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On Wednesday, controversial former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) mocked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, outlined death threats he and other Members received last year and detailed inflammatory rhetoric, asking his supporters to “stand against it.”
“[T]here has been a stream of violence and threats of violence by the right wing against Democrats. [Rep. Gabrielle Giffords] warned against it, and then became a terrible victim of it. Palin has instigated it, and then tried to pretend that it doesn’t exist,” Grayson wrote in an e-mail to supporters.
Grayson said it was Palin’s appearance on “The Sean Hannity Show,” where she complained about being blamed for the attack on Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., that made him angry. The e-mail to his supporters was titled “Gabby Was Right, Palin Is Wrong.”
“Even before I heard earlier Palin’s whining about ‘misguided finger-pointing’ and ‘irresponsible statements from people who are apportioning blame,’ I thought about this: Palin came to my district, and told her people to ‘take me out.’ Palin told people again and again, ‘don’t retreat, reload,’” Grayson wrote.
The former Congressmen went on to list threats he and other Democratic Members of Congress received.
“And the Republicans?” he wrote. “The shot supposedly fired at Republican Eric Cantor’s office was quickly exposed as a hoax.”
Grayson was referring to a bullet found in Cantor’s Richmond, Va., office in March, when Members were threatened during the health care debate. Police found that the shot had been fired at random but did not say any hoax had occurred.
Below the former Congressman’s signature in the e-mail is a link to donate to his campaign, and a disclaimer on that page notes that “unless Alan Grayson declares his candidacy for other office, all contributions will be deemed to be for the 2010 congressional campaign or earlier.” Grayson’s most recent campaign finance report, which covered through Nov. 22, showed that his campaign had $1.6 million in debt and only $36,000 on hand.
Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski did not rule out the Democrat running for office again.
“There is nothing to discuss regarding running again,” Jurkowski told Roll Call in an e-mail. “His only answer has been, ‘If the people want me back, I will be back.’”
Grayson, who lives in Orlando, defeated Republican Rep. Ric Keller in 2006 but lost to now-Rep. Daniel Webster by 18 points in 2010. Florida is expected to gain two Congressional seats in redistricting.