Politics & Policy

Grayson Uses Threatened Bop on the Nose as Fundraising Ploy

Just when it seems like every fundraising pitch is the same, a doozie comes out of left field and smacks us in the face.

“We can’t offer you a chance to punch Alan Grayson in the nose,” reads the Florida representative’s latest email to supporters, “but we can offer you a chance to support our campaign.”

The joke, in case you missed it, stems from an exchange last week that could only have happened on the internet. On July 20, Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, jokingly tweeted that he would, “give $100 to first Rep. who punches smary [sic] idiot Alan Grayson in nose.”

Grayson, not known for his rhetorical restraint, took the bait and made an appearance on The Huffington Post the next day to defend himself.

This is how the right wing does it. They pay people to clean for them, to cook for them, to drive for them, and now: To punch for them. Or, more specifically, to punch me for them. We knew they’re crazy. It turns out that they’re also lazy. Too lazy to throw a punch themselves. … But they’re forgetting something. Something very important. We punch back. We punch back with our votes, and our voices. And we will be heard.

Now, lest anyone doubt how seriously Grayson is taking the matter, he’s made the online feud the focus of his latest fundraising pitch. In an email to supporters on Friday, Grayson’s campaign wrote:

You probably heard that a Republican tool in Washington, DC offered $100 last week for someone to punch me in the nose. But you may not have noticed to whom Dan Gainor extended that kind offer. … “Rep.” means Representative, or Congressman. Gainor wanted to motivate a Congressman to hit me. And he thought that offering $100 was the way to do it. […]

The amazing thing is not that Republican Members of Congress are for sale. The amazing thing is that you can buy one for $100, at least according to Dan Gainor. And he ought to know. For modest amounts of money, people like Dan Gainor think that they can buy a tax break. Or a lucrative government contract. Or exemption from regulations. Or a bailout. (Which is why the House Financial Services Committee passed the Shareholder Protection Act yesterday, based on legislation that I introduced months ago — to end the buying and selling of elected officials after the Citizens United decision.)

The brilliance of the pitch is that there are no good indicators as to whether the tongue-in-cheek absurdity is intended, so the reader does a double-take in search of a nudge or a wink. One hopes that Grayson’s staff were chuckling as they wrote the letter. But it’s hard to tell, especially due to the Congressman’s previous statements (like calling Dick Cheney a vampire) and the fact that Grayson signs the letter using the word “Truth,” in place of “Sincerely.”

Read the whole thing and decide for yourself.

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