Alan Grayson simply doesn’t get it.
Once more, the Orlando Democrat is campaigning through his office in the House of Representatives, despite promising never to do it again.
Last week, Grayson – who is running for Marco Rubio’s vacant U.S. Senate seat — held a radio interview from his House office promoting his political campaign.
In June, Grayson sent a press release from his official office attacking Patrick Murphy, whom he intended to challenge for the Democratic nomination.
Murphy, the Democratic congressman from Jupiter, is also running for the Senate.
In an identical case, the House Standards Committee determined a member had “violated applicable rules and regulations on the use of official resources.” The House Ethics Manual outlines the rule on pgs. 126-127.
Grayson announced his bid for U.S. Senate in July, and held an interview with Huffington Post Live from his House office on the morning he entered Florida’s Democratic Senate primary. He began the conversation sitting at a computer, with flags in his Washington, D.C., office clearly visible.
Later, Grayson was taken off screen, changing the visual to “on the phone” without explanation.
HuffPost Live reporter Alyona Minkovski focused the 15-minute discussion — given from a publicly funded office — on Grayson’s decision to enter the race.
A spokesperson responded to accusations of misuse of government resources by saying “it was a hectic day.” Yet after a barrage of media criticism, Grayson relented, promising he would not violate House ethics rules and federal law in his campaign.
“The congressman will not do any more interviews in his government office regarding his campaign for the U.S. Senate,” his spokesperson said.
Apparently, that promise did not last long.
Just last week, Grayson appeared on the Nicole Sandler radio show, where he conducted yet another interview – again discussing the Senate campaign — from his House office.
More egregiously, Grayson did not even bother to hide the fact.
At the end of the interview, Grayson revealed he was indeed speaking from the House. “That buzzing you heard in the background a couple of minutes ago is the notice that votes have started,” he said. “Yes, so votes have started here in the House.”
Violations such as these are serious; taxpayer money supports the House office space, which is why the Ethics Manual expressly forbids engaging in interviews and other campaign activity from an official office.
Which leads to one question: What is it about these rules does Grayson not understand?