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Case Study: How Brian Moran Destroys Virginia Democrats' Moral Authority

by: lowkell

Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 11:50:02 AM EST

I've made the point a million times that Brian Moran can NOT simultaneously head up DPVA and also be a major figure in the for-profit "education" scam lobby. People don't seem to "get it," but it's very simple; in fact, in the last hour, I've received two emails that help explain it perfectly.

1. First, a friend of mine alerted me to the following article: For-Profit College Chiefs Unwind At Lavish Tahoe Resort.

After two years of intense scrutiny and new federal regulations that have cut into booming enrollments at for-profit colleges, the industry's executives apparently felt the need for a restful break.

They found it this week at the palatial Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe resort, a wonderland of gondolas, heated pools and upscale dining that is a city unto itself...


"You get a treatment yet?" asked Brian Moran, who just stepped down as interim chairman of the trade group and heads Virginia's Democratic Party.

"Just got done with it," said Robert Herzog, the CFO of Harrison College in Indiana and a member of the trade group's board.

"Sweet," replied Moran.

Yeah, really "sweet," even as Virginia Democrats are coming off of three-straight disastrous elections, and in the process of watching all the gains we've made during 8 years under Warner/Kaine go down the tubes. Brian Moran? He's out enjoying the "wonderland of gondolas, heated pools and upscale dining" - paid for by taxpayer money, no less. Grrrr.

2. Next, I received an email from the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus (see on the "flip") ripping Republicans for voting "to use taxpayer dollars to fund private schools." Uh, guys? That's EXACTLY what Brian Moran is doing. Exactly! As for Sen. Marsh's charge that this is a "direct attack on public education, make no mistake about it?" Well, make no mistake about it, Brian Moran's organization is also directly attacking public education. The only difference? It's on a much bigger scale at the federal level, thus far more egregious.

Bottom line: Brian Moran can't continue to serve two masters, especially when they are utterly at odds with one another, certainly in a moral sense. So fine; if Brian can live with himself doing the super-lucrative, scam "education" job, then he needs to step down as DPVA chair and find other ways to support the party. Or, if he really wants to be DPVA chair, he certainly shouldn't be defending the bad practices of this predatory industry, let alone suing the Democratic administration. Is any of this difficult to understand? Seriously?!?

lowkell :: Case Study: How Brian Moran Destroys Virginia Democrats' Moral Authority
Senate Republicans Vote to Use Taxpayer Dollars to Fund Private Schools

Senate Bill 131 "is a direct attack on public education, make no mistake about it," said Senator Henry Marsh

Today, Republican senators voted to pass Senate Bill 131, which takes Virginia backwards by setting aside up to $25 million taxpayer dollars to provide tax credits for businesses that donate money to private schools at a time when public schools are crying out for additional state support.

Senator David Marsden (D-Burke) said, "Money is not going to be saved by taking a few children out of the public schools and sending them to private schools. The cost of public schools - the administrators, the teachers and the overhead - are all still there. We would be taking $25 million from the general fund, which we use for education. This is an unfocused, ill-advised way to go, and I urge you to vote against the bill."

"I think that if we are interesting in the improvement of education of impoverished children, then we should put the money into the public schools that serve the majority of these children. At a time when schools are struggling, we be increasing their funding - not sending taxpayer dollars to private schools," said Senator Maime Locke (D-Hampton).

Senator John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke City) said, "This is not about scholarships. Senate Bill 131 is a tax credit, which is a giveaway that sends taxpayers money where taxpayers do not want their money to go. Every school district is screaming for funding from this commonwealth. This bill takes money that could go to public schools and gives it to private schools."

Senator Henry Marsh (D-Richmond) said, "This is a war against K-12 education, and if this bill passes it will usher in a rapid decline in public education. This is direct attack on public education, make no mistake about it."

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Theocratic Education ? (0.00 / 0)
Why should Virginia tax dollars be used to fund the education of the next generation of brain washed theocrats as they learn that laissez-faire capitalism is the direction that Virginia should be going. It is highly unlikely that any donations would be made to secular private schools with their dadgum liberal education.

Video: Del. Scott Surovell on Public Education, Tax Credits and the Virginia Constitution (0.00 / 0)

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More on the Republican war on public education (0.00 / 0)
Read these articles that detail the Republican war on public education.  Not surprisingly, the Koch Brothers, ALEC, and Michelle Rhee are deeply involved in destroying our public schools.

I'd be interested in learning about Moran's connections with ALEC.

How do we get rid of him NOW??

We've (0.00 / 0)
been through this a MILLION TIMES.

The clique-ie good ole boys-will NOT GET RID OF HIM and there seems to be no formal way to do it. Just the fact of all these crazy ass bills currently set to pass in the legislature (personhood, ultrasound to name two) with nary a word about it from the DPVA.

Someone explain to me WHY the democrats in the legislature-ALL of them-cannot just get up and walk out and not vote for anything this session. Is there enough dems to hold up any votes if they left?

sign me frustrated and mad as hell

There is a way. We only have to wait until next year. (0.00 / 0)
Next year when the DPVA has it's reorganization meeting and elects new officers, there will be a solid candidate to replace Brian. I've already spoken with that "solid candidate" and he has confirmed to me that he is available. I can't say publicly who he is until closer to the time for the reorganization meeting, but I have spoken with most of the Central Committee members I know and they have all told me that they will vote for this man as Brian's replacement. When the election occurs, there will be no interference from Warner, Kaine or any other high ranking elected official.

The timing of this diary was perfect. Last Sunday when I was in Richmond sitting in on the training sessions and other presentations just before noon and Dave Mills was about to go to the next subject after Brian had spoken to the group, Brian said he had to leave for the airport to attend a four-day conference related to  his "day job" that pays his mortgage and other expenses. Dave had to take Brian to the airport a short time later so he had to turn that part of the training session over to the next speaker. What Brian didn't say about that conference though was that it was being held at a lavish resort at Lake Tahoe. Poor Brian, not only does he have to work long hours for his CEO pay but he also has to attend the conference and accept all the "sweet" treatment at no cost to him personally as their CEO.

Now the comparison becomes very stark indeed between Dave's dedication to the party and incredible work ethic and Brian's seeming lack of interest in doing much more than delegating most of his own core chair duties to the man who works around the clock for the good of the party. And the man I expect to be elected as Brain's replacement next year will work just as hard as Dave has since he was hired, just without the distractions of a lucrative "day job" that is in direct conflict with core party principles. That also will result in a stark comparison between the current chair's and the new chair's performance.

[ Parent ]
Here's One (0.00 / 0)
Here's one member of the Central Committee you haven't spoken to. However, if the candidate is, indeed, "solid," he/she (something tells me it's sure to be a he.) has my vote.

[ Parent ]
The candidate is a man, and you know him well. (0.00 / 0)
He is well like and respected even by some republicans who like him because they also know him well and trust him to "do the right thing because it's the right thing to do" regardless of his party affiliation.


[ Parent ]
Ummm, Tom (4.00 / 1)
This smacks of precisely the kind of insiders picking their insider buddy/relative nepotism that has hamstrung the DPVA.  If your candidate is so great, then perhaps he ought to cast his banner proudly to the sky and campaign openly for the position while letting us know what his proposed agenda for the organization is.

The Richmonder

[ Parent ]
I'm with... (0.00 / 0)
The Richmonder on this one. If he's going to take down the incumbent, lets get it going now. People are clamoring for change at DPVA.

[ Parent ]
Ditto. (0.00 / 0)
This kind of "we've got a candidate, but of course we can't tell you ha ha" crap REALLY rubs me the wrong way!

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[ Parent ]
Come on, Lowell, I think you know who I mean. And you know I'm no insider. (0.00 / 0)
Given that there's no real possibility that Brian could be convinced to step down from his chair position, there's no good reason for the "solid candidate" I know can win the chairmanship to publicly announce that he's available to serve as the next chair. That would create an unnecessary and potentially harmful distraction from what we need to do this year to re-elect Obama and elect Kaine.

My only motive for saying what I did is to confirm that come the 2013 DPVA reorganization we are no longer subject to "appointment" by Warner. In other words, what I'm saying is intended to covey the hopeful message that all Central Committee members get one vote, and the "Powers that Be" likewise only get one vote each. The decision in 2013 is completely out of the control of the "Powers that Be" and is entirely up to the Central Committee members for each to make his/her own decision as to who can best restore the DPVA to it's true and only mission to elect a state party chair who will take us back to our core beliefs and take back our party from those who have damn near burned the party to the ground.

Next year will really be a time when we can feel good about saying "the times they are changing", and changing for the better. Just a little more patience is all that is required.

As I said, I'm no insider and you know it. You certainly know who I am, and you also know that my precinct was moved from the 11th CD to the 10th CD and I hope to become a 10th CD committee member this year and therefore a Central Committee member so I have a vote and a very public voice to speak in his favor of his election. If you want to ask the "solid candidate" to reveal his identity to you for publication here, you can ask him yourself. I won't reveal his name publicly without his permission because that would be unethical on my part. If you still think you don't know who I mean, send me an e-mail message and I'll tell you so you can ask him yourself.

[ Parent ]
Nope, I have no idea who you're talking about. (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Well let me throw out a name... (0.00 / 0)
That I can relate to who Tom would talk to:

Jon Bowerbank.

If this is your solid candidate, I think you might as well start selecting again because thats a joke.  

[ Parent ]
Who do you think would be a better choice for chair ? (0.00 / 0)
The more basic point of my comments was that next year will be an opportunity (that we must not miss) for a fully open chair selection process, with the possibility of two candidates in what I would expect to be a friendly competition for the job. So, if you don't like Jon as the choice, who do you think would be a better choice and why ? Do you prefer someone who is not presently a Central Committee or Steering Committee member ?

Just saying my preference is a joke tells us a lot about you, but nothing about who you think would be a better choice. Of course, for your preference to be meaningful it would have to be someone who is actually interested in serving as chair for four years,keeping in mind that it's an unpaid full-time volunteer job (if done right).

So, do you have someone in mind who you think would be a good chair who would initiate the DPVA reforms we've discussed here and who you think might/would be willing to participate in an open competition election process ?

[ Parent ]
We've already had the discussion... (0.00 / 0)
On why I think Jon Bowerbank is not the great candidate and person you think he is.

We do agree on one point - we need to have an open chair process with candidates competing for it - like running for an office. But if we all believe that Warner and Kaine wont have something to stay about it, we're all smokin' something.

As for a better candidate, I think we're severely lacking in that department at the moment. I haven't really seen anyone in the party who is truly stepping up.  Actually, maybe this would be a good position for Edd Houck (not sure Lt. Governor is the best fit for him...)

[ Parent ]

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