Mar 30, 2014



The following sponsored email was sent to you by AlterNet on behalf of Rep. Alan Grayson:

Your Voice. Don't Let Dirty Money Silence It.

Dear Terry:

Recently, Slate Magazine identified the Member of Congress who had passed more amendments on the Floor of the House last year than any other Member. A Democratic Member who was constantly winning votes in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. A Congressman in only his third year in Congress, without seniority, without a leadership position, who was going toe-to-toe against Committee Chairmen, and winning. A Congressman who passed one provision after another that promoted progressive principles, in defiance of the House's Tea Party leadership. Slate called him the "most effective Member of the House."

That was me.

Business Insider, hardly a bastion of progressivism, recently asked the question, "Who introduced the most bills in Congress in 2013?" Many people assumed that it would be a Committee Chairman, or a "Ranking Member," or a senior Congressman or Senator who had accumulated draft legislation over many years. But they found that it was a second-term Congressman who had not only drafted dozens of bills, but also hundreds of amendments. Someone who had contacted the House Legislative Counsel to start drafting bills even before he took office. Business Insider called him the most productive Member of Congress.

That was me.

And these are not bills or amendments to rename a post office, or establish a committee, or require a report from some obscure federal agency. Not at all. Outnumbered and outgunned in the Tea Party House, we nevertheless found a way to pass meat-and-potatoes progressive provisions like these:

  • Defeating the military-industrial complex's plan to deploy weaponized drones in the United States.
  • Instituting a "corporate death penalty" against crooked government contractors who cheat the taxpayers and the troops.
  • Prohibiting racial profiling and other violations of our constitutional rights by the Department of Homeland Security.
  • In an era of tight budgets, conjuring a 50% increase in federal funding for bilingual housing counseling.
  • Reprogramming of tens of millions of dollars out of the weapons budget and into the biomedical research budget.

And off the Floor, when war with Syria loomed, I did seven national TV interviews in a single day, to make sure that the public was properly informed of the facts. Because when it comes to war, it's our money, and it's our blood, so it should be our decision.

And when the proposed federal budget included a cut in Social Security benefits, I wrote a petition that drew an incredible 3,000,000 signatures against "any and all" cuts in our benefits – and then I delivered that petition to both the President and to the Speaker of the House.

Let me sum it up for you this way: I'm a Progressive. And I get things done.

And let me tell you something: you pay a price for that.

I was elected to Congress in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, what Hillary Clinton called "the vast right-wing conspiracy" saw what I could accomplish, as a freshman. So they mobilized to defeat me. The "independent expenditures" (a/k/a "sewer money") against me reached $5.5 million – at that time, the most sewer money that had ever been spend in a House race, anywhere, ever. Four million dollars of that came from the deep pockets of the right-wing Koch Brothers alone. And they did beat me in 2010.

But now I'm back. Following what the U.S. House Historian told us was the biggest comeback in the history of the House.

Yet the Koch Brothers seem no more fond of Alan v2.0 than they were of Alan v1.0. The Koch Brothers started to run ads against me, in my district, last November. A year before the election.

At the same time, as the Washington Post reported, the National Republican Party "targeted" me, and started an ad campaign condemning me as an "Obamacare co-conspirator."

And whenever I'm the subject on Faux News or hate radio, what Bill Clinton called "the politics of personal destruction" seems to reach new heights. Recently, on Fox News, former Rep. Allen West said that he "prays" for my defeat this year. Hate-meister Bill O'Reilly called me "crazy" and "unbalanced." Hate-meister Mark Levin called me a "circus clown." Hate-meister Sean Hannity smeared me by falsely claiming that I had invited a "designated Al Qaeda terrorist" to brief Congress. Hate-meister "Joe the Plumber" (remember him?) called me a "piece of nose slime" and a "dreg of society."

When Senator (now Secretary) John Kerry was the Democratic candidate for President, this type of personal vilification was called "swift-boating." Well, I'm not just being swift-boated. I'm not just being swift-flotilla'ed. I'm being swift-armada'ed.

Look, this is not some remote hypothetical. You can see where this is already, and you can see where this is heading. When you are a "targeted" House Democrat, it means that the other side is planning to spend $5 million or more to defeat you. You can take my word for it, because it happened to me before. And it worked. I was out of office. For two years, I wandered in the wilderness.

When you are out of office, there ain't nothing you can do for nobody. Think of liberal lions like Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank, Russ Feingold. Think of how much they accomplished in office. And then think of what they accomplished afterward.

How much would Elizabeth Warren be able to achieve if she had lost her Senate race?

So here are two questions for you:

(1) Do you care that there is a Progressive in Congress who can get things done?
(2) If so, then when you see that I'm on the GOP hit list, what are you going to do about it?

Allow me to explain why I am posing these questions to you. Last year, the Houston Chronicle studied Federal Election Commission records regarding the 2012 election. They found that exactly one Member of the House – one out of 435! – had raised most of his campaign contributions from small donors. Only one.

That was me.

[The only Senator, out of 100, was Bernie Sanders (I-VT). And the only Presidential candidate, God help us all, was Michele Bachmann.]

I can't turn to the lobbyists and the PACs and the multinational corporations and the millionaires and the billionaires for campaign support. They would love to be able to buy me, but I'm not for sale. And therefore, I have only one person to whom I can turn for help.

That is you.

Yes, YOU.

More than 100,000 people have contributed to our campaign. You may even be one of them. That's great, and I'm grateful. But that's not enough to counter $5 million. If you haven't contributed today already, then I need you to do that now.

Why now? Because Monday marks our Federal Election Commission report cut-off date. We are under attack. It's time for us to circle the wagons, and return fire. I need your help, and I need it now. We need to hire canvassers, collect petitions, set up phone banks and hand out campaign literature – right away. Every dollar counts. Our deadline is midnight on Monday. Please contribute today.

And the most effective way to do that is to make a monthly pledge. Just $10 or $20 or $25 each month – it adds up. It makes a difference, a huge difference. Every dollar counts.

We are fighting for justice, equality, and peace. We are paying attention, we are working hard, and we are getting things done. And because of that, I am under attack. I need your help, and I need it today.

I know that you are counting on me. Well, it works both ways. I'm counting on you. Please don't let me down.

It's my job. But it's your future.


Rep. Alan Grayson

"Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean that politics won't take an interest in you." – Pericles.

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