Grayson Cuts Campaign’s Ties to Web site

Posted October 22, 2009 at 4:06pm

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) eliminated links Thursday between his re-election campaign and a health-care-related Web site he had promoted on the House floor, but he denied the revision was related to Republican allegations that he had violated House rules.“We took the link down on our own accord. We were not ordered to do so,— Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski wrote in an e-mail to Roll Call. The scuffle began Wednesday when Grayson, equipped with a poster on the House floor, touted a new Web site, namesofthedead.com, which he had created with his own funds. The Web site states that it accepts and publishes submissions of the names of individuals who have allegedly died “because they have no health insurance.—Grayson came under fire last month for saying that Republicans want the sick to “die quickly.— He later used the remark to raise thousands for his re-election campaign.The National Republican Congressional Committee had criticized Grayson because the site included a link to his re-election site, which accepts donations for his campaign fund.House ethics rules generally prohibit Members from mixing official business with campaign business and from campaigning or fundraising in the Capitol.Patricia Sullivan, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Grayson in 2010, also submitted a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday, requesting it review the incident.“Mrs. Sullivan was astounded by the comments made in the Orlando Sentinel that Representative Grayson, an attorney from Harvard, personally read all the rules and regulations and did not realize there was an ethical violation,— Sullivan’s campaign stated in a press release. “As a Mom, even Patricia understands that ignorance of the law does not permit the breaking of the law and is not a valid excuse.—The OCE was established by the House in 2008 to review and recommend potential ethics violations to the House ethics committee.Although it does not have a formal submission process, the office does review complaints from the general public. The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the ethics panel, limits formal complaints to Members.The OCE does not discuss specific complaints, and it is not known if the office has received Sullivan’s grievance. But Grayson’s office said neither the House ethics committee nor the House Administration Committee indicated a problem with the Web site.“There are no violations,— Grayson said in a statement. “Once again, the Republicans are trying to change the subject from what matters to what doesn’t matter. In the hours since they started complaining about this, more than 100 people have died because they do not have health insurance. Let’s talk about saving lives, not about baseless complaints about violations that did not occur.—