Thursday, December 14, 2017
Politics

Grayson vows to stay in Senate race, calls ex an abuser

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Democrat Alan Grayson vowed to stay in the state's Senate race despite calls from party leaders to stand down over abuse claims from his children's mother, and he alleged she was the abuser who repeatedly hit him and their five children.

Grayson previously has made the same claims in court documents during a messy divorce and pointed to them as well as a video that shows Lolita Carson-Grayson throwing kitchen objects at one of their children. The video was recorded by that child and shown by Grayson's campaign to the Associated Press.

The unpredictable liberal firebrand has defied Democratic leaders' wishes by challenging their favored candidate, moderate Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy, in the Aug. 30 Florida primary. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and No. 3 Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer have both called on Grayson to drop out after Politico detailed four police reports and medical records, filed by the mother of Grayson's children, alleging he abused her. Two liberal groups have pulled their endorsements, and Grayson's campaign confirmed Thursday that four staffers were quitting. But Grayson is refusing to back down.

"I've had so many people come up to me wherever I am that say they support me and believe in me," Grayson said in the telephone interview, expressing his determination to stay in the race.

The latest twist with Grayson only adds to Democrats' headaches in Florida, a crucial swing state that they had high hopes of winning when it looked like incumbent GOP Sen. Marco Rubio was going to retire. Instead, following Rubio's failed presidential bid, Senate GOP leaders lured him into announcing late last month that he would run for re-election.

Pointing to court documents filed in an effort to gain custody of his children, Grayson told the AP that Lolita Carson-Grayson once came at him with a knife, and he defended himself.

Those documents say Carson-Grayson engaged in "monstrous destructive behavior." They accuse her of biting their then 14-year-old child and twisting another child's fingers so badly that the child had to be taken to the hospital. They claim Carson-Grayson called police on her children and lied to authorities in attempts to have them arrested.

A photo provided by the campaign shows another child with bite marks on his arm.

Lolita Grayson told Fairfax County, Va., police in 1994 and 1999 that the congressman had been hitting her for several years. In 2005, she made a similar claim to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, saying he had previously hit her "four or five times," but she didn't want to have him arrested.

Shortly after she filed for divorce in 2014, she told police the congressman shoved her into a door, but the investigation was quickly closed after police were given video, taken by a congressional staffer, that showed she struck him, but he didn't hit her.

Attempts to reach Carson-Grayson by phone were unsuccessful. She didn't reply to an email asking for more information. Her lawyer has not returned messages left with his office.

Comments
William March: AG candidate Ashley Moody called ‘liberal;’ bill takes Orlando money for Tampa transit

William March: AG candidate Ashley Moody called ‘liberal;’ bill takes Orlando money for Tampa transit

Ideological divides in Florida’s Republican attorney general primary race are producing some early negative campaigning, with a strong Tampa Bay area flavor.State Rep. Jay Fant, R-Jacksonville, one of four candidates, has attacked the early frontrunn...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Senate race motivated Alabama’s white, black evangelical voters in different ways

Senate race motivated Alabama’s white, black evangelical voters in different ways

Nationally, the word "evangelical" has become in recent years nearly synonymous with "conservative Republican" and Alabama is one of the most evangelical states in the country. But in Alabama, there is a difference: black Christians.While in many par...
Published: 12/13/17
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith named to fill Franken seat

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith on Wednesday to fill fellow Democrat Al Franken’s Senate seat until a special election in November, setting up his longtime and trusted adviser for a potentially bruising 2018...
Published: 12/13/17
Elections chief: Automatic recount unlikely in Alabama race

Elections chief: Automatic recount unlikely in Alabama race

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Still-uncounted ballots are unlikely to change the outcome of the U.S. Senate race in Alabama enough to spur an automatic recount, the state’s election chief said Wednesday as Democratic victor Doug Jones urged Republican Roy Moore...
Published: 12/13/17
Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trump’s turf

Democrats jubilant, and newly confident about 2018, as Alabama delivers win on Trump’s turf

The Democrats’ seismic victory Tuesday in the unlikely political battleground of Alabama brought jubilation — and a sudden a rush of confidence — to a party that has been struggling to gain its footing since Donald Trump won the presidency 13 months ...
Published: 12/13/17
Tax package would lower top tax rate for wealthy Americans

Tax package would lower top tax rate for wealthy Americans

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans on Tuesday rushed toward a deal on a massive tax package that would reduce the top tax rate for wealthy Americans to 37 percent and slash the corporate rate to a level slightly higher than what businesses and co...
Published: 12/12/17
Trump signs $700 billion military budget into law

Trump signs $700 billion military budget into law

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping defense policy bill that authorizes a $700 billion budget for the military, including additional spending on missile defense programs to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear w...
Published: 12/12/17
Donald Trump Jr. demands inquiry of House Intelligence Committee leak

Donald Trump Jr. demands inquiry of House Intelligence Committee leak

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, has asked the House Intelligence Committee to open an investigation into leaked information related to his closed interview with the committee last week."To maintain the credibility of the in...
Published: 12/12/17
Original Watergate lock that burglars picked open is going to auction

Original Watergate lock that burglars picked open is going to auction

WASHINGTON -— It’s the lock that launched a two-year investigation and took down a president. And now more than four decades later — and for a starting bid of $50,000 — it can be a really wonky conversation piece.Nate D. Sanders Auctions will auction...
Published: 12/12/17
Democrats say Trump’s tweets about Gillibrand sexist, unsavory

Democrats say Trump’s tweets about Gillibrand sexist, unsavory

WASHINGTON — Plowing into the sexual harassment debate in a big way, President Donald Trump laced into Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday, tweeting that the New York Democrat would come to his office "begging" for campaign contributions and "do anyth...
Published: 12/12/17