May 21, 2015

OH, LOOK, ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC TODD AKIN: National Journal: Democrats Have a Todd Akin Problem: Alan Grayson is getting closer to a Senate campaign in Florida. He could cost them a must-win seat—and threaten their chances at a Senate majority.

Rep. Alan Grayson is the Todd Akin of the Democrats—except that he’s louder, more outrageous, and has millions of his own fortune to spend however he sees fit. And Democrats are nervously expecting the former trial lawyer to enter the pivotal Senate race, challenge the candidate party leaders view as more electable, and raise holy hell in the process. . . .

The list of Grayson’s greatest hits is long—and contains equal-opportunity vitriol against Republicans, Democrats, and reporters alike. He reportedly called Murphy a “piece of shit” when recently meeting with DSCC Chairman Jon Tester. In the run-up to a 2010 landslide loss against GOP Rep. Daniel Webster, he aired an ad labeling his opponent as “Taliban Dan” and, without basis, accused him of wanting to outlaw divorce for abused women. Grayson called a Federal Reserve adviser a “K Street whore” and told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that Dick Cheney has blood “dripping from his teeth” when talking. He threatened a conservative constituent with five years of prison time for launching a website titled mycongressmanisnuts.com. Most recently, he asked Tampa Bay Times political reporter Adam Smith whether he was some kind of “shitting robot” when confronted with questions surrounding his offshore investments.

Grayson also is enmeshed in an ugly divorce battle with his wife of 24 years, who has accused him of domestic abuse. He’s vigorously denied the allegations, and has accused her of engaging in bigamy and being a “gold digger.” . . .

Senate Democrats have avoided the intra-party contentiousness, at least in races that are competitive in the general election. They’ve faced little resistance to their strategy of anointing a favorite candidate and watching any opposition dissipate. But if Grayson moves on with a Senate campaign, he’d be a glaring exception to the rule—and his force of personality would ensure his antics wouldn’t necessarily be confined to Florida.

“If you’re Russ Feingold, it would be a distraction. Every day any Democratic campaign could have to respond to what a guy in Florida said, it’s a problem,” said Schale. “There’s a reason why Republicans want Alan Grayson run for the U.S. Senate.”

Related: Anti-Corporate Hero Alan Grayson Keeps Millions in Offshore Tax Shelters.

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