A group of Florida Tea Party activists plan to subpoena Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and a local political consultant Thursday as part of a lawsuit that alleges the congressman played a role in putting forth a sham Tea Party candidate to aid his own reelection bid.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a subpoena was served to Grayson's wife at their Florida home Wednesday while the congressman was in Washington, D.C.
"It's obviously a publicity stunt," Grayson said. "The timing is no coincidence. This lawsuit has been going on for months. Why would they suddenly need my testimony two weeks before the election?"
It's the latest twist in a months-long battle over the tea party identity — a battle that's grown statewide but is centered in Grayson's Central Florida district.
Members of the tea party movement accuse Grayson, a liberal Democrat, of colluding with Guetzloe, a Republican consultant and one of the founders of the Florida Tea Party political party. The party's first candidate was Peg Dunmire, a business consultant running in Grayson's 8th District.
Florida Republican Party officials contend that Dunmire is a spoiler meant to pull conservative votes away from Webster, easing the way for Grayson's re-election.
Grayson faces a tough race against state Sen. Daniel Webster (R) this fall and has been under fire for the past week over his latest attack ad.
Grayson labels Webster, "Taliban Dan" in the ad and attempts to paint the Republican as a religious extremist by employing footage from a Webster speech at a Christian conference in 2009. Grayson has defended the ad, but video of Webster's speech shows the ad quotes the Republican out of context.