Florida progressives have been slamming Patrick Murphy ever since the Jupiter-based Representative entered the race for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 Senate seat earlier this year, slamming him as a “Wall Street Democrat,” among other choice comments. Their hope is that Orlando area Congressman Alan Grayson enters the contest, giving them a classic choice between a perceived centrist and a tried and true liberal. We’re wondering what they might say about the new rankings that have just been released from the American Conservative Union, which ranks Grayson ahead of Murphy in terms of who voted more conservatively in 2014? “We don’t look to the American Conservative Union for our ratings,” quipped Susan Smith, President of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida. Among the 10 Democrats who represent the Florida’s congressional delegation, Grayson is given a score of 13, ranking him one number higher than former Miami Democratic Representative Joe Garcia, who lost his bid for re-election last November. Murphy gets a score of 4, putting him towards the bottom of the group in terms of conservative votes, tying him with the Tampa Representative Kathy Castor and Palm Beach Congresswoman Lois Frankel. The ACU determined their ratings based on 25 separate votes conducted in the House in 2014, with a 4 being the highest grade for each vote. Among those specific votes include the farm bill, federal land use, defense funding and taxpayer fundings of abortions. Taken from that perspective, there really is probably only a couple of votes that separates a 13 grade that Grayson received, and a 4 score that Murphy earned. Neither man voted very much along the lines that the American Conservative Union would have preferred them to. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Senator Bill Nelson received straight zeroes from the ACU. On the GOP side, Ron DeSantis, the Jacksonville Representative who announced his candidacy for Senate last week, tops the entire delegation with a perfect 100 score. Marco Rubio is next with a 96 score. Pinellas County Representative David Jolly is third from the bottom of all GOP representatives, ahead of only Miami-Dade County Representatives Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart. The Democratic Progressive Caucus savaged Murphy’s entry into the race. “He often sounds more like Paul Ryan than Elizabeth Warren,” remarked Orange County Committeewoman Nancy Jacobson said at the time. The criticism was so stinging that even ignited a call by one Democratic county chairman to have the group disbanded. Meanwhile, Grayson has yet to formally announce his candidacy, though he has essentially said he will do so.
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