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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Alan Grayson lacks evidence for accusation about Patrick Murphy's father and All Aboard Florida

U.S. Senate candidate Alan Grayson dismissed a New York Times story about his hedge fund as "full of s---" in a sit-down with CBS4’s Jim Defede, a reaction so wrong his own campaign corrected him on the facts.

But that wasn’t the only attack in the interview that ran off the rails. Grayson called rival Patrick Murphy a "walking, talking crook" and zeroed in on Murphy’s wealthy businessman father, another focal point in the race between the two Democratic congressmen running for Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat.

Grayson accused Murphy of flip-flopping on the passenger rail project when it snubbed a bid from builder Thomas P. Murphy Jr., owner of Coastal Construction Group.

Murphy "switched his vote on All Aboard Florida and tried to destroy the program -- the only Democrat in the entire country who voted to destroy the All Aboard Florida program -- because his father tried to get in a bid to build it and was unsuccessful," Grayson said May 15. "So he went from being in favor of the program to being against the program. That’s certainly using your congressional influence. He tried to kill the entire program -- the only Democrat to do so -- because his father didn't get a contract out of it."

Did Murphy really flip-flop on votes for All Aboard Florida after his father’s company lost its bid?

There is no dispute that Murphy initially supported the rail project and later opposed it. There is dispute, however, over why he did it.

Murphy’s campaign argues that he came out against the project as he learned more about it and heard community opposition. Grayson, who supports All Aboard Florida, points to more nefarious reasons, but he doesn’t prove his charge that it was connected to Murphy’s dad’s business.

There’s also an issue with Grayson’s wording about flip-flopped "votes." There were two votes in Congress related to the financing, but Murphy consistently voted no on those votes. The Grayson campaign acknowledged to PolitiFact Florida that Murphy changed his "support" for the project, but not his votes.

PolitiFact Florida rated this statement Mostly False for a lack of evidence. To read all the details, click here.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 19, 2016 9:49am]


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