One of the big headlines that comes out of political campaigns is the amount of money raised and money spent by candidates. Depending on the race, campaigns can live or die by the amount of money that's raised.
While some candidates rely on deep-pocketed donors, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-US House District 9) says he's the king of the small donations. In a recent interview, Grayson had this to say about his 2012 campaign fundraising efforts:
"I’m the only member of the House of Representatives who raised most of his campaign funds in the last election from small contributions of less than $200."
Our partners at PolitiFact Florida pulled the records to see if Grayson was accurate. PolitiFact reporter Joshua Gillin says that Grayson's claim rates TRUE on the Truth-O-Meter. Gillin said that, in this case, the numbers don't lie.
"We looked at the donations from the 2012 election cycle," said Gillin. "What we found was that 57 percent of the $3.1 million that Grayson raised came from donations that were $200 or less, so that part of his claim checks out."
PolitiFact then took a look at Grayson's under-$200 numbers and compared them to the other members of the House of Representatives that were running for re-election in 2012. "When we got those numbers back, we found out that it was, in fact, true that Grayson was the leader of the under-$200 donation," said Gillin. "In terms of dollar amounts, Grayson led House members with $1.8 million in small donations," said Gillin. "Another Florida lawmaker came in second place... Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from South Florida with $1.2 million in small donations."
Because the Federal Election Commission numbers backed him up, Alan Grayson's claim rates TRUE on the Truth-O-Meter.
SOURCES: Alan Grayson the king of small donations?
- PolitiFact ruling
- Democracy Now, "Grayson on money and politics: if we do nothing we can kiss this country goodbye," April 16, 2015
- Center for Responsive Politics, Alan Grayson campaigns, 2006-2014
- Center for Responsive Politics, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson fundraising, 2013-14
- Center for Responsive Politics, "Mass appeal: who is on top with coveted small donors," Nov. 4, 2014
- Center for Responsive Politics, Rep. Patrick Murphy fundraising, 2013-14
- Federal Election Commission, Top 50 House Campaigns by receipts in 2010 and 2012
- Michael Malbin of The Campaign Finance Institute and University at Albany, "Small donors: incentives, economies of scale, and effects," October 2013
- Palm Beach Post, "Alan Grayson says ‘probably yes’ to Democratic Senate primary vs. Patrick Murphy," April 16, 2015
- Boston Review, Article by Adam Bonica, July 22, 2011
- Florida Election Commission, Campaign guide, June 2014
- The Hill, "Grayson eyes Florida Senate seat," Feb. 3, 2015
- Tampa Bay Times The Buzz, "Fla Insider poll sizing up Fla’s ‘16 Senate race," Jan. 30, 2015
- PolitiFact Florida, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s Truth-O-Meter record and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy’s Truth-O-Meter record, Accessed April 24, 2015
- Interview, David Damron, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson spokesman, April 24, 2015
- Interview, Douglas Weber, Center for Responsive Politics senior researcher, Feb. 4, 2015
- Interview, Viveca Novak, Center for Responsive Politics spokeswoman, April 24, 2015
- Interview, Russ Choma, Center for Responsive Politics money in politics reporter, April 23, 2015
- Interview, Brendan Glavin, Campaign Finance Institute data and systems manager, April 23, 2015