Skip to comments.Congressman refuses to quit over comments about Jews (Jim Moron-D)
Posted on 03/11/2003 3:54:57 PM PST by LdSentinal
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, strongly criticized by colleagues and Jewish leaders, apologized Tuesday for his comments that Jewish support for war with Iraq was helping the administration move toward an attack.
Moran said he didn't blame some critics for urging him to step down, but he said, "I don't intend to resign."
The northern Virginia Democrat apologized for remarks he made at a March 3 forum at a local church. Moran, 57, told a crowd of about 120 people, "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq we would not be doing this." He added, "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should."
He said he framed his comments in that way because he was responding to a questioner who said she was Jewish. "I regret doing that," he said.
The story brought criticism from both friends and foes.
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said, "These remarks are shocking. They are wrong and they should not have been said."
Within the seven-term congressman's party, Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle said, "It's a sad day when comments like that are made. They debase the debate and they have no purpose."
Moran's House leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, said, "Congressman Moran's comments were not only inappropriate they were offensive." But she added that he had "properly apologized."
Moran scrambled to mend fences, meeting with at least one northern Virginia rabbi and trying to set up a meeting with others.
"I'm going to make myself available even if it's only to give people an opportunity to scream and yell at me because if it does lead to some constructive dialogue that would be even better," Moran said.
Some Jewish leaders were not impressed. "I do not believe he's fit for public office," said Ronald Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington. "His ethical lapses and comments should force him to do some soul searching."
Moran has faced criticism in the past over a string of personal financial problems and ethics controversies over his acceptance of loans from parties with interests before Congress.
Give me a break!
Smells a Lott, don't it?
In 1984, then Alexandria City Vice Mayor Jim Moran breached the public trust and was convicted of conflict of interest charges and forced to resign from the City Council.
In 1984 Vice Mayor Jim Moran again breached the public trust was forced to return public taxpayer money to the Alexandria City Treasurer when it was publicized that he had taken a private business trip to Europe at Alexandria City taxpayer expense.
In 1990 Jim Moran again breached the public trust as he violated federal campaign expenditure laws by using a non-federal Political Action Committee to finance his campaign for federal office, and accepted a $10,000 contribution from a developer having immediate business before the Alexandria City Council, before being publicly forced to return said contribution as a conflict of interest.
In 1995, Jim Moran became involved in a physical altercation and assaulted another Member of Congress on the Floor of the House of Representatives. Moran has been involved in at least two other similar incidents, and at numerous time has threatened to punch any of his critics.
In 1998, Jim Moran again breached the public trust when he accepted from MBNA a sweetheart bailout loan well below market rate for anyone else in his financial situation, a loan designed to save him $288,000. In return, Congressman Moran agreed to co-sponsor bankruptcy reform legislation designed to earn MBNA millions of additional dollars at the expense of ordinary citizens who found themselves in the same financial trouble Jim Moran used his sweetheart loan to escape. Moran stated that he never knew MBNA, the largest credit card issuer in the country, had an interest in the bankruptcy legislation.
In 1999, police were called to Jim Moran's home where a domestic disturbance was taking place, and where Moran's wife alleged that he had physically assaulted her. Jim Moran blamed his wife for his troubles.
In 2000, the mother of an 8-year-old African-American boy, backed up by numerous witnesses, accused Jim Moran of physically assaulting her son. Moran responded by saying the young boy tried to carjack him, and told the press he wanted to press charges against the boy.
In 2000, Jim Moran breached the public trust again by accepting an unethical and probably illegal $25,000 personal loan from a BIG-DRUG company lobbyist in return for co-sponsoring legislation designed to earn that company increased profits by banning competing generic drugs from the market.
In 2002, Jim Moran again accepted a personal loan of $50,000 from the Chairman of AOL, a company with numerous interests before the Congress. Moran explained that the check for $50,000 just unexpectedly showed up in the mail one day.
Racism against Jews........OK
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.