Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2014

Grimm Fundraises Off Syria Vote | #NY11

Grimm Fundraises Off Syria Vote | #NY11

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., sent out a fundraising email Thursday, asking supporters for campaign contributions after changing his mind about authorizing targeted strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Grimm, who is facing a competitive re-election this cycle against top Democratic recruit Domenic Recchia, initially supported targeted strikes against Assad. However he changed his position on Thursday, saying he felt the time to act had already passed.

In an email to supporters that same day, Grimm solicited $25 donations.

“Will you stand with me in opposing President Obama’s plan with a donation of $25 or more right now?” Grimm asked in the email.

Grimm’s office says the inclusion of a fundraising appeal in the email was an error by the vendor the congressman uses for his communication with supporters, and that he never intended to fundraise off of the issue.

“The email was intended to be a message to supporters informing them of the congressman’s withdrawal of support for a strike on Syria,” Grimm spokeswoman Carol Danko said in a statement. ”The dollar ask was included automatically by the vendor, and was never approved by the congressman. He is furious over this inappropriate inclusion and has taken appropriate actions to ensure that this careless error never happens again.”

Grimm is one of the few Republicans who represents a district President Barack Obama carried in 2012. Obama won New York’s 11th by a 4-point margin that year.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has placed Grimm in its Patriot program for vulnerable incumbents, which provides fundraising and communications support to members facing competitive re-election battles.

New York’s 11th District is rated a Lean Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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