Grayson staffers advised him to close hedge fund
© Greg Nash
Top campaign aides for Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE, the outspoken Florida Democrat running in a heated Senate primary, pressed him to close his hedge fund last year, according to emails released Thursday.
In an email exchange from June 2015 obtained by The New York Times, Grayson’s then-campaign manager, Doug Dodson, addressed concerns about the storm of criticism surrounding the account. He suggested closing the fund as a last-ditch effort to save the campaign and avoid further media scrutiny.
“I think I can speak for all of us here that if we could close it we can make this work for us not against us,” Dodson wrote in an email. “If we close it before this story get more traction I definitely think it becomes a footnote in the campaign.”
Grayson's campaign has been dogged by ethics questions about his hedge fund, which was created in 2011 after he lost reelection but remained open when he came back to Congress in 2013.
In late October, Grayson met with an ethics investigator regarding the accusations related to the fund, but he did not provide details of that meeting.
The Florida Democrat told The Hill in November that he closed his funds in the Cayman Islands. But records showed that they still existed, according to The Tampa Bay Times
Dodson explained in the exchange that reporters weren't backing down and opponents would jump on the controversy to use in attack ads. He said it could ultimately help Grayson's Democratic primary rival, Rep. Patrick MurphyPatrick Erin MurphySupreme Court rules that large swath of Oklahoma belongs to Indian reservation Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers seek 5G rivals to Huawei | Amazon, eBay grilled over online counterfeits | Judge tosses Gabbard lawsuit against Google | GOP senator introduces bill banning TikTok on government devices Bipartisan commission to make 75 recommendations to defend against cyberattacks MORE, as they compete for the seat being vacated by Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? Senate Intel leadership urges American vigilance amid foreign election interference MORE (R-Fla.).
“These article are really good fodder for our opponents to use in ads and mail etc.,” Dodson wrote in the email. “It give Murphy great cover when we want to hit him for being the Wall Street puppet.”
But Grayson pushed back that closing the account could make him look guilty and suggested holding off.
“I still think that it would be taken, wrongly, as an admission of guilt, and it would set off a new round of reports,” Grayson replied in an email. “As I said yesterday, I think that we should wait and see.”
Dodson, along with two top advisers, departed from the campaign five months after the email correspondence.