Home Education DPVA Chair Brian Moran Declares “Total War” on Obama! GOP Applauds.

DPVA Chair Brian Moran Declares “Total War” on Obama! GOP Applauds.



by Paul Goldman (DPVA chair, 1990-1993)

What do the first African-American Governor and the first African-American President now have in common? Let me explain how it may look to strong backers of both men. I have seen this up close; perception is important in politics, particularly today when turnout is so important in close elections. Anyone who thinks this kind of perception can’t grow is wrong, especially in today’s climate, where the polls show huge cynicism about politics on all sides.    

“They’ve decided that total war is the way to go” the Huffington Post reports, quoting a college association official on the lawsuit that Democratic Party Chair Brian Moran’s lobbying organization has filed against the Obama Administration.

No, this isn’t an SNL skit, but it will be part of a Republican press release at some point. We know the Virginia GOP is cheering him, since Republicans have attacked President Obama for the same thing.

Let’s be clear what’s at stake here: The President is trying to protect students, African-Americans, veterans, and single moms from being ripped off by practices the NAACP has said “ruin students’ lives,” as well as poor African-American communities. Brian Moran’s clients disagree with this assessment.


Let me ask you this: Do you think it is fair for people to ask whether Brian Moran or the Democratic Party of Virginia would permit this kind of thing if President Obama were white?

Don’t blame me for asking the question I know is going to be on the minds of a lot of grassroots Democrats if this lawsuit gets ugly. Forewarned is forearmed as the saying goes.

When Doug Wilder became Governor, Democrats began attacking him in ways they had never attacked a Democratic Governor before. For example, Democratic Attorney General Mary Sue Terry sued Wilder, or I suppose his Administration in a technical sense (but that’s not how the politics comes out, as she knew, and as Mr. Moran knows). Stuff happens all the time in politics that gets out of control.

In 2002, Governor Warner asked me to help defuse a situation between him and AG Jerry Kilgore. I was able to do it with the help of Bob Blue, the Governor’s counsel. A possible law suit, or at least embarrassment to the Governor, was avoided.

In my mind, the way Wilder felt treated by his fellow Democrats led him to challenge Robb the next year in the 1994 Senate race. Wilder felt he had not been given the deference previously given Governors. It also led Wilder to stop talking to me when I decided to help Robb after speaking with Warner about it. We knew Wilder had some legitimate grievances. But that was for another day, not for a time when Ollie North might become Senator. The Terry law suit killed her chances, in my view.

No Governor had ever been sued like that, ever, by a member of his own party in the modern area (there were some suits over segregation if I remember my history). Former Democratic AG Andy Miller also sued Governor Wilder (again, the state technically, but he knew the politics) in an unprecedented case. Wilder literally begged him not to, arguing that it would upset Wilder’s efforts to help poor children get a better education by reforming old allocation formulas. Miller refused, supported by other Democratic officials. I tried to talk them out of it too.

As Wilder predicted, the suit was thrown out of court, and the changes that could have been made have not been made even today! Another generation of poor children got hurt unnecessarily.


As Yogi Berra said: Some things may be too coincidental to be a coincidence.

Look, I don’t blame Brian Moran for wanting to keep his (highly lucrative) job, or for doing what he’s paid to do. I don’t much agree with his organization, but I accept his duty to do what he thinks is necessary to protect his clients.

However, Brian is also chair of the DPVA, and that organization only further marginalizes itself by allowing a Democratic Chair to sue a Democratic President in court. A press dust-up is one thing. But a lawsuit says the President is acting in a lawless manner, and that a court needs to step to protect citizens from their (Democratic) President.

I might expect this kind of move from Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin. I do NOT expect – or accept – such a move from the head of the Virginia Democratic Party!

  • Peter 2010

    Where does Tim Kaine stand here? Does he support President Obama’s position or does he support Brian Moran’s position?

  • aznew

    and like you, I understand why Brian Moran wants to keep his high-paying lobbying job. And in that context, I even understand the tactics behind a move like this.

    What I do not understand is how Mr. Moran squares this with being the head of the DPVA. I understand some amount of compartmentalization, but this seems beyond the pale.

    Perhaps there is some justification I don’t see.

  • commentator1

    I’m no science-hating young-earth evangelical. I am just a Democrat who heard a lot of Bible verses growing up. This one from Matthew seems very appropriate in this situation:

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

  • Say What

    The DPVA needs to DUMP – Moran! Maybe your post will help start a “recall” Moran effort!!

    A Draft James Webb movement …. in reverse.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    This is terrible. If Brian Moran wants to keep his day job…and I feel sure he does…then the honorable thing for him to have done when this lawsuit became a reality would have been to resign as head of the party. By not doing that, he puts the party in an untenable position. So, we have gone from a party chair who did absolutely nothing to one who has a built-in conflict of interest that is embarrassing for him and for the party.

  • Tiffany Joslyn

    Whether you support Brian Moran as DPVA Chair or not, this is a blatant conflict and incredibly problematic from a Democratic Party perspective. This undercuts the President’s agenda and the party’s momentum (however you quantify it) going into November and the Presidential election. I’m not on the DPVA Steering Committee, but I would love to understand the reasoning for allowing this to continue? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  …..

  • hokieguru

    LMAO (for a few seconds)… then I realize how bad off the DPVA is with him at the top. SMH.

  • Burgesses1619

    The people grousing on the blog entry seem to be more like Tea Party members expecting everyone to pass a loyalty test, sign a blood oath, and drink from the goblet of sacred Kool Aid.

    First, the suite is against a set of decisions by a government agency, not Obama. Just because this group has a difference of opinion or approach does not necessarily mean that the government approach or solution is the best one. I have not conducted a root cause analysis of why the students of some for profit schools are not able to get jobs, but we are in a situation where there is a real unemployment rate approaching 20%, and U.S. companies are not hiring because they have the American working class by their collective testicles.

    Second, the recent Summit was an outstanding event that would never have taken place if we had to deal with Dickie Cranwell for another year. It is unlikely that most of the people that are grousing went. Some of those that did go probably had their panties in a know while there. Brian Moran should be commended and praised for setting this up and/or being a champion of the Summit. It is the first significant positive think I have seen from the people in Richmond.

    Everyone should focus in getting more people to the next Summit and finding progressive Democrats to run for office.