House ethics probe into Grayson’s hedge-fund moonlighting

posted at 8:41 am on February 12, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

How often do investors get advice from hedge-fund managers to seek out “blood in the streets” before investing in hot spots? Probably as often as they have to call the manager Congressman. The House ethics committee has opened an investigation into Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat seeking the nomination for the state’s open US Senate seat, for mixing public service with private enrichment, the New York Times’ Eric Lipton reported late yesterday:

This highly unusual dual role — a sitting House lawmaker running a hedge fund, which until recently had operations in the Cayman Islands — has led to an investigation of Mr. Grayson by the House Committee on Ethics.

The inquiry has become public, but emails and marketing documents obtained by The New York Times show the extent to which Mr. Grayson’s roles as a hedge fund manager and a member of Congress were intertwined, and how he promoted his international travels, some with congressional delegations, to solicit business.

Interviews and the documents show that Mr. Grayson told potential investors in his hedge fund that they should contribute money to the fund to capitalize on the unrest he observed around the world, and to take particular advantage when there was “blood in the streets.”

The emails also show how Mr. Grayson’s work for the hedge fund — which had $16.4 million in assets as of October and only four investors since it was established — at times interfered with his other duties. In August 2015, after Mr. Grayson introduced legislation calling for larger annual increases in Social Security benefits, he signed off on a plan to highlight the proposal at an event in Tampa, Fla., emails obtained by The Times show. But the plan was scuttled, two former aides said, when economic turmoil in China sent stock markets tumbling globally and Mr. Grayson had to turn his attention to the fund.

This is a curious streak of progressive populist, no? Grayson loves to rail on about Wall Street and capitalists, all while running a hedge fund based in part in the Cayman Islands. Four years ago, Democrats tore into Mitt Romney for having a portion of his investments in the Caymans, a tax haven commonly used by wealthy Americans.

This goes beyond hypocrisy, however. Lipton reports that Grayson had campaign staff doing double duty for both his endeavors. His former spokesman was a vice president in the fund while acting as treasurer for the 2012 campaign. His campaign finance director got paid for finding investors at the same time.

Other Grayson political aides tried to get him to dump the side job months ago. Lipton gained access to an e-mail exchange between Grayson and his former Senate campaign manager Doug Dodson in which Grayson was urged to get out before the story blew up. Grayson refused, telling Dodson that it would make him look guilty. “I don’t see how closing the account would change anything,” Grayson wrote on June 30th, 2015. “The media would take that as an admission of wrongdoing.”

That brings us to a very curious point in Lipton’s tale. Dodson wrote earlier on that same day that “the reporters want to write this story badly it is pretty obvious.” This did get reported by the Washington Free Beacon and Saint Petersblog (as well as Daily Kos) within a week to ten days of that e-mail chain. Two months previous to that, Tampa Bay Times reporter Adam Smith had asked about it, and wound up getting a rather bizarre response from the sitting Congressman, which is when I first wrote about the hedge-fund angle:

“This is even worse than Grayson’s girlfriend might run for congress 18 months from now,” referring to a recent Politico story attributed to no named sources. “This is a whole nother level of bull—-….Are are you some kind of sh—–g robot? You go around sh—-g on on people?”

Grayson said he is “probably going to run” for the U.S. Senate and will make a final decision within 60 days. Every time “some bull—- artist calls you up and tries to stick a knife in my gut” makes him more inclined to run, he added.

The “sh—–g robot” meme lived for a few days on Twitter, but other than local and conservative media, the story didn’t go far. In fact, despite the obviously colorful “sh—–g robot” hook, this is the first story that the New York Times has run on Grayson’s hedge fund. That seems odd, considering the NYT’s self-concept as the Paper of Record for both politics and the investment community. Even odder is the fact that it took so long for the House ethics committee to take up the case, and for the investigation to become public. Had someone like Darrell Issa run a hedge fund out of the Cayman Islands, I suspect the media interest in this case would have been significantly more pressing.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

…Debbie What’s her Name soulmate…and sexual partner!

JugEarsButtHurt on February 12, 2016 at 8:44 AM

20 comments or bust.

Right Mover on February 12, 2016 at 8:47 AM

I know how North Korea would address this corruption.

artist on February 12, 2016 at 8:49 AM

For all that, would Grayson be all that much different than Rubio in the US Senate?

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

I wonder who his “managers are

Key West Reader on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Artillary round at 100 yards or wild dogs to eat him alive …. I’m good with either.

David in ATL on February 12, 2016 at 8:54 AM

Democrat….nothing will happen.

albill on February 12, 2016 at 9:01 AM

He’d look good in orange. Shure has got him a purty mouth.

WryTrvllr on February 12, 2016 at 9:04 AM

Nah … he’s safe as long as there’s a democrat administration.

darwin on February 12, 2016 at 9:07 AM

Alan Grayson annulled his marriage to his wife and now his wife and his children live on public welfare

Whadda guy!

Key West Reader on February 12, 2016 at 8:54 AM

Yeah, pretty much says all that needs to be said about his character.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 9:08 AM

So, how’s that Grayson/Trump birther lawsuit/campaign against Cruz coming along?

Pork-Chop on February 12, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Whadda guy!

Key West Reader on February 12, 2016 at 8:54 AM

I really dislike Grayson and think he’s a total scumbag, but something about this stinks.

I don’t know his wife, I feel for his kids, but Grayson did not recently become a scumbag and what kind of woman would be attracted to a scumbag.

cozmo on February 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

You don’t think they have the same kind of stuff on TRUMP?

It only takes a couple of examples and memes and boom, Hillary gets her 5% she needs to win the election and take over the Supreme Court for decades to come.

PappyD61 on February 12, 2016 at 9:13 AM

Corruption is a career enhancement if you have a (D) next to your name.

GarandFan on February 12, 2016 at 9:13 AM

For all that, would Grayson be all that much different than Rubio in the US Senate?

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

You know, I get why people here don’t like Rubio, but this is really a bit much. Alan Grayson is the George Galloway of American politics. You really don’t think there’s any difference between a guy with a 98 lifetime ACU rating and one with a 7.25?

Athanasius on February 12, 2016 at 9:14 AM

I really dislike Grayson and think he’s a total scumbag, but something about this stinks.

I don’t know his wife, I feel for his kids, but Grayson did not recently become a scumbag and what kind of woman would be attracted to a scumbag.

cozmo on February 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

I did a lot of research on Grayson back in 2009 and printed everything out for posterity. He was not just involved in the Ponzi scheme, he was one of its authors. As for his wife and chillens? Her name is Lolita, and his kids are named things like “Skye” “bark” and “tree” or some sh*t like that. Typical leftists. He has a huge property up in Orlando. All the stuff from the 2009 suit was scrubbed but I have it all in print.

Just like the Obama/Holder/Atkisson reporting on the Mexican Gun Running Op’s. I like ink, I like paper.

Key West Reader on February 12, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Well…..Uber-Liberal Democrat…corruption…seems like just the same thing, different day.

ProfShadow on February 12, 2016 at 9:23 AM

odd? ODD???

Hardly Ed, it’s business as usual. Expect it to blow over without a peep from the GOPe.

You are right that if it were a Republican he would be ON FIRE right now because The dems/Media would see to it!

The Difference…the Dems FIGHT …the GOPe Rinos don’t.

You are consistently dumbfounded every time you notice it…amazing.

winston on February 12, 2016 at 9:26 AM

This highly unusual dual role — a sitting House lawmaker running a hedge fund, which until recently had operations in the Cayman Islands
=========================================================

I thought, the Holier then thou Democrat Party,
had declared War, on offshore accounts!!

canopfor on February 12, 2016 at 9:27 AM

For all that, would Grayson be all that much different than Rubio in the US Senate?

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Seriously.

Is this how stupid right wingers want to act now?

AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:31 AM

You know, I get why people here don’t like Rubio, but this is really a bit much. Alan Grayson is the George Galloway of American politics. You really don’t think there’s any difference between a guy with a 98 lifetime ACU rating and one with a 7.25?

Athanasius on February 12, 2016 at 9:14 AM

You’re outrage has caused you to put forward a false analogy. Grayson isn’t the George Galloway of American politics. Bernie Sanders, Paul Wellstone (in his prime), or Sheila Jackson Lee, Elijah Cummings or Jim McDermott are more accurate comparisons to Galloway.

What I see in Rubio and Grayson is the same raw and unconcealed opportunism that I find detestable in politicians. It is all about their personal fortunes and not about public service.

I stand by my comparison.

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Key West Reader on February 12, 2016 at 9:16 AM

I totally believe he’s a crooked scumbag.

It’s the wife needing assistance I ain’t believing.

Is she getting her hair and nails done every week while the kids need a school lunch and food stamps?

Is she taking vacations instead of keeping the home maintained?

cozmo on February 12, 2016 at 9:34 AM

For all that, would Grayson be all that much different than Rubio in the US Senate?

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

You know, I get why people here don’t like Rubio, but this is really a bit much. Alan Grayson is the George Galloway of American politics. You really don’t think there’s any difference between a guy with a 98 lifetime ACU rating and one with a 7.25?

Athanasius on February 12, 2016 at 9:14 AM

It’s a race to the bottom. Who can make the dumbest, most factually incorrect statement.

AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:39 AM

Seriously.

Is this how stupid right wingers want to act now?

AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:31 AM

I stand by my comparison for the reasons cited in a previous post. Rubio is an oily opportunistic politician and not some sort of a sainted public servant. I get the same slimy negative vibe from Rubio that I have always gotten from David Vitter, Anthony Weiner, or Jim McGreevy.

Rubio comes off as inauthentic, insincere, and an empty suit (especially when he goes into full robot mode at debates).

Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 9:46 AM

For all that, would Grayson be all that much different than Rubio in the US Senate?
Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Seriously.
Is this how stupid right wingers want to act now?
AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Wow, an apparently “new” jackass troll floats by calling out the same old first resort, undocumented, infantile insults from his/her/its sewer of existence.

Can’t even recognize “right wingers” willingness to clean their own house and/or call out hypocrisy among their own.

Or is it just petty jealousy among the fascist left? The Quality of Being Moronic it is in any case..

RL on February 12, 2016 at 9:46 AM

They’re not investigating Grayson, just his hedge fund.

– Tlaloc

darwin on February 12, 2016 at 9:48 AM

For all that, would Grayson be all that much different than Rubio in the US Senate?
Happy Nomad on February 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Seriously.
Is this how stupid right wingers want to act now?
AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Wow, an apparently “new” jackass troll floats by calling out the same old first resort, undocumented, infantile insults from his/her/its sewer of existence.

Can’t even recognize “right wingers” willingness to clean their own house and/or call out hypocrisy among their own.

Or is it just petty jealousy among the fascist left? The Quality of Being Moronic it is in any case..

RL on February 12, 2016 at 9:46 AM

First, I have been posting here for quite a while.

Second, your prose are terrible. For God’s sake, take a class on composition, or at least read more.

AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

your prose are terrible. For God’s sake, take a class on composition
AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Too easy.

whatcat on February 12, 2016 at 9:53 AM

your prose are terrible. For God’s sake, take a class on composition
AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

Too easy.

whatcat on February 12, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Pi Prose are not square, prose are round.

/S

-Very glad not to have seen your garbage until now…

RL on February 12, 2016 at 10:02 AM

Alan Grayson…the democrats Donald Trump(PBUH).

Mimzey on February 12, 2016 at 10:02 AM

AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Who would you think would be a “smart” pick for the repubs to nominate as a candidate?

Mimzey on February 12, 2016 at 10:05 AM

I seem to recall that he set up this cayman island scheme because he knew marriage was ending and could avoid having to give spousal and child support.

jaywemm on February 12, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Grayson is the filthiest piece of human trash to ever exist in Florida.

Watch the east coast liberals elect him to Rubio’s vacant seat.

captnjoe on February 12, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Who would you think would be a “smart” pick for the repubs to nominate as a candidate?

Mimzey on February 12, 2016 at 10:05 AM

I am supporting Cruz.

But I don’t see Rubio as some Leftist in sheep’s clothing.

AmerigoChattin on February 12, 2016 at 10:52 AM

Has Teacups quit beating his (now ex) wife yet?

Pain Train on February 12, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Grayson is one of the worst human beings ever. Who the hell voted for this guy?

Hank_Scorpio on February 12, 2016 at 11:54 AM

ALAN GRAYSON
2m

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid calls on Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., to end bid for Senate seat amid ethics investigation – AP
end of alert
================

canopfor on February 12, 2016 at 1:30 PM

I don’t know his wife, I feel for his kids, but Grayson did not recently become a scumbag and what kind of woman would be attracted to a scumbag.

cozmo on February 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM

You don’t have to look far to learn that this isn’t all that unusual.

Here are a few I came up with without really even thinking about it:

The Clintons
The Carlos Dangers
Mr. Wasserman

BobMbx on February 12, 2016 at 2:05 PM

canopfor on February 12, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Dingy Harry is physically afraid of Grayson, and the bad eye, he won’t see the left hook coming.

“No, Alan, we’re not bringing your bill to th…..THOT!”

BobMbx on February 12, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Perhaps Alan, DWS, and Hillary, can share the same holding-cell.

Another Drew on February 12, 2016 at 2:13 PM

Since he’s casting about for a job, he seems perfect for Hillary’s VP slot.

geezerintraining on February 13, 2016 at 9:59 AM