The congressman who once called Dick Cheney a vampire is raking in the cash.
Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat whose sharp-tongued jabs have stirred the cockles of liberals everywhere, raised a whopping $470,000 for his re-election campaign on a single day in March, perhaps a testament to a frustrated liberal base eager to have a candidate as full-throated as some of their Republican counterparts.
His March 27 Internet “money bomb” (full disclosure: his campaign advertised the money bomb fundraiser on this site) raked in just shy of $500,000. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a similar fundraising day last year raked in $514,000.
His campaign says 93 percent of donors last quarter were individual givers; the average gift was $32. Grayson counted 25,000 donors, most of which he says came from the Internet.
“Congressman Grayson is proof that you do not need to suck up to lobbyists and Wall Street to be effective,” said Julie Tagan, an adviser told the Sentinel. “He is the epitome of people power.”
Grayson is expected to report $1.5 million in cash on hand at the end of the quarter.
Regardless of his fundraising totals, the Florida Democrat came into his seat with a considerable sum of his own funds: as a lawyer, he spent $2.7 million of his own money on his 2008 campaign.
Grayson has inspired a following with his populist, anti-big business rhetoric. After the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could spend unlimited sums on campaign ads, he told Raw Story in an interview that the decision could have unintended consequences.
“You won’t have any more senators from Kansas or Oregon, you’ll have senators from Cheekies and Exxon. Maybe we’ll have to wear corporate logos like Nascar drivers.”
“Anytime Exxon feels like it, Exxon can go and claim one of the 435 Congressional districts in this country, and drop $100 million in cash to pay for ads to knock off anybody they don’t like,” he added. “To them, that’s an insignificant amount of money.”
Grayson critics have focused on an incident in which he was airlifted from a coup attempt in Niger on a plane operated by Blackwater. The congressman has been ardently opposed to the use of private military contractors.
“The flight was arranged through the State Department,” spokesman Todd Jurkowski told the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York in February . “The congressman did not know, and frankly did not care, who owned the plane.”
The multimillionaire attorney came to national prominence during debate on the Democrats’ health care bill, in which he said that Republicans’ health care plans involved having Americans get sick and die early.