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Last night, Jim Moran held a “Securing Your Social Network” event with officials from Facebook at West Potomac High School in Alexandria. You probably received a mailer, which was published at taxpayer expense, advertising the event. There’s nothing wrong with that; that’s a legitimate use of the congressional franking privilege, unlike the campaign mailer he sent in August that cost $175,000.
However, Moran didn’t even feel the need to stay at his own event that he spent thousands in taxpayer dollars advertising. He gave a brief introductory speech that lasted about five minutes. He welcomed the Facebook officials and said he was going to “kick back” and watch the presentation. Then he slowly made his way up the stairs of the auditorium, shaking hands on the way out, and left the room. And then he left the school, got in his car, and drove away.
If Moran didn’t find the event compelling enough to stay longer than five minutes, why did he spend our tax dollars advertising it?
(Note: The franked mail reports for the first quarter of 2011 are due on the 14th. When the reports are released we’ll see just how much Moran wasted on the mailers.)
UPDATE: Wayne Tunick, the 27 year Navy veteran who Jim Moran told to sit down or leave his town hall, appeared on Fox News’s Fox & Friends on Saturday morning to discuss the incident. Video below; if you haven’t seen the original, it is also below.
UPDATE: Moran’s office issued the following statement – “In the exchange, the Congressman thanked the gentleman for his military service, but firmly made clear that with so many people in line waiting to ask their questions, the town hall meeting was not going to be disrupted by people speaking out of order.” There were no more than five or so people in line waiting. The veteran was called on by Moran, asked a legitimate question, and objected when Moran said it wasn’t legitimate. He was not speaking out of order.
Jim Moran held a town hall meeting this evening regarding the possible government shutdown. The following video of a military veteran asking a question speaks for itself. Moran’s meltdown comes at 4:10.
After that, he refused to answer another constituent’s question about the debt.
Another constituent called out Jim Moran for disrespecting those two.
UPDATE: Here‘s the WUSA 9 CBS video of the event.
It seems like Jim Moran is trying to make offensive comments once a month. His latest: Republicans won big in the 2010 elections because America is full of racists.
“It [the Republican successes in the 2010 elections] happened for the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States. It happened because the Southern states, the slaveholding states, didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery. In this case, I believe, a lot of people in the United States don’t want to be governed by an African-American, particularly one who is liberal, who wants to spend money and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society.”
Moran made the comments during an interview with an Arab television network. It’s difficult to hear above the translator, but the remarks come around the 3:00 mark:
Interestingly enough, right after that Moran talked about Obama’s desire for a “more unified” country. (It’s hard to be unified when we have people like Moran accusing those who disagree with him of racism.) Then he says “Much of the opposition on the right comes from a selfish and closed-minded perspective” then finishes the whole thing off with a spiel about spreading the wealth.
One question, Jim: Are the 71,145 people who voted against you in November a bunch of racists?
Check out our new web ad entitled “Listen to the President”:
In fiscal years 2008-2010, Jim Moran secured 254 earmarks worth a total of $575,000,000. In FY 2010 alone, he obtained $107,000,000 worth of earmarks, almost as much as the amount obtained by Virginia’s ten other congressmen combined and good enough to place him fourth out of 535 members of Congress on the list of top earmarkers. (Sources: LegiStorm, OpenSecrets.org via Old Dominion Watchdog) And as you’ve been reading here for some time, Moran has greatly abused the earmarking process by exchanging earmarks for campaign contributions.
President Obama is joining a bipartisan group of lawmakers in calling for an end to earmarking.
Listen to the President, Jim. Stop the earmarks!
Our video of Jim Moran’s outrageous comments about public service has gone viral. Both the local and national media, both news and opinion, have picked up on the story. If you haven’t heard the story yet, check out this post.
NBC News Washington (WRC-TV), 10/25/2010
Patrick Murray on FOX Business Network, 10/28/2010 (Part One)
Patrick Murray on FOX Business Network, 10/28/2010 (Part Two)
Special Report with Bret Baier (10/25/2010
Patrick Murray on FOX & Friends, 10/27/2010
Rep. Moran: Serving in the military isn’t public service (Washington Examiner, 10/21/2010)
Moran to Troops: Your Service Doesn’t Matter (The Weekly Standard, 10/21/2010)
VA-08: Republican Murray works to retire incumbent Moran (Washington Examiner, 10/22/2010)
Dem Candidate to Veteran: Military Service Isn’t Public Service (FOX News, 10/22/2010)
Rep. Jim Moran Disparages Col. Patrick Murray’s Military Service (American Spectator, 10/22/2010)
Murray Hopes to Benefit from Moran “Public Service” Swipe (ARLnow, 10/25/2010)
Moran defends accusations of opponents lack of service (WTOP News, 10/25/2010)
Call of Duty (Alexandria Gazette-Packet, 10/25/2010)
Is long-time Virginia Rep. Jim Moran really safe this election cycle? (The Daily Caller, 10/27/2010)
Virginia GOP hammers Moran on comments (ARLnow, 10/27/2010)
Why Tuesday Will Be a Blowout (FOX Business Network, 10/29/2010)
UPDATE: Military Families United slams Jim Moran:
“I am calling on Virginia’s 8th District to vote out an irresponsible congressman, Jim Moran. By suggesting that military service is not “public service” Moran shows a blatant disrespect for all men and women who wear the uniform in defense of our nation,” said Jackson. “As a Navy Veteran, I am humbled by Col. Murray’s 24-year record of public service to our nation. The people of Virginia deserve a better representative than a Congressman with such blatant disrespect for military service. Congressman Moran should be ashamed, and should be held accountable by the voters on Election Day. This election presents a clear choice between a man who has served his nation with honor and dignity, and a man who instead lobs cowardly insults at those who dedicate themselves to defending this nation. Colonel Murray stands for integrity, sacrifice, and noble service, whereas Congressman Moran stands for himself and politics as usual. I urge voters to take advantage of the opportunity to replace a coward with a hero.”
UPDATE: Republican Party of Virginia releases new web ad:
UPDATE: See this video of the veterans press conference today on Moran’s comments:
Fallout from Jim Moran’s comments that his opponent hasn’t “performed any kind of public service” despite his 24 years of service in the U.S. Army is continuing into the final home stretch before the election.
This morning on WTOP Radio, Moran said his remarks were, of course, “taken out of context”. Moran’s campaign has accused us of distortion, but his words speak for themselves.
His excuse wasn’t good enough as Moran was condemned by two military advocacy groups, the Move America Forward PAC and Combat Veterans for Congress.
MAF PAC said, “The statement shocked and offended millions of veterans around the country as well as patriots who all agree that military service is a more pure and essential public service than being a politician.”
Combat Veterans for Congress said, “We will not sit idly by as Patrick Murray’s 24-year record of honorable public service is dismissed…The American people should retire an irresponsible Congressmen like Jim Moran who has has no regard for military service. He has no right to dismiss Col Patrick Murray’s, service to his country as insignificant. As Veterans of every major conflict, we demand a public apology from Rep. Jim Moran.”
Moran’s outrageous comments aren’t his only military-related problem.
Moran claims on campaign literature (see the scan here) to have been endorsed by the Military Officers Association of America. The only problem is that he wasn’t.
As the Washington Examiner reports, on October 11th, MOAA’s general counsel, Major General Joseph Lynch (USAF-Ret.) sent a letter to Moran asking him to stop claiming endorsements from them:
As a not-for-profit organization governed by the Internal Revenue Code, the Military Officers Association of America is barred by law from participating or intervening, either directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office.
MOAA did recognize Rep. Moran in 1999 with our Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award. But the campaign flyer implies a more recent and more explicit MOAA rating/endorsement in connection with this campaign that did not occur.
VFW-PAC was formed in 1979 by the delegates of the VFW 80thNational Convention as a committee that would operate as a “separate and non-partisan organization charged with the single task of working in Congress to support candidates who have taken responsible positions on issues involving national defense and legislation pertaining to the nation’s veterans”.
On September 24, 2010 VFW-PAC released its list of endorsed candidates, immediately igniting controversy over many of its choices.
VFW’s initial response dated October 8, 2010 stated the national line officers of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are at odds with the VFW Political Action Committee (PAC), calling the methodology process used by the PAC “seriously flawed at best this year and in immediate need of extensive review” further stating, “Obviously, an organization’s political positions have to reflect the opinions of its members. But those opinions can’t be perceived as ‘off the wall,’ and the methodology used this year to grade candidates obviously is skewed in favor of the incumbent. That isn’t fair, and it actually subverts the democratic process.” It was at this time VFW line officers had decided to bring the question of continued existence of the PAC to the floor during the 112th VFW national convention in August 2011. Many of you questioned, “Why 2011?” Because the VFW By-Laws allow for the PAC Committee to exist and VFW By-Laws may only be amended by the delegates of the VFW Convention, which is held annually.
As word of the endorsements spread, members and supporters of VFW grew more irritated over VFW-PAC’s choices and demanded answers.
Not understanding that the VFW itself had no control over the endorsements, many of you continued to write, expressing displeasure asking the national commander somehow intervene. In an open statement to VFW members, national officers stated “As determined in the VFW By-Laws, as the national officers, we have specific responsibilities to take definitive action when events can have a detrimental impact on the organization. It is clear to us that the current situation now demands direct action; therefore, we are requesting the chairman and the directors of the Political Action Committee immediately rescind their endorsement actions.” The VFW-PAC refused, stating “VFW-PAC disagrees with those who claim their endorsement process is skewed, flawed, or unfair”.
On October 15, 2010 VFW National Commander Richard Eubank, using his authority under Section 619 & 620 of the VFW National By-Laws/Manual of Procedure, withdrew all PAC Committee appointments effective immediately. Furthermore, he is asking the VFW national council for a vote of “no confidence” in the VFW PAC (this council administers the affairs between conventions). VFW national officers are gearing up to propose an amendment to the VFW National By-Laws to dissolve VFW-PAC.
It is important to remember, VFW membership dues nor donations made to VFW or VFW Foundation do not support VFW-PAC. VFW itself does not make political endorsements.
David E. Prohaska
Assistant Director, Administrative Operations
VFW National Headquarters
Disrespecting the military and claiming endorsements he didn’t receive. When will it end? We can only hope that it will finally end when 8th District voters retire Jim Moran on November 2nd.
UPDATE: Patrick Murray responds. See the video at the bottom of this post and our press release issued yesterday.
Take a look at this video of Jim Moran from the October 6 Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting:
Here’s what he said:
What [Republicans] do is that they find candidates – usually stealth candidates – that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed any kind of public service. My opponent is typical.
Really, Jim? Col. J. Patrick Murray, U.S. Army (Ret.) served his country honorably for 24 years in the military. That includes deployment to Baghdad in 2007 and a tour at the United Nations. How dare you say that is not public service.
The local media hasn’t picked up on this; it was a letter to the editor of the Washington Times and a few Northern Virginia blogs that brought it to our attention.
Let’s put politics aside. This is utterly disgraceful. Jim Moran needs to apologize to the millions of Americans who have served and are serving their country in the best possible way they can, and to the families of military men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2010
Contact: Tommy Valentine
Jim Moran says serving in the military is NOT public service
Citizens Demand Apology for All Who Serve, Past & Present
ARLINGTON, VA — The website RetireJimMoran.com is calling on Rep. Jim Moran of the 8th District of Virginia to apologize for comments Moran made about his Republican opponent in the November 2nd general election, Patrick Murray.
At the October 6 meeting of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (video here), Moran said, “What [Republicans] do is that they find candidates – usually stealth candidates – that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed any kind of public service. My opponent is typical.” Patrick Murray is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who served 24 years in the military, including deployment to Baghdad, Iraq as part of the troop surge in 2007.
“Let’s put politics aside. Moran’s comments are utterly disgraceful and insulting to not just Patrick Murray, but to all the millions of men and women who have served in our military, past and present,” said Tommy Valentine, webmaster of RetireJimMoran.com. “Serving honorably in the military, as Col. Murray did for 24 years, is the best kind of public service anyone can do for our great nation.”
“Moran needs to apologize to Patrick Murray and to the millions of brave men and women who fought and died to give him the freedom to say such things. His comments are gravely offensive to every patriotic American.”
Video of Moran’s remarks is available here: