The crowd of Democrats competing for Jim Moran's House seat is growing faster than a herd of rabbits in spring. Now up to eight, it may well, like the legendary stereo in the movie Spinal Tap, "go to eleven."
I see this as a good sign. This field is a rainbow of talent, experience and diversity, a remarkable crew to see running in the former cradle of the Confederacy, as described by the Washington Post's Ben Pershing:
[A] half-dozen elected officials, three African Americans, two Latinos, a talk-show host, an openly gay state senator and a car dealer who last was on a ballot 17 years ago.
Okay, so maybe that sounds like the start of a bad joke that John Whitbeck would tell to warm up a Tea Party crowd. But in a Democratic district like the 8th, it's a real opportunity to elect a new face with new ideas and experiences to represent NoVA in Congress -- an exciting prospect.
I can think of only one thing that could go wrong here -- and that's if the Dems in this very competitive field take the opportunity to tear each other to pieces. Doing so may not cost us this seat in a very Democratic district, but it could create scars that would hurt us in other ways -- and perhaps linger.
Briefly, a few winners and losers from yesterday. In general, the day belonged to the Republican Party of Virginia since most of the focus was on its contests. Generally not that much unusual to note, but if you have anything to contribute or simply disagree, please jump in.
1. Democrats in Alexandria. Imagine, left to their own devices and without a slate, they managed to choose six diverse and capable candidates for city council.
2. Republican conventions. Formalize incumbent protection over there, will you? The RPV really should get out of these embarrassing and unnecessary primaries when they already know who they want to run. Let's see what they decide come Friday. (Though a 3:1 beat down by Ken Cuccinelli in a primary might be something to behold.)
3. Jim Moran. A solid and well-deserved victory only surprising by his opponent's meager showing. "Not the incumbent" usually can gather 30% on that distinction alone. (See Bob Goodlatte)
4. Incumbency. Always a good bet and better now than ever.
5. George Allen. This man of solidly adequate accomplishment and famous lineage stands a fumble away from the goal line. Virginia may become the first state ever one of just a handful of states to elect a Senator who was unable to win re-election to the United State Senate as an incumbent.
The latest Congressional scorecard from the League of Conservation Voters flunks every single Virginia Republican, including House members like Scott Rigell, Rob Wittman and Frank Wolf who'll be trying to sell themselves as moderate in November. Committed opponents of clean air & water, public health, and wildlife like Eric Cantor, Randy Forbes, Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith and Robert Hurt all scored in the teens. Meanwhile, Virginia House Democrats Gerry Connolly, Jim Moran and Bobby Scott all scored 100%. On the Senate side, both Sen. Mark Warner and Jim Webb scored 100%, though given that both support oil drilling off Virginia's shores and Webb has opposed clean air regulations, neither is perfect on conservation.
Great job by Rep. Jim Moran, his full statement is on the "flip." As Moran says, the Republican assault on federal workers is nothing more than "a cynical attempt to tap into misguided resentment fostered by the far right against the federal government and the 2.1 million men and women who serve our nation as civil servants." Thank you to Rep. Moran for calling them out on that!
P.S. It's speeches like this which demonstrate why Rep. Moran will be, and should be, reelected overwhelmingly this coming November.
Stacey Whyte, Arlington Heights Civic Association president
So far, the biggest news in the campaign has been Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) already endorsing Sims. To state the obvious, Jim Moran has been working his tail off for Northern Virginia since before your humble blogger was born and he does not need my or anyone else's permission to endorse whomever he pleases. But in conversations with Arlington progressive activists, I'm hearing less enthusiasm for this endorsement than I am questions about why Rep. Moran would not only take sides in a local Democratic primary, but do so even before the full field comes into focus.
These "It Gets Better" video series continues to amaze me. Here's Rep. Jim Moran's powerful, moving contribution. Personally, I hope some day to live in a world where "It Gets Better" videos aren't even necessary. To get to that point, unfortunately we'll have to overcome a lot of bigoted, intolerant people out there, several of whom are Republican candidates for President of the United States. It's very sad that in the year 2011 we're still at this point, but for whatever reason, progress seems to take a lot of time, as people don't give up their prejudices and ignorance easily. Some day, though, we'll win; I just hope it's sooner rather than later!
(UPDATE: The House passed the debt ceiling increase by a 269-161 margin, with Democrats splitting 95-95. I'll post statements by Virginia's representatives as I find them. So far, among Democrats, Connolly voted yes, Moran and Scott voted no. - promoted by lowkell)
I just received this statement from Rep. Jim Moran. I think it's fair to say that most Blue Virginia readers strongly agree with what Rep. Moran has to say on this issue!
Moran Statement on the Debt Ceiling Deal
Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, released the following statement in advance of the House vote on the debt ceiling proposal:
The debt ceiling has been raised cleanly 39 times over the last 30 years, 18 times by President Reagan alone. But for the first time ever, a deal has had to be negotiated to raise the debt ceiling and prevent a default. Unfortunately, the proposal we are being asked to vote on would be bad for our country. It should be rejected, and President Obama should take matters into his own hands by invoking the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.
This deal is not representative of a balanced approach to long-term deficit reduction. By leaving revenue entirely off the table, the agreement severely restricts the government's ability to make investments in the human and physical capital of this country - investments that created the strongest middle class in the world and made our country the most powerful.
At a time of stagnant growth and high unemployment, the far-right of the Republican party has been able to hold our economic security hostage in exchange for deep cuts that will reduce growth and employment and increase inequality in the short term without properly addressing the structural causes behind our long-term deficits.
I first noticed Politifact was going out of its way to let Republicans rack up "trues" when they did an entire article crediting Rep. Eric Cantor for correctly saying 10,000 Baby Boomers a day are becoming eligible for Social Security & Medicare. I mean, is that the hot-button political dispute of the day in need of fact checking? Or an excuse to give an easy "true" to a guy who managed only 1 full truth in his first 11 fact-checks?
Rep. Jim Moran has fared just the opposite under Politifact's examination, rating 3 out of 4 "true" or "mostly true." Today, Politifact tries to bring him back into "balance" with a really weird "pants on fire." I say weird because ... well, what Rep. Moran said was at least half true. He said House Republicans had gleefully ordered biodegradable plates, trays & cutlery removed from the House cafeteria ... which they did. And he said they're using materials made by a Koch Industries subsidiary ... and while he got that wrong, it's actually a competitor, Koch does make the types of products in question.
Politifact giddily declares, "Moran must have been wearing a tin foil hat on the day he came up with this one." Sure, the Koch reference was sloppy (if pretty insignificant to warrant Politifact's pants conflagration). But Politifact is completely disingenuous to say Republicans didn't require a switch to plastic & styrofoam. Republicans wanted to stick a thumb in the eye of environmentalists & told the vendor to stop giving them all this nice, beneficial biodegradable stuff and switch to the cheapest crap possible.
Talk about going out of your way to absolve Republicans of responsibility for the consequences of their actions. I mean, if Republicans block an increase on the debt ceiling, will Politifact say, "Well, Republicans didn't require the Treasury to stop writing disability checks to wounded veterans & Social Security checks to seniors"? What's the point of having "fact-checkers" if you're going to play just as dumb as the talking heads chasing Sarah Palin?
Republicans and their Tea Party allies can applaud a government shutdown and think it's a fun way to push their extreme ideology, but in the end, a lot of people are going to get hurt by their irresponsibility. Over at ArlNow, Rep. Jim Moran explains how a Teapublican government shutdown will harm northern Virginia:
...A shutdown could last several weeks and have a "severe impact" on the local economy, Moran warned.
"This is very, very, serious," Moran said. "Federal employees need to understand that this is not 1995, when we closed down... and [employees] were fully reimbursed."
"About a million federal employees will not be working, and it is highly unlikely they will ever be reimbursed," Moran continued. "Not only is this going to hurt the overall economy in the metropolitan Washington area that I represent, but it is going to have a very severe impact on employee's abilities to make their mortgage payments, their car payments, etc."
"Every private sector element in my district's economy is going to be adversely affected," Moran added.
So there you have it; Republicans playing Russian Roulette with the country's finances, with the nation's fragile economic recovery, and with the lives (and finances) of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and their families. They must be so proud of themselves, especially when Democrats have already agreed to their initial (prior to a Tea Party rebellion) target for cuts to the budget in the current fiscal year. Vandals? Huns? Visigoths? What's the appropriate historical analogue to today's Republican Party?
P.S. I presume that Bob McDonnell is busy urging his Republican Party colleagues in Congress not to harm Virginia's economy? Right?!?
UPDATE: Rep. Moran will be holding an emergency meeting from 7:30 to 9:30 pm at Francis C Hammond Middle School in Alexandria (4646 Seminary Road).
(In stark contrast, check out Eric Cantor's absurd and disgusting statement, exploiting this tragedy to yet again attack the Obama Administration and push his far-right-wing, hard line, anti-peace agenda on the world. As always, Eric Cantor is a disgrace to the Jewish people and to America. As a Jewish American, I utterly "refudiate" him! - promoted by lowkell)
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, released the following statement on yesterday's bombing at a Jerusalem bus stop that killed one person and left dozens injured:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of yesterday's bombing in Jerusalem. The return of terrorist violence to Jerusalem is a disturbing and discouraging sign that too much time has passed since Israelis and Palestinians have engaged one another in a meaningful way to resolve their conflict.
"Along with the horrific murders in the West Bank settlement of Itamar and the escalating violence in Gaza, yesterday's attack is a reminder that innocent people suffer the worst effects of this conflict. Whatever message the misguided author of this act intended, the message for those of us who seek peace is clear: the Obama Administration, the Israeli Government, the Palestinian Authority and the international community must move urgently toward serious, substantive negotiations toward a durable peace before it is too late."
Eugene Robinson, op-ed columnist at The Washington Post spoke at the February breakfast meeting of the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council at the Fairview Marriott on 4 February. He was preceded by Congressman Jim Moran (D,VA-8) who gave the attentive group an impassioned short talk about the Egyptian Revolution. Both he and Mr. Robinson were in basic agreement on what should be America's stance on the ongoing events in that Revolution: "Be on the side of history." It is important that America "stop being associated with sclerotic authoritarian" regimes, especially in the Middle East, said Mr. Robinson. In his opinion President Barak Obama has handled the situation well, because he is taking the "long view," which means that the risk involved in encouraging a transition from Mubarak to a democratic system---- and there is risk, since we cannot control the final result---- is more than offset long-term by standing for what we say we honor: the right of every people to live free
Last night at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, Jim Webb and Jim Moran spoke to around 200 Democrats - including many from the amazing, grassroots, pro-Webb, "ragtag army" of 2006 - at a fundraiser for the Democratic Party of Virginia. There were many members of the "ragtag army" (now "Webb Brigades") in attendance, including (largely) unsung heroes like Mary Detweiler, Wasim Entabi, Sue Langley, Chris Ambrose, Laura Sonnenmark, Karen and Dan Duncan, Florence Upson, Kenton Ngo, Frank Anderson, Tania Hossain, Todd Smyth, Rose Chu, Antonia Scatton, Ken Kukovich, and several others. Also in attendance were Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple. Sen. Chap Petersen, Sen. Dave Marsden, Del. Mark Keam, Del. Bob Brink, Del. Charniele Herring, former Del. Brian Moran, Cathy "Smitty" Connolly, DPVA chair/master of ceremonies Dave Mills, super-Democrat Pixie Bell, former Alexandria Democratic Committee chair Sue Kellom, current Alexandria Democratic Committee chair Clark Mercer, etc.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) is takingsomeseriousflak over comments about his Republican opponent, Patrick Murray. According to Moran, "What [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven't been in office, haven't served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent [Murray] is typical, frankly." That statement prompted Murray to call a news conference with military veterans at 12:30 pm today in Alexandria. Obviously, the Murray campaign, trailing badly in the polls with time running out, would like to make these comments by Moran into a major issue.
We'll see if Murray's strategy gains any traction, but I'm highly dubious, for one main reason: voters in the 8th CD know Jim Moran, and they know he's spent years fighting for troops and veterans. For more on that, see Moran's press release, which touts Moran's support for "historic investments in our servicemen, women and veterans" - health care, post-9/11 GI Bill, pay raises, expanded eligibility for VA home loans, etc., etc. So, yes, Rep. Moran "misspoke" on this one, but he commends Murray's military service and, indeed, has honored military service and veterans by fighting hard for them for years. Which is why, in the end, Murray's last minute "Hail Mary" won't ever make it to the end zone.
Local Editorial: In Virginia, The Examiner endorses Fimian, Murray and Wolf
That would be the lunatic Washington Examiner, a "newspaper" (using the term extremely loosely) that makes the Moonie Times look moderate. Heck, even Ken Cuccinelli supporter Scott McCaffrey at the Sun-Gazette calls the Examiner "off the deep end," citing "its relentless effort to prove President Obama is the anti-Christ." Seriously, the paper makes Human Events, Michelle Malkin and Townhall look semi-sane. And this is the newspaper which thinks that Keith Fimian, Patrick Murray and Frank Wolf are the cat's meow. Case closed - unless you're a nutjob, vote Connolly, Moran and Barnett! :)
Incumbent Rep. Jim Moran holds a 13 point lead over Republican challenger Patrick Murray, according to a poll of 400 likely voters commissioned by the Murray campaign.
The poll, conducted in mid-September, shows Moran with 45 percent of the likely vote compared to Murray's 32 percent. Another 23 percent say they're undecided.
The problem for Patrick Murray is that the more 8th CD voters get to know of him, the more they'll see that he's not a moderate Republican who might have any appeal in the district. For instance, as Jim Moran pointed out the other night, Murray favors overturning Roe v. Wade, not exactly a popular position in this overwhelming "blue" district. Also, Murray likes hanging out with extremists like Joe Miller of Alaska, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and even G. Gordon Liddy (see photo after the "flip"). If Murray's down by 13 points now, wait 'til 8th CD voters get a load of Murray's far-right-wing pals!
Northern Virginia Congressmen Gerry Connolly & Jim Moran were two of the American Clean Energy & Security Act's biggest supporters, helping them earn the Sierra Club's endorsement. On Saturday, the Sierra Club will join with Arlington Young Democrats, Organizing for America & others to say thanks:
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Time: 2:30 PM
Location: Woodrow Wilson Library, 6101 Knollwood Dr, Falls Church
Let's go door to door and spread the word about what this election means for our country, our environment and our future!
Hope you can spare a couple of hours to help out! RSVP at MyBO or on Facebook.
More video from last night's Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, this time Rep. Jim Moran - who spoke for nearly 1/2 hour total - talking about "stealth" Republicans, the bogus GOP "Pledge," and what this election's all about. Great stuff, should get you "fired up, ready to go!"
P.S. By the way, attendance at last night's meeting was very low, maybe 1/3 of the chairs filled. It seems the "enthusiasm gap" is alive and well in Arlington. Ugh.
At last night's 8th Congressional District Kennedy-King Dinner in Alexandria, Rep. Jim Moran gave a pre-election pep talk that was enthusiastically received by the hundreds of Democrats in attendance. The speech begins, "Nothing should motivate us more than what the Republicans choose to call their 'Pledge to America.'" Moran concludes, in classic Jim Moran style:
The truth is that Democrats have had to spend much of the last two years cleaning up, if you will, the elephant droppings left by the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress...and now they want to take us back to the same old failed policies that made the mess in the first place...Well, we're not gonna let it happen. This month, that Democratic donkey is going to start kicking that elephant's butt. That IS what the American people really want!
Ha, great stuff, gotta love that fighting spirit. Now, my fellow Democrats and progressives, let's do what Jim Moran suggests and kick some butt!
UPDATE: I've also got a few photos - not great because they were shot with my Flip video in mediocre lighting - from last night's event, after the "fold."
A few photos, courtesy of Sue Langley and Drew Kleibrink, of the Al Gore fundraiser for Jim Moran, held earlier today in Reston, Virginia. If only Gore had been president instead of Dubya, imagine how much better we'd all be today? Another example of how elections have consequences and of why we need to get out and vote!
From a recent debate, I love how 8th CD Republican nominee Patrick Murray asks Rep. Jim Moran this meandering, long-winded question, apparently in an attempt to corner him, and how Moran totally takes Murray down. I'd also point out that, whatever other issues I may have with Jim Moran, he responds here exactly how I want progressive Democrats to respond to the noxious pabulum being spewed by so many Republicans this year. In fact, I'd recommend that other Democratic candidates might want to watch this video and learn a thing or two from Jim Moran.
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