bipartisanship Has Become Code Word for Appeasement", video report by Democracy Now!, November 5, 2010

Further reading

  1. ^ Witman, Ellen G. (April–May 2009). "In Their Own Words: Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)". Philadelphia Jewish Voice. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Kurt F. Stone (December 2010). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Scarecrow Press. p. 618. All five Grayson children attend Hebrew school at Chabad. As Grayson notes, 'We belong to a local synagogue and observe all the Jewish holidays' 
  3. ^ Fell, Jacqueline; Walker, Allison (November 2, 2010). "Alan Grayson concedes in District 8 race". Bright House Networks. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  4. ^ Viebeck, Elise (November 6, 2012). "Fiery Dem Alan Grayson to rejoin House". Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  5. ^ Rufty, Bill (November 4, 2014)."U.S. Congress District 9: U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson Re-Elected", Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "GRAYSON, Alan (1958–)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Alan Grayson Biography". US House of Representatives. Archived from the original on August 4, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b An Oversight Hearing on Waste, Fraud and Abuse in U.S. Government Contracting in Iraq – Witness Biographies, U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, 2005-02-14. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Congressman Alan Grayson Biography, Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  12. ^ "Shellie Ruston to Marry Alan Grayson on April 29", The New York Times, March 4, 1984, retrieved March 11, 2010
  13. ^ a b Contractor Faces False Claims Act Liability for Payments Made by Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority, Construction WebLinks, Howrey LLP, April 20, 2009
  14. ^ a b "Lone War Profiteer Case Wins on Appeal: U.S. Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision". April 10, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  15. ^ a b Pinsky, Mark I. (September 15, 2010). "Grayson Defying Convention in Fla.". The Jewish Daily Forward. Archived from the original on October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Dreazen, Yochi Attorney Pursues Iraq Contractor Fraud, Wall Street Journal., 2006-04-19. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  17. ^ SEC Info – Idt Corp – 10-Q/A – For 4/30/03 – EX-10.69, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2000-10-10. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
  18. ^ 'Die quickly' just a sample of Alan Grayson's sound bite attack; Tampa Bay Times; October 2, 2009
  19. ^ Florida Election Results, 2006 Democratic Primary, Florida Dept of State, September 5, 2006
  20. ^ Florida Election Results 2006 General Election, Florida Dept of State, November 7, 2006
  21. ^ "August 26, 2008, Primary Election, Official Results". Florida Department of State, Division of Elections. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  22. ^ 2008 General Election Results, Florida Dept of State, November 4, 2008
  23. ^ "Candidate Listing for 2010 General Election". Division of Elections. Tallahassee, Florida:  
  24. ^ Mark Schlueb Alan Grayson TV ad calls Dan Webster a draft dodger Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10
  25. ^ Will: America's Worst Politician
  26. ^ Schlueb, Mark (September 26, 2010). "Grayson TV ad compares Webster to Taliban". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  27. ^ : Rep. Grayson Lowers the Bar
  28. ^ Rep. Alan Grayson's 'Taliban' ad backfires – Andy Barr –
  29. ^ PolitiFact Florida | Alan Grayson says Dan Webster would "force" rape and incest victims "to bear their attacker's child"
  30. ^ PolitiFact Florida | Alan Grayson tones down rhetoric, but not attacks in new ad targeting Dan Webster
  31. ^ Stein, Sam (October 29, 2010). "'"Beck To Palin: Alan Grayson Is Hot, 'Yum Yum, Give Me Some. Huffington Post. Archived from the original on October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  32. ^ Eichler, Alex (October 25, 2010). "Is Florida's Alan Grayson Really So Bad?". Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  33. ^ "America's Worst Politician", by George Will
  34. ^ Powers, Scott (October 28, 2010). "Special interest groups buy $8.5 million in campaign attack ads". Central Florida Political Pulse. Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on October 31, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  35. ^ "YouTube – Former Rep. Pat Schroeder Supports Alan Grayson". October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  36. ^ Kleefeld, Eric (March 25, 2010). "Howard Dean Pens Fundraising E-mail For Alan Grayson". TPM. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  37. ^ Schlueb, Mark (September 9, 2010). "It's official: Alan Grayson is ‘hero' to Democratic faithful". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  38. ^ Election results were: Grayson 38 percent Webster 56 percent"Florida Election Results". The New York Times. 
  39. ^ "Florida Election Results". The New York Times. 
  40. ^ Madison, Lucy (July 12, 2011). "Alan Grayson running for Congress again".  
  41. ^ Republican Todd Long to face Alan Grayson in November; Orlando Sentinel; August 14, 2012
  42. ^ 2010 losers get their revenge; Politico; November 8, 2012
  43. ^ Strong, Jonathan (10 February 2013). "Grayson Returns Emboldened". Roll Call. Retrieved 11 February 2013. 
  44. ^ Member List, Website of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, 2009-02-20. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  45. ^ "GRAYSON FIGHTS AGAINST FEDERAL DEBT";States News Service; February 4, 2010
  46. ^ "H.RES.686 (111th) Recommending that the United States Constitution be taught to high school students throughout the Nation in September of their senior year.". Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  47. ^ Matthews, Mark (September 15, 2009). "Grayson bill urges teens to study Constitution Grayson". The Orlando Sentinel. 
  48. ^ House Passes Alan Grayson's Resolution Encouraging High School Students to Learn the Constitution; Video
  49. ^ H.R.2245;; August 20, 2009
  50. ^ "Gold Medals Will Honor Apollo 11 Astronauts". August 10, 2009. 
  51. ^ "The Congressman Formerly Known as Crazy". 19 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  52. ^
  53. ^ Thompson, Bill (June 14, 2009). "Area lawmakers get behind bill to audit the Federal Reserve". 
  54. ^ Greenwald, Glenn Salon Radio: Rep. Alan Grayson on bailout transparency, (transcript and audio),, January 26, 2009
  55. ^ Rep. Alan Grayson: Is Anyone Minding The Store At The Federal Reserve?, May 5, 2009
  56. ^ Alan Grayson, the Liberals' Problem Child David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times, October 31, 2009.
  57. ^ Winant, Gabriel (October 27, 2009). "Rep. Alan Grayson goes a comment too far". War Room (Salon). Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  58. ^ a b Evans, Ben (October 27, 2009). """Grayson Calls Linda Robertson A "K Street Whore. Huffington Post. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  59. ^ Sherman, Jake; Allen, Jonathan (October 26, 2009). "Alan Grayson goes too far for colleagues". Politico. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  60. ^ Democratic Staff (April 1, 2009). "House Passes Grayson-Himes Legislation to Tie Pay to Performance for TARP Recipients" (Press release). House Financial Services Committee. 
  61. ^ Grayson gets his bill through the House, Orlando Sentinel, April 1, 2009
  62. ^ "Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009". October 22, 2009. 
  63. ^ "USA". 
  64. ^ Alan Grayson;
  65. ^ Morgenson, Gretchen (September 5, 2009). "They Left Fannie Mae, but We Got the Legal Bills". The New York Times. 
  66. ^ "H.R.3221 (111th)- Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009". Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  67. ^ Wells, Kathleen (October 2, 2009). "It's Not Just ACORN, Says Congressman Grayson". The Huffington Post. 
  68. ^ Klein, Ezra (March 10, 2010). "'The Public Option Act'". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 25, 2010. 
  69. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 167(Patient Protection and Affordable Care)
  70. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 194(Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010)
  71. ^ a b "Key Vote 2009 Economic Package". votesmart. Retrieved January 20, 2010. 
  72. ^
  73. ^ "Democrat stands ground after 'die quickly' health care remark". CNN. October 1, 2009. 
  74. ^ Alan Grayson (October 29, 2009). "Alan Grayson Enters Rebel Headquarters!".  
  75. ^ "Alan Grayson Unlikely to Face GOP Reprimand", CBSNews Blogs, October 6, 2009
  76. ^ "'"Grayson regrets use of term ‘holocaust. The Jewish Chronicle. October 6, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  77. ^ Grayson calls Republicans knuckle dragging Neanderthals,, 2009-09-30. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
  78. ^ House Republicans Offer Health Care Plan,CBS News, 2009-06-17. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
  79. ^ "Alan Grayson Honors Those Who Died for Lack of Health Insurance, Launches". October 21, 2009. 
  80. ^ "Alan Grayson on Abortion", On the Issues, September 5, 2013
  81. ^ "Rep. Alan Grayson discusses the future of LGBT equality and why he returned to Congress", WatermarkOnline, July 18, 2013
  82. ^ Thompson, Bill (June 26, 2009). "Congressman says new hurricane center coming to Orlando". Ocala Star-Banner. 
  83. ^ Gerstein, Julie (June 14, 2010). "The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill By The Numbers". 
  84. ^ "Open Congress". 
  85. ^ "H.R.5013 (111th)- Implementing Management for Performance and Related Reforms to Obtain Value in Every Acquisition Act of 2010". Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  86. ^ "Alan Grayson Criticizes Syrian Intervention: U.S. Shouldn't Police The Globe (VIDEO)", The Huffington Post, September 5, 2013
  87. ^ "Rep. Alan Grayson on Syria: Congress Should Reject "Warmongering" and Focus on Problems at Home",, September 5, 2013
  88. ^ "Alan Grayson: Syria is not our responsibility", Orlando Sentinel, September 3, 2013
  89. ^ "Alan Grayson's Whipping the Vote Against Striking Syria Because "We're Not a Dictatorship"", Slate, September 3, 2013
  90. ^ "The 50 Richest Members of Congress (2010)". September 16, 2010. 
  91. ^
  92. ^ Alan Grayson's wife files for divorce; Orlando Sentinel; Scott Powers; January 7, 2014


Grayson is married to, but separated from, Lolita Grayson, from the Philippines. The couple has five children.[91][92]

Grayson was ranked as the 11th-wealthiest member of Congress in 2010, based on financial disclosure forms with a net worth of $31.41 million, and a pending claim against the now-defunct Derivium Capital for at least $25 million, according to Roll Call.[90] Grayson disclosed that his attorney fees and costs for the war contractor case had exceeded $4 million.[14][16]

While pursuing the whistleblower cases, Grayson worked from a home office in Orlando, where he lived with his wife and five children.[15]

Personal life



Committee assignments

Grayson has been an outspoken opponent of plans for the United States to intervene in the Syrian civil war.[86] He has rejected what he calls "warmongering",[87] saying: "It's simply not our responsibility. We're not the world's policeman." Instead, he called for a focus on humanitarian efforts and solving domestic problems.[88] He launched, where he began gathering signatures for his petition calling on Congress to vote against authorizing military action against Syria, and has been "whipping votes" in the House of Representatives.[89]

Grayson has tried to combat wasteful spending by government defense contractors by introducing his "Gold Plating Amendment". The amendment would require that cost or price account for half of the evaluation of bids for defense contracts. The law at the time allowed for cost to account for only 1% of the evaluation. The amendment passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in June 2009. However, the language was stripped from the final bill during the conference committee between Senate and House leaders. Grayson worked successfully to get the amendment inserted into H.R.5013, the IMPROVE Acquisition Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on April 28, 2010.[85]

Grayson has been an outspoken critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In May 2010, he introduced the War Is Making You Poor Act. The bill would require the president to fund the wars from the Department of Defense's base budget. The bill does not necessitate an end to the wars or mandate a cut-off date. In addition to the tax cuts, the bill would cut the federal deficit by $15.9 billion.[84]

Foreign affairs

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico affected Florida's number one industry, which is tourism. The lack of a relief well prevented company officials from shutting down the leak immediately. Instead, it took months to drill a new relief well, while millions of gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf each week.[83] In response, Grayson introduced the Emergency Relief Well Act, which would require that an emergency relief well be drilled at the same time as any new exploratory well.

Grayson voted for the House's 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). The bill would provide for a $50 million "Hurricane Research Center" in Central Florida, and Grayson claimed it would immediately generate new jobs.[82] Grayson noted after the passage of the ACES Act his concern about our dependence on foreign oil, the need to promote green technologies, renewable energy sources, and the job creation from the bill (an estimated 95,000 jobs in Florida). "This bill unleashes American ingenuity to solve the energy crisis. It lets us solve our problems by being Americans and thinking our way out of it. We will become an international energy power," he said in a news release.


Grayson voted in support of the Hate Crimes Expansion Act, which expands the definition of hate crimes and strengthens enforcement of hate crime laws. He also voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Grayson supported the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that allows victims of wage discrimination to sue for punitive damages.[71]

Grayson is pro-choice and supports increased funding for stem cell research.[80] He has always supported same-sex marriage and said in an interviews in 2013, "the propaganda that somehow gay marriage makes straight marriage bad for everyone is just farcical to me. I just don’t understand the logic of it."[81]

Social issues

On September 29, 2009 in a late-night speech on the House floor, Grayson presented his impression of the Republican's heath plan, illustrated by signs. He said the Republican health plan was "don't get sick", and "if you do get sick, die quickly".[72] After demands from Republicans that he apologize, he defended his comment and in a House Floor speech stated, “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America."[73] He was then further lambasted for his use of the word holocaust by Jewish spokespersons across the nation. Grayson, who is Jewish, apologized to the Anti-defamation League for those offended by his generic use of holocaust.[74][75][76] He also maintained that Congressional Republicans failed to offer a feasible plan.[77][78] In October 2009 he launched, a website to "memorialize Americans who die because they don't have health insurance." He subsequently read stories of the dead submitted through the Names of the Dead site on the House floor.[79]

Grayson later voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[69] and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[70] He voted in support of eliminating adjustments of Medicare rates of payment. He also voted against Republican substitutes for the health care amendment and insurance law amendments.[71]

In response to Republican arguments that the Obama administration's preferred health care bill was too long and complicated, Grayson on March 9, 2010, introduced H.R. 4789, the Public Option Act (sometimes called the Medicare You Can Buy Into Act), a short four-page bill which would allow all citizens and permanent residents of the United States to buy into the public Medicare program at cost.[68] The bill attracted 82 co-sponsors and was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.

Healthcare reform

[67] Grayson also encouraged the public to report companies covered by the bill and set up a method to report offending companies via his Congressional website.[66] In September 2009, Grayson used a parliamentary maneuver called an "extension of remarks" to provide crucial instruction on H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, a bill that, among other things, included a provision that prohibited funding for ACORN (the

Grayson has worked to combat federal waste, fraud, and abuse. In the September 6, 2009 edition of The New York Times, columnist Gretchen Morgenson thanked Grayson for uncovering the fact that, due to the federal bailout of mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae, taxpayer money had been funding the legal defense fees for former top executives at the institution. Grayson requested information about these legal costs after a June 2009 hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. Grayson's work uncovered that, between September 6, 2008 and July 21, 2009, taxpayers spent $6.3 million defending Fannie Mae executives Franklin Raines, J. Timothy Howard, and Leanne Spencer. Taxpayers paid an additional $16.8 million to cover legal expenses of workers at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, Fannie's former regulator.[65]

Grayson supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and has been outspoken in favor of extending unemployment benefits for Americans who have lost their jobs. Grayson argues that the government has never cut off unemployment insurance when the unemployment rate was higher than eight percent. Grayson also voted for FDA oversight of tobacco products, which would give the FDA power to regulate tobacco.

Grayson made it a priority to increase the amount of federal money returning to his district. He often said that people in his district had been "exporting taxes and importing debt." During his first year in office, the amount of federal grant dollars returning to the district nearly doubled with a 98% increase.[63][64] Grayson established a grant notification system that notifies subscribers immediately when a federal grant opportunity in their areas of interest becomes available. He also hired a full-time grants coordinator who focused solely on helping people navigate the federal grants process.

Economic stimulus

Grayson was a co-sponsor of the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, which would provide additional provisions to audit the Federal Reserve, including removing several key exemptions.[62]

Following the AIG bonus payments controversy, Grayson joined fellow freshman Democrat Jim Himes of Connecticut to introduce the Grayson-Himes Pay for Performance Act, legislation to require that all bonuses paid by companies that had received funds under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 be "based on performance".[60] The bill was co-sponsored by eight other members of the House. On March 26, the bill was approved by the House Financial Services Committee by a vote of 38–22 and on April 1, the bill was passed by the full House of Representatives by a vote of 247–171.[61]

On a September 2009 Alex Jones Show segment, Grayson criticized Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke's senior adviser Linda Robertson, saying "Here I am the only member of Congress who actually worked as an economist, this lobbyist, this K-Street whore, is trying to teach me about economics!"[56][57] Robertson had previously worked as a lobbyist for Enron.[58] Grayson's language was widely criticized as inappropriate,[59] and Grayson apologized.[58]

During his first term in office, Grayson supported Ron Paul's Audit the Fed legislation.[53] Grayson gained attention for exchanges with Federal Reserve System Vice Chairman Donald Kohn and Inspector General Elizabeth A. Coleman.[54] The 5-minute examination of Coleman in the House Financial Services Committee was posted on Grayson's official YouTube page, and as of December 2010, it has been viewed more than 4 million times.[55]

Federal reserve

Political positions

In October 2013, his campaign sent out a fundraising email that compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan. It used the image of a burning cross as the "T" in Tea Party. Matt Gorman of the National Republican Congressional Committee described the e-mail as "hateful words and imagery". Grayson defended the comparison, saying that "here is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation."[52]

Best known in his first term for making incendiary comments about Republicans, Grayson has focused on working with Republicans to pass amendments that "appeal to the libertarian streak in the GOP". He lobbies colleagues personally and in July 2013, David Weigel of Slate magazine called him "the most effective member of the House" and said that he was approaching "an unheralded title: The congressman who’s passed more amendments than any of his 434 peers".[51]


Legislation sponsored

On the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Grayson's "New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2009". The bill asked the president to present Congress's highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, to Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins, as well as John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. Only about 200 medals have ever been awarded in the country's history. The New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2009 passed the House unanimously on July 20, 2009.[49][50]

On September 14, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.RES 686, Grayson's "Teach the Constitution Week" bill. The bill urged high schools to spend one week each September teaching the United States Constitution to high school seniors and also encouraged students to petition the government on an issue of personal importance to them to demonstrate their understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States. The non-partisan resolution was passed by a voice vote and featured 222 co-sponsors.[46][47][48]

Grayson is considered a progressive Democrat. He supported Barack Obama in 2008. He was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, of which he was vice-chairman.[44] Grayson twice joined Republicans to oppose the raising of the federal debt limit. He said, "We need to live within our means. We need to eliminate wasteful spending. If we did those two simple things, we would not need to raise the debt limit."[45]

Grayson was the second Democrat to represent Florida's 8th congressional district since its formation after the 1970 census (it was the 5th District from 1973 to 1993 and has been the 8th since 1993). The only other Democrat to represent this district, Bill Gunter, left to run for the United States Senate in 1974 after only one term.



On November 6, 2012, Grayson defeated Todd Long 63%-37% to return to Congress after a one-term absence. He described his victory as "the biggest comeback in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives."[42] Although the two districts had different boundaries, Grayson claimed the House historian had told him that the shift from a 56%-38% loss in 2010 to a 63%-37% victory in 2012 was the biggest comeback in congressional history.[43]

On July 11, 2011, Grayson announced in an e-mail to supporters that he planned to run once again for Congress.[40] Grayson ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for the newly created 9th District in Central Florida.[41]


On election day, Webster defeated Grayson 56%-38%.[38][39]

Grayson was endorsed by 8th district resident, former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), who characterized Webster as having "13th-century views" on women's issues.[35] Former DNC Chair and Vermont governor Howard Dean called Grayson a "healthcare hero."[36] Grayson received more votes for "progressive hero" from Democracy for America than any other candidate in the country.[37]

On [32][33] Grayson was also heavily targeted in attack ads funded by groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the 60 Plus Association.[34]

Grayson ran a September 2010, commercial calling Webster a "draft-dodger"[24] (Webster had received student deferments and a draft classification as medically unfit for service),[25] and a later 30-second commercial calling Webster "Taliban Dan" and warning viewers that "Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom, in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida."[26] Grayson's ads were criticized for editing video mid-sentence to make Webster appear to be saying things he did not.[27][28] Grayson released a toned-down version without the edited video or Taliban references in early October.[29][30]

Grayson was challenged by Republican nominee Florida Whig Party candidate Steve Gerritzen.[23]


In late 2007, Grayson announced that he would run again for the 8th district seat, and again faced Stuart in the primary. In the August 26, 2008 Democratic primary, Grayson defeated Stuart 49%-28%, with three other candidates splitting the remaining 24%.[21] During the general election campaign, Grayson maintained a consistent lead over Keller, who had only slightly won renomination in the Republican primary over attorney Todd Long. On election day, Grayson defeated Keller, 52%-48%.[22]


In 2006, Grayson first entered into electoral politics, losing the 2006 Democratic primary for Florida's 8th congressional district to Charlie Stuart, a prominent local businessman and conservative Democrat.[19] Stuart went on to lose the general election to incumbent Republican Ric Keller.[20]



U.S. House of Representatives

Grayson made his fortune as the co-founder and first president of IDT Corporation (International Discount Telecom).[11][17][18]

President of IDT Corp.

[16] such as "Bush lied, people died".bumper stickers reporter described Grayson as "waging a one-man war against contractor fraud in Iraq" and as a "fierce critic of the war in Iraq" whose car displayed Wall Street Journal In 2006, a [15] The jury verdict was more than $13 million, which was upheld on appeal in April 2009. The case remains the only successful prosecution of those who profited illegally from the war in Iraq. The Iraq war contractor fraud case brought Grayson his first national attention.[13] provisions.qui tam and its False Claims Act On behalf of his clients, Grayson filed suit under the [14][13] in Iraq.Coalition Provisional Authority, employed individuals who were found guilty of making fraudulent statements and submitting fraudulent invoices on two contracts the company had with the Custer Battles contractors. One contractor, Iraq war fraud cases aimed at whistleblower In the 2000s, he worked as a plaintiffs' attorney specializing in [10] In 1991 he founded the law firm Grayson & Kubli, which concentrated on

Grayson worked as a law clerk at the Colorado Supreme Court in 1983,[12] and at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1984 to 1985, where he worked with two judges who later joined the U.S. Supreme Court: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.[2] He was an associate at the Washington, D.C. firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson for five years, where he specialized in contract law.

Law career


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