House Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) upset a group of central Florida Republicans on Thursday night when he crashed their meeting and confronted them about an allegation that they had spied on a Democratic campaign group.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Grayson arrived at a Perkins restaurant where some 30 Orange County Republicans were meeting. Amid loud catcalls, he read from a flier that accused the Republicans of infiltrating Organizing for America, President Barack Obama’s campaign organization, and promised more details to come on the allegation.
“I want you to know, this is how low you’ve all sunk to — to the point you’re spying on people,” Grayson told the angry crowd. Cell phone video footage of the incident shows a number of meeting attendees demanding that Grayson apologize for crashing the meeting.
“Show some class, Grayson, apologize,” a voice can be heard saying on the video.
Reporting on the fracas, the Tea Party Patriots Live blog throws the spying accusation back at Grayson, asking: “How did Alan Grayson know about this meeting? Who informed him? Was this staged?”
Grayson has some stake in ensuring that Organizing for America isn’t infiltrated by his political opponents. According to the St. Petersurg Times, Organizing for America is helping Grayson run for re-election this year, as part of a campaign to help all US House members who voted in favor of the health care overhaul.
In March, the group started running a 30-second TV spot thanking Grayson for his vote.
Tea Party Patriots Live reports that Grayson had a 10-minute discussion with one of its radio show hosts, Tom Tillson.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I let him know that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a congressman and he needs to act like one,” Tillson said afterward. “I reminded him that these are his constituents.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In a statement released Friday, mayoral candidate Falconer said that “Grayson pledged to use his own personal funds to defeat me in my race for Orange County Mayor (supporting his Democratic friend Bill Segal). He then told me to get my ‘a** out of his face.’
“I am in awe of the lack of respect he showed for the customers of this restaurant and his constituents,” Falconer wrote.
The following video was uploaded to YouTube by user TwitterRightone, April 9, 2010.