In arguably the most-watched U.S. House race in the country, between Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, and his Republican challenger, former state Senate Minority Leader Dan Webster, the candidates will not have a head-to-head debate over a disagreement on the inclusion of a third-party candidate in their contest.
The Central Florida Urban League announced Tuesday that all of the candidates would be at a forum, but Webster pulled out because of the inclusion of Florida Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire, reports Central Florida Political Pulse:
Webster’s campaign cited a scheduling conflict, but added that the veteran state lawmaker still objects to Florida Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire’s participation.
Tea party activists and the Republican Party of Florida believe Grayson and political consultant Doug Guetzloe conspired to put Dunmire in the race as a spoiler candidate to draw conservative votes away from Webster. As we’ve reported before, Webster won’t debate Grayson if Dunmire is included and Grayson won’t debate if she’s not.
Grayson appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to defend his infamous “Taliban Dan” ad. Grayson conceded one point, when Cooper said comparing his opponent to the Taliban was like calling him a Nazi or a Maoist. “In a way you’re right; we let that ad run and die a natural death. Now we’re running an entirely different ad on the same point,” Grayson said. But the interview quickly turned testy after Grayson accused Cooper of “spinning” the ad:
Grayson is also the target of a new Chamber of Commerce ad. ThinkProgress reported Tuesday that the Chamber receives foreign donations that could go into its electoral efforts. Grayson was the first politician to fundraise off of the Koch brothers — how long before he sends out a fundraising email blasting foreigners for trying to interfere in his election?
Luke Johnson reports on Florida for The American Independent.