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Mitch Perry Report for 8.26.15 — Alan Grayson thriving with small-dollar donations

A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday shows that none of the Democratic or Republicans running for the U.S. Senate next year in Florida are well known enough to ask voters who they would vote for next year. That seems hard to believe when one of those candidates is Alan Grayson, but so be it.

With more than a year to go before the Senate primaries in both parties, on the surface of it, the Grayson-Murphy fight should be a battle royal.

However, as the media at times tend to obsess on Grayson’s personality and some of his caustic remarks, the positive passion he ignites with his supporters should not be ignored.

Last week the Center for Responsive Politics reported that among the major candidates running for the Senate nationwide,  Grayson received the largest proportion of his funds from small-dollar donations (under $200) at 47 percent, or almost $213,000 out of nearly $454,000 raised.

Right behind Grayson is former Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, another cult hero on the left, who is attempting to win back a Senate seat in the Badger State in 2016. Those two Democrats are the only two candidates who have small-dollar donation shares in the 40 percentile range. No other candidate nationally has such distributions in the 20 or 30 percentile ranges, much less 40 percent.

Based on my Twitter feed, there are some Democrats in Florida freaked out by Grayson, convinced that he can’t win a general statewide election. Nobody knows for sure, but the aggressive stances that the 32-year-old Patrick Murphy has taken again Grayson already shows that the Jupiter Representative knows he can’t take anything for granted, and frankly is less known than the garrulous firebrand from Orlando.

In other news …

Speaking of Grayson, he has a web ad on the Internets out this week that mocks Murphy for his alleged lack of productivity in the House of Representatives, though PolitiFact questions its content.

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Integrity Florida & The LeRoy Collins Institute have teamed up for a new report on campaign finance laws in Florida — both on a state and local level.

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Activists in Hillsborough County want the school district to comply with a federal program called the community eligibility provision, a program partially paid by the federal government that guarantees a free breakfast and lunch to students who qualify for it.

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Jeff Brandes filed a bill earlier this week to give property owners a tax break on leased renewable energy devices.


Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at

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