Home 2012 races Why I’m Voting for Jim Moran Tomorrow: Because He Packs a “Progressive...

Why I’m Voting for Jim Moran Tomorrow: Because He Packs a “Progressive Punch”


Tomorrow, 8th CD Democrats will go to the polls to select their nominee for U.S. House of Representatives. The choices are either incumbent Rep. Jim Moran or newcomer Bruce Shuttleworth. As for Mr. Shuttleworth, I believe we’ve adequately discussed him here (“Video: Bruce Shuttleworth Urges Republicans to Cross Over and Vote in Democratic Primary“), here (“Shuttleworth for Congress Strategist Quits, Citing ‘Unsubstantiated, False Allegations’“), here (“Shuttleworth Campaign FAIL: No Union Bug, No Recycled Logo, No “Paid for by” Statement“), here (“Fan of Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan Makes Robocall on Behalf of Bruce Shuttleworth in 8th CD“), and here (“Bruce Shuttleworth Robocall Falsely Claims Joint Conference Call with DNC Chairwoman“). Needless to say, given all those stories, I certainly won’t be supporting Bruce Shuttleworth tomorrow.

As for Jim Moran’s concerned, my main reason for supporting – and endorsing him as well – is simple: he packs a “progressive punch.” Specifically, I’m talking about his voting record in Congress, combined with his feisty, fiery defense of progressive and Democratic principles against an unrelenting and vicious assault by right-wing/reactionary forces in this country. Whether on the floor of the House of Representatives, on TV, radio, or in public speeches, you know Jim Moran’s going to be there to fight back, both hard and effectively, when our rights, and even our very Democracy, is under assault. These days, with the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, and others pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into corrupting our political system, it’s more important than ever that we have someone like Jim Moran in our corner.

Other than fighting back against right-wing reactionaries, and fighting FOR progressive ideals, Jim Moran also just flat-out votes the right way. According to Progressive Punch, Moran has racked up a strong lifetime 84.6% “Progressive Score,” one that’s been getting even stronger in recent years. For instance, in 2011-2012, Moran scored an impressive 91.4% overall, and 85.7% on “Crucial Votes.”

Don’t believe Progressive Punch? Well then, how about Project Vote Smart, which lists Moran’s 2011 ratings at 100% from NARAL, 100% from Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, 93% from the Humane Society’s Legislative Fund, 100% from the ACLU, 100% from the League of Conservation Voters, 100% from the Children’s Health Fund, 100% from the American Nurse’s Association, 90% from the AFL-CIO, 90% from the Alliance for Retired Americans, 100% from the Human Rights Campaign (latest rating: 2009-2010), 0% from the rabidly homophobic Family Research Council, etc. Given this voting record, why would we want to replace this man as our representative in Congress, exactly?

More on the “flip”

Now, having endorsed Jim Moran and explained why I’m supporting him, I do have misgivings, mostly related to his political ties to his younger brother, Brian “For Profit” Moran. True, those two guys are family, and as the saying goes, “blood is thicker than water,” but I must say it’s a challenge at times to keep these two guys separate in my mind, especially since they’re clearly not just brothers, but close political allies. I guess my answer to this one is that life’s complicated, there’s a lot of “gray” and not much “black and white” in this world, that nobody’s perfect, that we’re all human, and that politics is less often (if ever) about seeking perfection than about selecting among all the imperfect options available – the “art of the possible,” so to speak.

Having said that, I’d definitely like to see Rep. Moran speaking out forcefully against the for-profit “education” industry, as it violates basically every progressive principle (public education, good government, caring for our veterans, helping give a leg up to the least fortunate among us, etc.) there is. In addition, although it’s certainly possible that Jim Moran could be the 8th CD’s representative for many years to come, I don’t want to ever see Brian Moran handed this seat on a silver platter (I’d add that I don’t want to see Brian Moran representing this district under any circumstances).

So, with those caveats about Jim Moran’s brother — and yes, the Biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” does spring to mind 😉 – I strongly endorse Jim Moran for the Democratic nomination for another term in Congress. Go Jim!

  • independent in arlington

    You wrote:

    According to Progressive Punch, Moran has racked up a strong lifetime 84.6% “Progressive Score,” one that’s been getting even stronger in recent years. For instance, in 2011-2012, Moran scored an impressive 91.4% overall, and 85.7% on “Crucial Votes.”

    According to Progressive Punch, Representative Moran is the 141st ranking Representative (in terms of “progressivity” I guess), ranking only 50 spots higher than the highest ranked Republican (Ron Paul!).  It appears that Rep. Moran’s lifetime numbers are considerably less progressive that his current voting record.  I thought it was also interesting that he is rated as being about 8% less progressive than his district.

  • Paba

    because Shuttleworth is a fool and I cannot in good conscience vote for someone who’ll likely continue to foist his braindead brother on Virginia.

    You can write-in, right? I know you could in 2010, when I still lived in Roanoke and wrote in WDBJ Weatherman Robin Reed against Bob Goodlatte.  

  • Their thoughts on the Brian Moran succession rumor were basically along the lines that any talk of Jim setting up Brian to take his seat is “complete BS, without reservation” (as one confidante put it). They also made the point that Jim Moran opposed the for-profit “education” industry on at least one vote in recent years (Nancy Pelosi actually voted with the industry), and more broadly that “family doesn’t overrule voting what’s right for Jim.” Verrry interesting.

  • davidrothman

    Lowell, I can appreciate your good intentions, and if Jim Moran wins tomorrow, I’ll almost surely vote for him in November since the Republican policies are so loathsome. That said, Bruce Shuttleworth would be a better choice because of, yes, Moran’s ethics or lack thereof. Shuttleworth, while not perfect, can grow as a policymaker and develop in-depth position papers. By contrast, Jim Moran is beyond reform. For details, including the still-unexplained donation that Moran received from the CEO of Duke Realty, one of the main BRAC-133 beneficiaries, I’d encourage readers to drop by


    We don’t know whether there was a quid pro quo. But if nothing else, the more-than-$2000 donation shows how badly we need meaningful campaign-finance reform. The Moran people not only refused to discuss the donation with me two years ago, but also would not comment on the need for truly tough restrictions on the political donations of executives of corporations doing business with the government. Could this silence be because Moran is benefiting too handsomely from cash-driven politics and the accompanying “access” for sale? While I applaud the concerns you raised about his brother, Jim Moran himself deserves his own share of skepticism from you and others. Yes, Moran sits on the Appropriations Committee, but long-term, we need to look beyond that and think of issue number  one in American politics – the need to clean house. So although I’ll vote for him if need be in the general election, I’ll be very unhappy about having to do so.


    David Rothman



    P.S If nothing else, keep in mind that our party is full of many brilliant people who are as articulate as Moran without the same complications.