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Thread: Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned

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    Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned

    Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned - Roll Call

    One of Rep. Alan Grayson’s pollsters is running for the state House in Florida as a Tea Party candidate, fueling Republican suspicions that the Democratic Congressman is using a newly formed third party to boost his own re-election bid. A call to Torres was returned by Nick Egoroff, communications director for the Florida Tea Party, who described Torres as a “quasi-paralegal assistant who works in a law office.” But apparently, Torres is also a pollster.

    According to records from the Florida Department of State office, Torres incorporated Public Opinion Strategies Inc. in December 2008. In the first quarter of this year, Grayson’s campaign made two payments to her firm, totaling $11,000, for polling and survey expenses. The name of Torres’ company is curious, considering Alexandria, Va.-based Public Opinion Strategies is one of the largest and best-known Republican polling firms in the country. Egoroff declined to say if Torres has worked for any other clients, and her company doesn’t appear to have a website.

    “We definitely do not poll for Democrats, nor do we have an office in Orlando,” said Glen Bolger of the Virginia-based POS. “However, we do wish Congressman Grayson the worst of luck in November.” Dave Beattie, a prominent Florida-based Democratic pollster, also said he had never heard of Torres or her polling firm. A spokesman for Grayson confirmed that Public Opinion Strategies Inc. is one of three pollsters the Congressman has employed. Dr. Jim Kitchens is Grayson’s principal pollster, but his campaign also uses Middleton Market Research. The use of multiple pollsters simultaneously in the same cycle is highly uncommon for a Congressional candidate.

    ...

    The Florida Tea Party was founded in August by attorney Fred O’Neal. Egoroff later signed on as communications director, and the party (including Dunmire’s Congressional candidacy) is promoted by Orlando political consultant Doug Guetzloe. Guetzloe and Egoroff were suspended by the Florida Republican Party late last year, but there are differences of opinion about why that happened. An extensive June 14 Orlando Sentinel article detailed multiple connections between Grayson and Guetzloe. The Congressman appointed Guetzloe to a small-business advisory panel, and Guetzloe’s son interned in Grayson’s Congressional office. In addition, Republicans note that the two men have a financial connection since Grayson is running campaign ads on Guetzloe’s conservative radio show.
    A subsequent article found that the payment to Torres was actually $20,000, not $11,000, and had much more details about the arrangements.

    Grayson Paid Company Formed By Fla. Tea Party Candidate - Politics News Story - WKMG Orlando

    To recap:

    -Last year, a Democrat-turned Republican and a few friends founded a group called the "Florida Tea Party." One of those guys (Guetzloe) was very close to Alan Grayson (D), with his son interning in Grayson's office, Grayson appointing him to an advisory panel, and Grayson handing him money to advertise on his radio show. Guetzloe has also been convictied of election law violations.

    -The Florida Republican Party kicked these guys out of the party. They were subsequently sued by other tea party folks who accused them of misappropriating the name to advance their own cause.

    -The "Florida Tea Party" is running Congressional candidates in exactly three districts. Those three districts happen to be districts where the election is projected to be close and a third-party conservative could tilt the outcome toward the Democrats.

    -The group is now also running a "quasi-paralegal" for a state senate seat. That "quasi-paralegal" just so happens to work for Guetzloe, the one who is close to Grayson and has been convicted of election law violations. She and that Guetzloe created a political consulting firm (based out of her house) with a name that is identical to that of a well-known Republican firm.

    -Nobody in Florida has ever heard from her, and there's no evidence that she's worked on any campaign before now. Despite that, Grayson paid her $20,000 this year for "polling services," shortly before she announced her "Florida Tea Party" candidacy.

    -In spite of the fact that she claims to be the owner of a political consulting firm that took in $20,000 over the past 6 months from Grayson, she filed an affidavit in an unrelated lawsuit in April stating that she had "no cash, no income, no potential income, no stock and no possible asset from any corporation." In a deposition, she stated "When Guetzloe requests things to be done, I do things for him that he asks for me to."

    ...

    So what does all this add up to?

    Is it proof of some grand conspiracy? No.
    Is it proof that this group and all its candidates are plants? No.
    Is it fairly strong evidence that there is some underhanded **** going on? Yes.

    Many in Congress and on this site were adamant in their insistence that there be a criminal investigation in SC, where there was not even a hint of a link between the GOP and Alvin Green. I hope that those people will be as adamant in pushing for an investigation in this situation, where there are direct financial dealings between Grayson and two of the members of this group.

    tl;dr: Grayson has given more than $20k to a sham corporation that was created by a friend of his through his paralegal. That same friend is heading up a group called the "Florida Tea Party" which is running candidates in races where Democrats will benefit from a splitting of the Republican vote.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 06-23-10 at 04:29 AM. Reason: clarify names
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    Re: Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned

    Two more fun tidbits:

    1) Not only is the "quasi-paralegal" who works for Guetzloe running for state office on this ticket, but so is another guy who works for Guetzloe's radio show. Only problem? That guy, who is 26, lives two hours away from the district that Guetzloe recruited him to run in. But don't worry, they have it under control: "Guetzloe said the party would take care of the campaigning for Pantoja when he can't make the drive."

    2) Aside from Grayson's race, one of the other Congressional candidates is particularly shady. There, the "Florida Tea Party" recruited a woman to run against the Republican Congressman and his Democratic challenger. Only problem? The "Florida Tea Party" candidate that they recruited has made contributions to various Democrats, including the Democrat she's running against.

    This whole thing reeks like ****.
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    Re: Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned

    So let me get this straight - the Democrats turned Republicans who were kicked out by the FL Republican party, are associating themselves with the "Tea Party" and are playing wolf in sheep's clothing in hopes of confusing voters.

    It reeks like **** because it is ****. But they're smart. I guess if Republicans were smart, they'd cause just as much chaos in associating some of their members in key State races, as "Progressives", claim an association - stamp on "Coffee Party" for the moderate liberals and change their rhetoric until after the election. All it does is cause confusion and chaos. I'm not confident the press will sort it out and I'm pretty sure those not paying close attention will make mistakes in voting for these idiots. They should be outed.

    Wondering - is there any state laws that prevent say a Progressive Democrat from running publicly as a Conservative Tea Party member? I would guess not.
    “I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute.” - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned - Roll Call



    A subsequent article found that the payment to Torres was actually $20,000, not $11,000, and had much more details about the arrangements.

    Grayson Paid Company Formed By Fla. Tea Party Candidate - Politics News Story - WKMG Orlando

    To recap:

    -Last year, a Democrat-turned Republican and a few friends founded a group called the "Florida Tea Party." One of those guys (Guetzloe) was very close to Alan Grayson (D), with his son interning in Grayson's office, Grayson appointing him to an advisory panel, and Grayson handing him money to advertise on his radio show. Guetzloe has also been convictied of election law violations.

    -The Florida Republican Party kicked these guys out of the party. They were subsequently sued by other tea party folks who accused them of misappropriating the name to advance their own cause.

    -The "Florida Tea Party" is running Congressional candidates in exactly three districts. Those three districts happen to be districts where the election is projected to be close and a third-party conservative could tilt the outcome toward the Democrats.

    -The group is now also running a "quasi-paralegal" for a state senate seat. That "quasi-paralegal" just so happens to work for Guetzloe, the one who is close to Grayson and has been convicted of election law violations. She and that Guetzloe created a political consulting firm (based out of her house) with a name that is identical to that of a well-known Republican firm.

    -Nobody in Florida has ever heard from her, and there's no evidence that she's worked on any campaign before now. Despite that, Grayson paid her $20,000 this year for "polling services," shortly before she announced her "Florida Tea Party" candidacy.

    -In spite of the fact that she claims to be the owner of a political consulting firm that took in $20,000 over the past 6 months from Grayson, she filed an affidavit in an unrelated lawsuit in April stating that she had "no cash, no income, no potential income, no stock and no possible asset from any corporation." In a deposition, she stated "When Guetzloe requests things to be done, I do things for him that he asks for me to."

    ...

    So what does all this add up to?

    Is it proof of some grand conspiracy? No.
    Is it proof that this group and all its candidates are plants? No.
    Is it fairly strong evidence that there is some underhanded **** going on? Yes.

    Many in Congress and on this site were adamant in their insistence that there be a criminal investigation in SC, where there was not even a hint of a link between the GOP and Alvin Green. I hope that those people will be as adamant in pushing for an investigation in this situation, where there are direct financial dealings between Grayson and two of the members of this group.

    tl;dr: Grayson has given more than $20k to a sham corporation that was created by a friend of his through his paralegal. That same friend is heading up a group called the "Florida Tea Party" which is running candidates in races where Democrats will benefit from a splitting of the Republican vote.
    How about that? The Democrats now have their own version of South Carolina. LOL.

    For the record, I believe it is unethical and wrong in both places.
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    Re: Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned

    Quote Originally Posted by Ockham View Post
    Wondering - is there any state laws that prevent say a Progressive Democrat from running publicly as a Conservative Tea Party member? I would guess not.
    Not against running, though depending on how it was funded and whether they were serious candidates, it could be illegal. Paying $20,000 to a shell company could certainly be illegal.

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    How about that? The Democrats now have their own version of South Carolina. LOL.

    For the record, I believe it is unethical and wrong in both places.
    How are the two situations even remotely analogous?

    In SC, there isn't a shred of evidence that there's any tie between Greene and the GOP. Moreover, the race was a two person Democratic primary, so in order for it to make a difference, the GOP would have somehow have to trick 51% of Democrats into voting for the guy. Even then, it would only make a difference if the other guy would have won the general election.

    In FL, there's conclusive evidence that Grayson has paid upwards of $20,000 to the guy who's pushing the "Florida Tea Party." The races in which these candidates are running are hotly contested general elections, so in order for it to make a difference, the third party candidates would only have to siphon off 2 or 3% of the vote.

    These are two very different situations.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 06-23-10 at 01:19 PM.
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