Senate

Grayson draws ethics complaints, attacks from fellow Democrats

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By Scott Powers, Orlando SentinelAlan_Grayson_official_photo_113th_Congress

July 08–While he remains uncommitted as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando came under increasing attack from fellow Democrats on Tuesday, including one who filed an ethics complaint against him.

Celeste Bush, chairwoman of the St. Lucie County Democratic Party, asked the Office of Congressional Ethics Tuesday to investigate Grayson’s Cayman Islands-based hedge funds.

The Grayson Master Fund (Cayman) L.P. and the Grayson Fund (Cayman) Ltd. came under scrutiny last month when the news service Politico reported the use of his name is an apparent violation of ethics rules.

It was the second such ethics complaint filed against Grayson this week.

Grayson’s office did not offer a response Tuesday. In June he told Politico that he had followed all disclosure rules and that the funds do not run afoul of ethics rules.

But both Bush and the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, which filed an ethics complaint Monday, disputed that interpretation.

Although Bush said she was filing the complaint “of my own accord as a concerned citizen,” she is a Democratic leader in the district of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, the leading Democrat running for the U.S. Senate. She stated that Grayson “has betrayed the trust of voters.”

Also Tuesday, state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, who has endorsed Murphy, issued a sharply critical statement on Grayson, calling him “an embarrassment and detriment to the party.”

The complaints and criticism come as Grayson appears close to deciding whether to run for the Senate seat opening up because U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is running for president in the 2016 election.

While Grayson has said little about his ambitions since May, he is doing well in polls against Murphy. In a survey of 881 registered Florida Democrats taken June 16-20, Gravis Marketing of Winter Springs gave Grayson a commanding lead, with 63 percent to Murphy’s 19 percent.

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(c)2015 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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