U.S. representative Michael Grimm, a Republican who represents Staten Island and Brooklyn, said on Saturday he supported a U.S. military strike in Syria, but on Thursday he changed his position and withdrew his support, saying the window for action had passed. That’s not so unusual — people change their minds, positions develop, and so on. What was odd about Grimm’s move was that he followed it up with an e-mail to his campaign’s list that included two pleas for a $25 donation based on the change in position. Grimm obviously thinks that’s odd, too, because his spokeswoman is blaming it on a third-party contractor and says Grimm is “furious” about the fund-raising links.
“The email was intended to be a message to supporters informing them of the congressman’s withdrawal of support for a strike on Syria,” said spokesman Carol Danko. “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.”
As the Hill points out, Grimm is one of Congress’s more vulnerable members, having won by just five points in 2012 in a district that also voted for Obama. So he can’t really afford to make gaffes. And it would appear Grimm, who has been accused of shady fund-raising in the past, considers this “careless error” to be one.