A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Florida's 8th Congressional District

The district takes in parts of Orange County, Lake County, Marion and Osceola County. Part of Orlando is in the district, including Walt Disney World.

Alan Grayson was elected to represent the district with 52% of the vote. Barack Obama also received 52% of the vote in this district in 2008. Both capitalized on an aggressive voter registration effort in the 8th District by the Democratic Party, which emphasized registration of traditionally Democratic union workers and an increasing Hispanic (primarily Puerto Rican) demographic in the district.

Grayson is running for re-election against three opponents: Republican Daniel Webster, Independent George Metcalfe, Florida Whig Party candidate Steve Gerritzen, and Peg Dunmire of the Florida TEA Party, a group not affiliated with the Tea Party movement.

During an appearance on the progressive talk-radio “Stephanie Miller Show” on Sept. 02, 2010 — Grayson referred to people attending Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally on Aug. 28, 2010 by saying “These are people who were wearing sheets over their heads 25 years ago.” He also said: “You only have three friends in life: God, your mama, and the Democratic Party.”

2009 health care

In September 2009, during the debates leading to the passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act by the House in November, Grayson quipped during a speech that, "The Republican health care plan is this: 'Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.'" His remarks were widely condemned by Republican politicians but, according to Grayson, were well received by his constituents.
He defended his comment and in a House Floor speech stated, “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven't voted sooner to end this holocaust in America." Grayson, who is Jewish by birth, apologized to the Anti-defamation League for those offended by his generic use of "holocaust".  He also maintained that Congressional Republicans have failed to offer a feasible plan.  In October 2009 he launched www.NamesOfTheDead.com, a website to "memorialize Americans who die because they don’t have health insurance." He subsequently read stories of the dead submitted through the Names of the Dead site on the House floor.

He supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Grayson also voted for the FDA Oversight of Tobacco Products, which gives the FDA power to regulate tobacco products. He voted in support of Eliminating Adjustments of Medicare Rates of Payment. He also voted against Republican substitutes for the health care amendment and insurance law amendments.

On March 9, 2010, Grayson introduced the Public Option Act, a bill which would allow all citizens and permanent residents of the United States to buy into the public Medicare program. Grayson later that March voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

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