Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz Resource Wasters for GOP

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: April 21, 2014 3:55 AM
Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Even as Republicans look to expand their majority in Congress, they could fall into the trap of mining for fool’s gold, mistaking conservative passion for voter discontent with two liberal members of the U.S. House. 

Republicans would love to knock off Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz in November. But both of those incumbents have done well with fundraising while their Republican opponents simply haven’t kept pace. With both of them sitting in very secure Democratic districts, Grayson and Wasserman Schultz head to November with near insurmountable advantages.

Grayson loves to antagonize Republicans. Back in October, he compared the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan and, in 2010, compared the GOP to the Nazis. In his unsuccessful bid for a second term in 2010, Grayson lashed out at Republican Dan Webster’s evangelical faith, calling him “Taliban Dan” and mocking his religion.

Even though he lost to Webster in 2010 by 18 percent, Grayson quickly bounced back to win a newly drawn congressional seat in 2012 which was much more of a Democratic safehold. Granted 2012 was a Democratic year but Grayson impressed with his big win, destroying Republican Todd Long, 62.5 percent to 37.5 percent. By the end of March, Grayson had brought in $1.4 million -- $1.2 million from individuals -- and had around $380,500 on hand. As one of the wealthiest members of Congress, Grayson should face no problem adding to his coffers and he can always rely on a national network of liberal fans.

Grayson’s three Republican foes simply haven’t kept pace. Carol Platt raised more than $168,000 from individuals and relied on almost $31,800 of her own funds to help her campaign. But Platt has been burning through her cash with $34,530 on hand at the end of March. Jorge Bonilla had more on hand -- almost $39,450 -- but has raised only $88,303 in the campaign so far. Peter Vivaldi was even less impressive, bringing in $24,466 and holding on to less than $1,500 when the first quarter ended. None of them have shown themselves to be able to compete with Grayson in the money chase despite Republican anger toward the congressman.

Supporters of the three Republicans insist there will be some factors coming into play in November that can help turn things around. They argue that a Hispanic candidate could help cut into Grayson’s stronghold in the large and growing Puerto Rican population in this Central Florida district. Pointing to 2010, they say Republicans show up to vote more than Democrats during off-year elections. Grayson’s fiery temper and strong personality could always blow up on him.

But these are long shots at best. Grayson is in firm control of this district where Democrats have a strong edge over Republicans in party registration.

Wasserman Schultz has an even higher profile than Grayson, serving as chairwoman of the DNC. But Wasserman Schultz also has an even bigger advantage when it comes to Democrats over Republicans in her district. She doesn’t have Grayson’s wealth but she can also rely on donors all over the country and is much higher in the Democratic pecking order than her colleague.

By the end of March, Wasserman Schultz had raised more than $1.35 million and had almost $557,000 on hand. Having cruised to victory for most of her political life, taking more than 70 percent in elections, Wasserman Schultz suffered a setback in 2010 when she took only 60 percent while Republican Karen Harrington garnered 38 percent. Despite a bunch of noise from conservatives, Wasserman Schultz did better in 2012 after redistricting, expanding her lead over Harrington to 27.5 percent in the rematch.

Joe Kaufman, who lost to Harrington in the primary last time out, is back again. While the FEC is still itemizing most of his funds -- almost $297,775 actually -- he’s brought in more than $112,000 from individuals so far and had $135,778 in the bank by the end of March. Republican primary rival Juan Garcia raised almost $46,600 by the end of March but only had $15,229 on hand. Republicans are already at a disadvantage in this deep blue district and Wasserman Schultz’s fundraising lead only adds to her advantage.

Republicans have their chances to defeat Democratic congressmen in Florida with Joe Garcia and the increasingly secure Patrick Murphy in their sights. The GOP can make a lot of noise against Grayson and Wasserman Schultz -- but the votes and the money simply aren’t there. These two Democrats should face few problems skating to re-election come November.

Tallahassee-based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (9)

3:45PM JUL 22ND 2014
How can I stop Alan Grayson from non-stop spamming my email? I don't even live in Florida, wow what a smart guy or the people trying to get him elected, either one, good luck.
10:36AM APR 21ST 2014
How come we continue to see low lives like grayson and schultz win elections. They talk trash, lie and even when caught lying they lie on top of that lie. Theirs audio and video tapes that prove they are lying and hurting the People of Florida. That's right hurting. They represent you.
It's Not Politics It's Organized Corruption
11:32AM APR 21ST 2014
Yep! You are right - there are audio and video clips proving they are lying!

And, there are also semi-truck loads of audio and video clips proving that Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Charlie Crist and..on and on.......
are criminals each in their own right -

But you watch - they are the only authorized political candidates from which the "pee on's" will be allowed to select their leaders.

Kid of makes one want to take a dose of laxative and cleanse our the toxins don't it?
Gene Ralno
10:24AM APR 21ST 2014
Grayson is a well-known chancre on the democrat nose. Schultz is just a low down, yankee liar and scum merchant. Hopefully, once and for all, their Florida voters will wake up before November.
Joe Goldner
8:58AM APR 21ST 2014
This article is overstated and wrong. Both Alan Grayson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are in trouble because of Obamacare and the policies of Obama. In CD 23 which is Debbie Wasserman Schultz district she has disregarded and thrown all of her constituents over the cliff. The seniors are getting shafted because of the lost of Medicaid and Medicaid Advantage, the fact that their prescriptions have doubled and some cases tripled, less doctors and less time at their doctors office. The Jewish community is hurt by her support of Obama and his policies which have hurt every single Jew and Israel and without those two groups of constituents she loses. FIRE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ THIS NOVEMBER, VOTE JOE KAUFMAN
Bruce Drummond
8:52AM APR 21ST 2014
Bring in the Koch brothers - my tax monies being given to many organizations that donate in part much of this fed money - are you listening you old man from Nevada - I hope this makes you cringe. monies being raised honestly - blame it on the GOP right Debbie?
Bruce Drummond
8:52AM APR 21ST 2014
Bring in the Koch brothers - my tax monies being given to many organizations that donate in part much of this fed money - are you listening you old man from Nevada - I hope this makes you cringe. monies being raised honestly - blame it on the GOP right Debbie?
Brian Maday
8:45AM APR 21ST 2014
There is no doubt that these two 'carts are crazy, but that they are committed SOCIALISTS. Since I'm a FL guy, I'm watching them both, and the author of this article has greatly overstated the backing of BOTH of these nuts. They are NOT in really BLUE areas, more purple.
8:03AM APR 21ST 2014
Grayson and Wasserman-Schultz, being two of the most vile members of Congress, getting re-elected AGAIN, is very disheartening. I know Republicans and Democrats have different opinions regarding how the country should be run, but even the most ignorant person can see these two as what they are, insane, power hungry morons.

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