Alan Grayson (D-FL-26)
Alan Grayson Congressional Candidate Florida District 26
Alan Grayson Biography from Archived House.gov
Biography of Alan Grayson
There is right, and there is wrong. We in Central Florida have sent someone to Washington who fights for what’s right.
Our Congressman, Alan Grayson, grew up in the tenements in the Bronx. It was a hard life. He had to be a fighter to survive.
His parents were teachers. They made great sacrifices, to make sure that Alan received the best education.
Alan was a sick child. His mother took him to the hospital four times a week, for treatment. Without health coverage, he would not be alive today. He remembers that.
Alan rode the subway to school each day, and he worked hard. He was the valedictorian of his junior high school. By passing a test, he was admitted to an exclusive public high school. In high school, he achieved the highest test score among almost 50,000 students who took the test. Harvard College saw something in him, and admitted him.
For Alan, life at Harvard wasn’t easy. Alan cleaned toilets, and worked as a night watchman. Yet he earned a bachelor’s degree in only three years, with high honors, and he was Phi Beta Kappa. Alan graduated from Harvard in the top two percent of his class.
Alan took economics classes at Harvard, and he worked as an economist after college. But he felt a calling, to learn more. He returned to Harvard. In only four years, Alan received a J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, and a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Government, and Alan finished all of the course work and passed the general exams for a Ph.D. in Government.
Alan’s master’s thesis was on the important subject of gerontology – how to improve the health of older people. Alan called for the creation of an organization to support research on the health of seniors. Shortly after he left school, Alan formed such an organization: the Alliance for Aging Research. Alan served as an officer of the Alliance for 22 years. Alan’s Alliance has increased federal support for aging research by 500%, leading to breakthroughs in the treatment of blindness, weak bones, Alzheimer’s disease, and other afflictions of the elderly. The motto of the Alliance is “Living to 100 – and Loving It.”
Wall Street firms recruited Alan heavily when he graduated from Harvard Law School, but Alan chose to be a judge’s assistant instead. For two years, he worked with such luminaries as Judge (now Justice) Ginsburg, Judge (now Justice) Scalia, Judge Mikva, Judge Bork, and others. After that, he accepted an invitation to join the law firm where Judge Ginsburg’s husband was a partner.
From the beginning of his legal career, Alan gravitated toward the important question of how the Government spends the taxpayers’ money. He mastered the incredibly complex rules regarding government contracting, and represented hundreds of clients in that field.
In the early 1990s, Alan took leave from the practice of law, and started a business. Alan was the first President of IDT Corp., a telecom/internet company. The business started on the second floor of a funeral home. It grew to be a $2 billion-a-year business, on the Fortune 1000 list, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In short, Alan has lived the American Dream, starting a successful business and seeing it grow.
Later, Alan decided to leave that business, and return to the practice of law. Alan and his wife also decided to move to Orlando, and raise a family. Their first child, Skye, was born in 1995. Now they have five children: Skye, Star, Sage, Storm and Stone. Storm and Stone, twins, were born in 2005.
After Alan went back to the field of government contracts law, he began to represent whistleblowers, who witnessed fraud against the Government. Alan brought more and more False Claims Act cases on behalf of those whistleblowers, against fraudulent contractors. After the war in Iraq began, Alan was the only attorney who was willing to pursue such cases, in the face of hostility from the Bush Administration. Congress called on Alan four times to testify about contractor fraud in Iraq. Taxpayers Against Fraud named Alan Grayson its Lawyer of the Year. Public Justice also recognized Alan for his work. The Wall St. Journal lauded Alan, saying that he was “waging a one-man war against contractor fraud in Iraq.” And Vanity Fair published an 11-page profile.
Alan’s mammoth struggle against contractor fraud has been applauded by liberals and conservatives alike. And now that he is in Congress, he can do even more to protect the taxpayers. He has joined the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees of both the House Financial Services Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee. There, Alan does what he has been doing for decades – “keeping ‘em honest.” And furthermore, with a quarter century of experience in how the Government spends its money, Alan can help to direct more of that money to Central Florida, where we need it.
*2010 Archive copy* Biography from Committee to Elect Alan Grayson
Alan’s Fight Against War Profiteers
“Mr. Grayson has filed dozens of lawsuits against Iraq contractors on behalf of corporate whistle-blowers. He won a huge victory last month [March 2006] when a federal jury in Virginia ordered a security firm called Custer Battles LLC to return $10 million in ill-gotten funds to the government. The ruling marked the first time an American firm was held responsible for financial improprieties in Iraq.” – The Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2006
In the words of Senator Dorgan, there is an “orgy of greed” in Iraq. Vice President Cheney’s old firm Halliburton gets billions of dollars in no-bid contracts. War profiteers run wild, stealing millions from both US taxpayers and the Iraqi people. Corrupt corporations plunder Iraqi reconstruction funds, sabotaging the war effort. And the Bush Administration does nothing to stop it.
Everyone is concerned about the War in Iraq. Alan Grayson has done something about it.
Alan has taken on the biggest corrupt defense contractors, and won. His work on behalf of taxpayers has been recognized and applauded not only in the Wall Street Journal, but in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, CNN, 60 Minutes, the BBC, and newspapers and magazines in dozens of countries around the world.
Alan and his wife, Lolita, have five children – Skye (12), Star (8), Sage (6) and two-year-old twins, Storm and Stone.
Alan grew up in “the projects” in the Bronx. He heard the squeal of the wheels of the elevated trains, every five minutes, all day and all night. At the age of 12, he took the subway to school, by himself. At the age of 11, a bully threw him under a moving bus. He lived.
Six years later, he took the standard test for 12th graders in New York. Almost 50,000 students in the Bronx took that the same test. Alan received the highest score.
Alan was accepted to Harvard College. He cleaned toilets there, and worked as a night watchman. He graduated in three years, with high honors.
Then he went to graduate school at Harvard. In only four years, he received a law degree (with honors), he earned a master’s degree in Government, and he finished the course work and passed the general examinations for a Ph.D.
After graduate school, Alan worked as a judge’s assistant at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He worked with Judges Ginsburg, Bork, Scalia, and Starr. He then joined Judge Ginsburg’s husband’s law firm, where he represented government contractors.
In 1990, Alan left the practice of law, and started a new business – IDT Corp. Alan was the first President of IDT. Today, IDT is a Fortune 1000 public company, with $2 billion a year in sales. Alan took his profit from IDT, and invested it in many other small companies. Today he owns between one and ten percent of a dozen different public companies.
Twenty years ago, Alan helped to found the Alliance for Aging Research, to help promote health and a good life for older people. The motto of the Alliance is “Living to 100 – and Loving It!” Alan has served as an officer of the Alliance for two decades. He also supported the work of Arnold Palmer Hospital for many years.
In the ’90s, Alan returned to the practice of law. For many years, he represented honest government contractors. Over the years since the beginning of the Bush Administration, however, he has seen the bad drive out the good. Fraud and corruption among government contractors grows and grows. The Bush Administration did nothing to recover the stolen money, protect the taxpayers, punish the thieves, or even safeguard the U.S. troops using and wearing defective equipment and supplies. And so Alan found his calling – like an Avenging Angel for the taxpayers and soldiers, he has sued the war profiteers in the name of whistleblowers, and forced them to disgorge their ill-gotten gains.
Do you know where you still on the political spectrum? See “Political Beliefs, Where Are You” to find out where you stand.