What people are saying: reporting, reactions, responses to the voter fraud scandal

This is the biggest Jim Moran scandal since his anti-Semitic comments in 2007. (Isn’t it sad that we have something, much less many things, to compare it to?) The story of Pat Moran apparently encouraging voter fraud in a video has gone national (and international – it made the BBC) and remains a hot story – due in no small part to the fact that the campaign is being investigated by the Arlington police and possibly the Attorney General – despite the Moran campaign’s attempts to ignore it and hope it goes away. Here’s a small sample of notable reporting, reactions, and responses to the scandal from around the area and across the country.

Republican nominee Patrick Murray (statement) — “At this point I have a simple request of Jim Moran on behalf of the voters of the 8th District: Stop embarrassing us. Stop the unethical behavior. Do not seek reelection.”

Independent 8th District candidate Jason Howell (statement) — “The Moran campaign may now have many distracting, legal and ethical questions to answer. … We must do better.”

Arlington County Democratic Committee (statement via ARLnow) — “Arlington Democrats condemn any form of voter fraud. … We understand that Pat Moran has resigned from the Moran campaign, and we have asked him not to return to our offices.”

Fairfax County Republican chairman Jay McConville (statement) — “It is long past time for the voters of Virginia to retire Jim Moran. We need responsible, ethical, and effective representation in the 8th District, but time and time again Jim Moran has failed to live up to that standard.”

The Washington Post‘s “Worst Week in Washington” column (link) — “When approached at a Cosi by a total stranger pushing a vote-fraud scheme, be very, very leery. … [Moran] sounded slightly short of remorseful in a statement explaining his departure. ‘At no point did I take this person seriously,’ Moran said. ‘He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him.’ Um, okay. … Pat Moran, for forgetting that walking away is sometimes the best policy, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.”

Liberal news site Salon.com (link) — “There are no misleading editing tricks (we watched the full raw video) and Patrick Moran’s comments were detailed, extensive and clear.”

WUSA/CBS Channel 9 (link) — “Moran’s campaign office was empty and the door locked. All signs had been removed and we were unable to talk to him today [Oct. 25th].”

Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck (via Arlington Mercury, The Washington Examiner) — “It would be irresponsible if the police did not investigate.”

Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (via CNN)– “It’s just indefensible and he was right to resign.”

Virginia liberal blogger “Not Larry Sabato” (link)“No reason to sugarcoat this in any way, it is totally unacceptable. I think it’s time for his dad to retire.”

Local conservative blogger “The Other McCain” (link) — “In defense of Pat Moran, though, it’s one thing to engage in hypothetical discussions about fraud, and quite another to commit it. I don’t want to sound like I’m letting Moran off the hook here; ‘Gentleman’ Jim is one of the larger pieces of work in our Congress. … Still, while this isn’t a flattering introduction to Pat, would anyone at the field director level for any campaign do anything even slightly wonky with someone on their first meeting? Looking at Moran’s body language, I’m reading a lot of ‘Yeah, sure, whatever’ here. A reasonable claim could be made that, to the extent Moran makes copacetic noises, Moran is setting about his own counter-sting. Except that Pat Moran has apparently resigned. Will Pat Moran’s sudden departure from daddy’s campaign be taken as an admission of guilt?”

8th District Republican Chairman Mike Ginsberg (statement) “Jim Moran needs to look at the havoc his tenure has wrought on the 8th District and the American people, and decide to put restoring American trust in Congress above his personal ambition. It is high time for Jim Moran to resign.”

Arlington Republican chairman Charles Hokanson (via NPR, Patch.com) — “This really should be the scandal that finally crosses the line, even for Jim Moran, so that he should resign from Congress and leave public office immediately. The people of Arlington – Republicans, Democrats and independents – will not tolerate potential voter fraud, and we demand of all our officials that they preserve the full integrity of our voting process. It’s time for Jim Moran to go, [whether] by resignation in disgrace, or by voter indignation at the voting booth on Nov. 6.”

Murray for Congress campaign manager David O’Connell (via Arlington Mercury) — “It’s a complete embarrassment to be represented by a congressman whose staff have such flagrant disregard for the rule of law and fundamental right of U.S. citizens.”

Virginia liberal blog “Blue Virginia” (link) — “The Moran campaign has been almost completely silent, refusing requests by multiple journalists for substantive comment. … The only thing they’ve put out, at least to my knowledge, is the following: ‘Patrick is well liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team. This incident, however, was clearly an error in judgment. The campaign has accepted Patrick’s resignation, effective immediately.’ Well then, that clears it all up. Not! I mean, can you say any less than that in a statement about a major news story? It would be difficult, that’s for sure. I mean, c’mon, ‘an error in judgment,’ a ‘well liked and…well-respected member of the campaign team?’ Seriously?!? Ugh. … There are a gazillion questions that need to be answered here (e.g., was this a completely isolated incident? how long has behavior like this been going on by Patrick Moran?), and I certainly hope the Moran campaign is far more forthcoming in the next few days than they’ve been so far today. [RJM editor's note - they haven't been.]“

Los Angeles Times‘ Jon Healey (link) — “The younger Moran doesn’t tell the man that what he’s planning is illegal, immoral or wrong. … It’s damning, no question about it.”

WTOP (link) — “It’s likely that northern Virginia Democrats Jim Moran (8th District) and Gerry Connolly (11th District), along with Republican Frank Wolf (10th District), will be re-elected. But a landslide by the top of the ticket either way could change that. Moran, however, has been embroiled in a recent controversy. His son, Patrick, who worked on his campaign, is now under investigation for allegedly encouraging voter fraud.”