Before We Coronate Brian Moran…


    So, it looks like the fix may be in for Brian Moran as the next DPVA chair. The latest I’m hearing is that our old friend Harris Miller, Brian Moran’s boss at the for-profit education association they both work for, has given his thumbs-up to Moran taking the position, and that Moran’s inclined to go for it. Moran also reportedly has the blessing of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. So, done deal, right?  Perhaps, but before Virginia Democrats move in this direction, they really might want to reread this New York Times article and decide if they’re comfortable with what they’re getting themselves into here.

    the younger Moran took in about $110,000, including about $20,000 from lobbyists and military contractors. Over all, of the roughly $2.3 million in individual contributions his campaign has raised, about 10 percent has come from people who work in the defense industry, some of whom have personally profited from contracts inserted as earmarks into spending bills by Representative Moran.


    Among Brian Moran’s notable defense industry donors is the lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti of the PMA Group, a company specializing in military earmarks that was raided in November in a criminal investigation of the possible use of straw donors to evade federal contribution limits.

    Months before the raid, Mr. Magliocchetti, whose company was a major source of donations to Representative Moran and employed his former chief of staff as a lobbyist, donated about $2,500 in food and drink and a check for $10,000 at a fund-raiser for Brian Moran. Melissa Koloszar, the former Moran aide and PMA Group lobbyist, appears to have contributed $1,000 to Brian Moran at that fund-raiser and another $1,000 around the time of the St. Patrick’s Day event, according to state records. PMA clients and employees have given a total of more than $90,000.

    So here’s the problem: Paul Magliocchetti just recently “pleaded guilty…in federal court to illegally funneling more than $386,000 in corporate campaign contributions to lawmakers over a nearly six year period, a stunning fall from grace for one of Washington’s top influence peddlers.”  For more on this whole situation, see here.

    Anyway, the bottom line question is this: are Virginia Democrats comfortable with Brian Moran and his ties to PMA or not? Personally, I think we can do better than this, but what do I know?

    P.S. Needless to say, we shouldn’t be “coronating” anyone at all, we should be holding a democratic election for party chair. This is, after all, the “Democratic” party. Isn’t it?

    • VA Blogger

      Surprising to see this much scrutiny leveled upon Brian Moran while Jim has skated free from Democrats for the past decade or two.  

    • Paris

      You know, all it took was a woman with a pair of glasses and a funny hairdo who had been mayor of a town so small they don’t even have towns that small in Virginia and she managed to get all these guys she found out about in her political party in jail and get elected governor.  

      Aren’t you a little scared of posting all this stuff on the web, you guys or are you so arrogant that nothing phases you. No amount of scandal or anything phases you?

      Amazing, huh? I mean, has “Democrat” just been reudced to some brand name or something? Doesn’t it mean anything to you anymore? Does it mean a label that can collect money from large corporate interests who dictate whatever they want to you political boys and you’ll follow their bidding or what? I like you, LOWKELL.  

      Keep writing this stuff. It’s great.  Because no one seems to refute it.  No one seems to comment or even care.

      But some of us know our history. And the rest are condemend to repeat it.

    • The Donkey

      They donated 12.5 grand at one event hoping to influence who? The brother?

      Dude, there is no there there.

      Brian Moran seems like a good guy: Former caucus chair, good organizer, decent political street-fighting man.

      I like McEachin best, but Moran would also make a fine choice.  

    • kindler

      …to be reviving the bloody VA Dem civil war of last year which left us with nothing except McDonnell, Bolling and Cooch in charge of our state.  We need to be motivating Dems to vote (including for Jim Moran, the collateral damage of this piece), not discouraging them.

      We certainly need a VA Dem chair who can motivate the Obama generation to vote and get active — Susan Mariner would be a superb choice, and I’m not sure Brian would be the best. And I agree a behind-the-scenes coronation would be a big mistake. We need a free and open election.

      But we also need a positive process that pulls Dems together, and for that goal, hit pieces like this do not help one bit.  

    • aznew

      I don’t pay much attention nor care much about this kind of inside party stuff (even though, obviously, I understand the importance of it). But, from a pure personnel, as opposed to policy perspective …

      As someone who strongly opposed Moran in his bid for governor, that opposition resulted in large part from the atrocious conduct of his campaign. That said, Brian Moran has always impressed me every time I met him personally.

      If Moran brings the same attitude his campaign had last year (i.e., intolerance, and hostility toward any person who was not simply an acolyte of Moran), then I think he is a bad choice.

      On the other hand, if Moran and his followers learned something from his 2009 failure and act accordingly, then I think Moran’s taking this post could have a positive effect in repairing the damage done in 2009.

    • The Richmonder

      The very fact that there seems to be a behind-the-scenes-insider attempt to foist Moran on the rest of the party is a red flag.

      If Moran can’t win the position in an open competition, he’s not the right person for the job.

    • Scott99

      I’ve seen a few comments on here about Mike Signer and I think that he would be the perfect guy for the job. I met him a few times during his LG campaign – he struck me as very likeable. His campaign was both progressive yet practical. He has no baggage to speak of and seems to have tons of energy.