Patricia Sullivan (R), who is challenging Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) in next year's midterm elections, will file a House ethics complaint against the congressman regarding his controversial new website.
In a release issued Thursday, Sullivan, who is a 'tea party" activist, said that the website, titled namesofthedead.com, violates a number of House ethics rules, including using personal funds to subsidize official House business and using a floor speech to direct attention to a campaign entity.
"As a mom, Patricia has learned to apply swift correction to bad behavior. She will be filing a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics later today," Sullivan's campaign said in the release.
"If the committee sees fit to censure the violations of Rep. Grayson, perhaps the residents of the 8th congressional district will no longer be subject to the constant embarrassment they have endured over the last few months," she added, calling his behavior "wreckless [sic]."
The website, which is designed for people to log the names and stories of people who died due to lack of health insurance, raised the ire of Republicans when it was launched Wednesday. The National Congressional Campaign Committee (NRCC) alleged that the site violated the ethics rules since Grayson spoke on the floor about the website.
Grayson paid for the website with personal funds.
The site contains links to Grayson's personal and campaign websites, which is prohibited. The congressman, who gained attention for saying Republicans' health plan is for ill people to "die quickly," did not respond to a request for comment regarding the site by press time Wednesday.
NRCC spokesman Andy Seré also suggested that the congressman's site may violate federal campaign law since personal money cannot be used fund campaign operations without it being directed through a campaign committee.
"Whatever excuse he wants to say ... it doesn't matter. Either way it appears to violate a rule," he said.
UPDATED 12:40 P.M.
The Orlando Sentinel is now reporting that Grayson spokesman Todd Jurkowski said that the congressman read the ethics rules before creating the site, but is now consulting with relevant House and campaign committees regarding the site:
Jurkowski says Grayson is indeed seeking feedback about the rules on this one from the House Ethics Committee and the House Administration Office, as well as the congressman's Federal Elections Commission lawyer.
"Congressman Grayson personally read all the rules and regulations (he is an attorney after all) and determined this was not a violation," Jurkowski wrote in an e-mail.
UPDATED 4:31 p.m.
According to a release from Sullivan, she filed the ethics complaint at 12:50 p.m. today.
In response to the complaint Grayson said in an e-mail:
There are no violations. Once again, the Republicans are trying to change the subject from what matters to what doesn’t matter. Why can't they talk about the issues? In the hours since they started complaining about this, more than 100 people have died because they do not have health insurance. Let's talk about saving lives, not about baseless complaints about violations that did not occur.