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?