Skip to comments.VA: Rep. Moranís son resigns, but corruption rolls on (Republican opponent claims momentum!)
Posted on 10/24/2012 5:05:33 PM PDT by smoothsailing
October 24, 2012
By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
ARLINGTON Despite a colorful past and a new video that triggered his son’s resignation from the campaign on Wednesday U.S. Rep. Jim Moran appears to be cruising to a 12th term in Congress.
The Northern Virginia Democrat, ensconced in a heavily Democratic district, is squaring off for a second round against Republican challenger Patrick Murray. Moran beat Murray by 24 percentage points in 2010, when turnout was low; political pundits say Moran could be an even heavier favorite this year.
I dont know what the margin in this race will be, but it is not on anyones list of competitive House seats, said Kyle Kondik, analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
Moran has never won less than 56 percent of the vote, or less than 60 percent this century. So theres no reason to suspect hes in any trouble in a district that President Obama won with 69 percent of the vote.
Murray, who lost to Moran 61-37 in 2010, maintains that he has a good shot at the pugnacious congressman, who has left a trail of three divorces, financial reversals and several verbal confrontations.
“Voters in Northern Virginia are tired of Jim Moran’s angry, racist, hyper-partisan attacks,” the retired Army colonel said.
Though Moran might appear vulnerable, his name recognition remains solidly positive in his true-blue district. The National Republican Congressional Committee has not invested any money on Murrays behalf, and Moran holds a $917,987-$180,508 fund-raising advantage, according to campaign filings as of Oct. 23.
If Obama rolls up big numbers in the 8th District, as he did four year ago, Moran would seem to be on his way to another easy victory.
But conservatives call the 67-year-old lawmaker a ticking time bomb.
Arlene Smith, leader of the Arlington County Tea Party, said Morans hot temper remains a liability. An unflattering new video and a Watchdog.org article about Moran’s son, Patrick, fuel the perception of a well-connected, if not ethically challenged, political family.
Patrick Moran resigned Wednesday as his father’s campaign “field director,” just hours after the video posted by Project Veritas showed the 24-year-old appearing to help an undercover reporter engage in voter fraud.
Murray points to the elder Moran’s long-playing record of controversial rhetoric.
“Many news outlets have documented his bizarre behavior from his hurtful anti-Semitic comments that led to his own Democratic Party calling for him to step down, to major ethical lapses involving insider trading, said Murray, a combat veteran who has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department.
A Watchdog.org investigation found that Morans antics date back to the early 1980s, when he was vice mayor of Alexandria. In 1984, he pleaded no contest to conflict-of-interest charges that he used money from a political action committee to rent a tuxedo and buy Christmas cards. A commonwealth attorney later determined Morans actions fit the definition of constituent services, but by then Moran had resigned.
Six years later, he won his first term in Congress, and developed a record as a fiscal moderate and social liberal.
The Boston-bred politician also honed a reputation for playing rough. In 1995, he had to be restrained by Capitol Police during a shoving match with California Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham on the House floor over President Bill Clintons decision to send U.S. troops to Bosnia.
The feisty Moran hasnt always toed the party line. He was one of only 31 Democrats to vote to support launching a formal impeachment inquiring into President Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and some of his acerbic comments defied his partys political correctness.
Moran, meantime, was marrying and divorcing a string of spouses, while digging himself a financial hole. He was criticized for a favorable $477,000 refinance deal from MBNA and later pushed bankruptcy legislation supported by the credit card company.
In the 2011 book Throw Them All Out, author Peter Schweizer alleged that Moran used inside information from a Sept. 16, 2008, briefing, in which federal officials warned of an impending financial crisis.
Days before the stock market collapsed, the Moran family sold off the bulk of its stock holdings.
Murray has tried to capitalize on the book’s charges, but Moran spokesman Austin Durrer calls Schweizers claims an unbelievable fabrication of the truth.
Durrer said the stock portfolio belonged to Morans wife.
Her broker managed and sold off the portfolio. (Moran) wasnt even in the room, Durrer told Watchdog.org.
Though Morans second wife accused him of stock market gambling, the congressmans staff insisted in 2010 that he had not personally made any stock trades in the previous five years.
During the past two years, Moran has made several controversial statements that for better or worse have kept his name in the news. Among them:
Despite the apparent long odds, the Republican challenger said, “We’re really excited about this campaign. I’m running to put people over partisanship, and as I have listened to thousands of voters here, that message really resonates, regardless of party.
The momentum is on our side, particularly because voters here are tired of Jim Moran’s angry, hyper-partisan behavior and ethical lapses. Voters want someone who is focused on them, not on his own re-election.”
Green Party candidate Janet Murphy and independent Jason Howell are also running to unseat Moran.
Contract Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or (571) 319-9824. Earl Glynn contributed to this article.
In my opinion, Jim Moran is one the most corrupt individuals in politics today.
pat moran needs to be sent to jail for violating several state and federal laws concerning vote fraud.
Someone please explain to me why democrats/liberals never think they will get caught.
It’s like dealing with emotional four year olds, they never think they will get caught either.
Agreed, he was second only to Murtha when he was still alive.
On October 22, the Washington Examiner endorsed Patrick Murray...
“In their second matchup, we like Republican Patrick Murray over 11-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Moran. Yes, this is the second-most Democratic congressional district in Virginia, and voters there have long overlooked Moran’s questionable ethics and legendary temper. But Murray — a 24-year Army veteran who served as a military attach? to the United Nations Security Council and was on Gen. David Petraeus’ staff during the Iraq surge — is clearly the better choice. Murray has justly attacked Moran for doing “exactly nothing” about looming sequestration, which threatens to crush Northern Virginia’s local economy. The prospect of gutting our military — or adding to our $16 trillion national debt — should scare even die-hard Democrats to vote for a change.”
I concede your point.
FR is sooooo sloooooow. ;-)
Yes it is, but I’ve at least been able to post this afternoon. :-)
Ultimately, will it matter that he got caught? Being caught with no consequences is hardly incentive to change one’s corrupt ways, is it? I live in this $&#^@(’s district. There is no way, no way, Murray will win, tho we voted for him last week.
They problem is not that they don’t get caught, it’s that they rarely get punished.
>>Someone please explain to me why democrats/liberals never think they will get caught.
It’s because they rarely do get caught. They live in a culture where the majority of their colleagues are corrupt and they feel like fools if they don’t take advantage of the corrupt perqs that are all around them. I will bet less than 1 in 1000 corrupt acts get caught. Plus there are plenty of things that are legally defensible, but not ethical (not in my book). How many Congressmen go on “fact-finding missions” to places that just happen to be good vacation spots and get a free trip out of it? There are so many shady and gray areas, that even the reasonably honest ones may not know where to draw the line.
Then if they do get caught, smoothsailing is right. They don’t get punished. So the odds are very much in their favor.
Won’t make any difference. As Chris Plante says often, this clown should be wiping beer glasses with a dirty rag behind a bar in some Alexandria basement, but for reasons unknown the benighted liberal tools and illegals will return this miscreant to Congress for more graft and fraud.