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Alan Grayson says he ‘founded’ Alliance for Aging Research; Alliance: ‘No comment’

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In a new video released by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson accompanying his Democratic Senate campaign kick-off, the liberal firebrand recounts his impressive rise from the impoverished tenements of the Bronx to the halls of Congress.

Along the way, he says, he started the Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy group Alliance for Aging Research.

“After I finished school, I founded the Alliance for Aging Research,” Grayson says at the 2:55 mark of the campaign video. “We increased funding for research for the cures for diseases of old age by 500 percent.”

According to an anonymous tipster with direct knowledge of Grayson’s dealings, that characterization may be putting too fine a point on his role at the AAR.

The Alliance’s official history affirms that Grayson was indeed heavily involved with the group as a researcher and advocate, to be sure.

But the group lists its founder as former congressional aide Daniel Perry, who retired in March after some 30 years leading the group.

“[E]arly efforts were strengthened by a scholarly assessment of the need for political advocacy in aging research, written by a young attorney and graduate student at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government … Alan Grayson.”

So what gives? A spokesman for the Grayson campaign said — give or take — it depends on what the definition of “founded” is.

“He was an officer from day one, hence a founder,” said Grayson spokesman Kevin Franck.

Grayson was an officer of the group’s board until winning election to the U.S. House in 2008.

But founder?

“This is simply not true,” wrote a source, who also accused Grayson of improperly using footage from a “Healthspan Initiative” video without attribution.

“I don’t know why he twists words to make the truth he wants,” seethed the tipster, who said he once worked alongside Grayson.

Asked for a comment to clarify Grayson’s role as a founder or co-founder of the Alliance, a spokesman said via email simply, “We have no comment on your question.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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