|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The often-polarizing Orlando Democrat expects to report raising $803,000 in the first three months of 2010, a haul that will likely eclipse what all his Republican opponents have raised combined and leave him with $1.5 million in cash-on-hand. It's also enough to outpace nearly every other member of Congress for the second quarter in a row.
During the last quarter of 2009, Grayson raised $861,297, a total exceeded among congressional incumbents only by the $890,387 reported by U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., according to the Federal Election Commission. Berman, a staunch defender of Hollywood interests, is heavily backed by TV, music and movie donors.
But instead of tapping media interests for money, Grayson uses them to promote his brand of progressive pugilism. Grayson made a national splash in a House floor speech last fall, sarcastically blasting Republicans for a health-care reform plan that he said amounts to urging Americans to "die quickly."
He made more waves recently by taking on a Mount Dora doctor who put a sign on his office door urging Obama supporters to "seek urologic care elsewhere."
Grayson is also a brutal critic of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve. A staunch defender of health-care reform, he's filed a so-called "public option" bill that would allow all residents to buy into Medicare.
All this, plus regular appearances on left-leaning TV talk shows, has enabled Grayson to build a nationwide base of small contributors. A March 27 Internet "money bomb" appeal netted roughly $470,000; a similar Nov. 3 event netted about $514,000.
Grayson's camp said the latest totals reflect nearly 25,000 individual givers, who account for 93 percent of his donations. The average gift, he said, is $32, with more than half of his total coming via the Internet.