'Die quickly' congressman creates namesofthedead.com; GOP cries foul

Republicans charged Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) with breaking House ethics rules and election law Wednesday by linking a new political website to his official website.

The new site, namesofthedead.com, seizes on Grayson’s comment on the House floor that the Republican healthcare plan is for people to “die quickly.” It invites visitors to log-in the names and stories of friends and relatives who died because they lacked health insurance.

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Users are prompted to enter their name, address, zip code and e-mail address, as well as their friend’s or relative’s name, hometown and story.

Grayson announced the creation of the site on the House floor Wednesday and displayed a poster with the site’s address. He said the names of those who die because of a lack of health insurance should be identified.

“I propose that we honor their memory by naming them,” he said, concluding his remarks by stating that with healthcare reform, “no one will ever die in America because they can’t see a doctor.”

Grayson, who paid for the new site with his own money, became an overnight sensation with his “die quickly” floor remarks and has attempted to seize on the controversy to raise campaign funds.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) slammed the site’s content and said it violated a number of House ethics rules and campaign laws, including prohibitions against floor speeches intended to direct people to campaign websites. Lawmakers are also not permitted to use personal funds to subsidize official House business, an NRCC spokesman said.

The NRCC also noted that the new site links to both Grayson’s campaign website and his official House website. Commingling publicly funded congressional communications and campaign communications is prohibited.

The NRCC spokesman added that the site also violates campaign law because Grayson paid for it without directing the personal funds through a campaign committee.

“Whatever excuse he wants to say ... it doesn’t matter. Either way it appears to violate a rule.”

“What is wrong with this man? Alan Grayson’s morbid exploitation of ‘the dead’ for personal political gain may be the most shameless stunt he’s pulled yet,” said NRCC spokesman Andy Seré in a statement. “Once again, he’s proved himself to be an abject embarrassment to Central Floridians who want more than a circus clown for a congressman.”

Grayson did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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Grayson has repeatedly defended his original remarks, which were attacked by Republicans but brought the lawmaker new support from the left.

“I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America,” Grayson said a day after the “die quickly” remark.

Grayson has frequently cited a Harvard study that claims 44,000 Americans die every year due to lack of health insurance.