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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After two months, Alan Grayson's U.S. Senate campaign fixes botched disclosure

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, speaks in October in Tallahassee during the AP Florida Legislative Planning Session for 2016. Grayson is running against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, for the Democratic primary in the race for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Walter Michot / Miami Herald

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, speaks in October in Tallahassee during the AP Florida Legislative Planning Session for 2016. Grayson is running against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, for the Democratic primary in the race for U.S. Senate in 2016.

30

December

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson has fixed his most recent campaign finance disclosure with the Federal Elections Commission almost two months after his Senate campaign incorrectly reported 2,300 donations from a Chicago retiree who hadn't actually contributed a dime to his bid for higher office.

Grayson's campaign in October told the Times/Herald a software glitch was the reason Jacqueline Kirley's name was associated with more than $37,000 in contributions to the Orlando Democrat and that the campaign had already started working to fix its report for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

But the error took two months to resolve. Campaign staff wanted to be doubly sure there were no further problems that would need correcting, Grayson spokesman David Damron said this week.

"We had to have the software company fix the initial glitch, and they corrected the errors, and then we checked the report over a few times to assure accurate final numbers," Damron said.

FEC records show the amended report was sent by overnight delivery on Dec. 17, a day after a Times/Herald reporter inquired with the campaign about the status of the corrected disclosure.

Grayson is running against fellow U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, and North Palm Beach attorney Pam Keith in the contentious Democratic primary for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat. Four Republicans are running in the GOP primary.

In a letter received Dec. 21 by the Secretary of the Senate -- where Senate candidates are required to submit their campaign disclosures to the FEC -- Grayson's campaign explained the reason behind the error, echoing the explanation it offered two months ago:

The error was caused during a software upgrade. ... Somehow during the upgrade a single contributor and ActBlue were assigned the same identifying number. This duplication caused every earmarked contribution received from ActBlue to be duplicated under the individual.

Grayson's campaign previously said Kirley's name had been in their donor database because she made a small contribution to Grayson’s first House campaign back in 2008 through a MoveOn.org fundraising pitch.

The amended report also shows some of Grayson's figures were revised for the third quarter. The campaign said in its letter that "it was discovered that some payments were entered twice. There (sic) additional payments have been removed from the operating expenditures." Also removed was a $20,000 refund to Kirley that the campaign inaccurately accounted for.

A comparison of the original and amended third-quarter disclosures shows that Grayson took in almost $23,000 less than he first reported in October and also spent nearly $32,000 less than first reported. In the revised disclosure, he reported having $258,700 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30, or about $9,000 more than he reported having in the bank two months ago.

With backing from the Democratic establishment, Murphy has out-fundraised Grayson by almost 4-1. Murphy had raised altogether almost $4.2 million and had nearly $3.5 million in the bank, as of Sept. 30.

Senate candidates' next campaign disclosures are due Jan. 31.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 10:59pm]

    

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