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They say that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but that is not true in politics.  For the third time in as many elections, Democratic opponents to Jim Moran have seen their filing petitions shredded by what his detractors are now calling, “The Moran Mafia.”

This year, Bruce Shuttleworth, an Annapolis graduate who rose to become a naval flight instructor at the ultra-prestigious fighter pilot school in Meridian, Mississippi and who saw a lot of jet-propelled action over Bosnia and Somalia, decided to do his patriotic duty and run for Congress against Jim Moran.

In the arcane and quirky world of Virginia politics, candidates must present petitions signed by 1000 registered voters in order to see their names printed on the ballot.  The last two candidates who tried to file against Moran saw their petitions torn up and thrown back in their faces.  One even found himself facing three (3) felony counts for submitting petitions with (gasp) “forged signatures” ie. clerical editing to make illegible signatures legible.  After two years of plea-bargaining, he is now performing community service.

To ensure that he would not encounter such a crude collision with the Moran political machine that defaults to apoplexy whenever anybody makes an attempt to topple their mealticket, Shuttleworth scrupulously and assiduously collected the signatures of nearly 2000 registered voters and submitted his petitions via hand delivery to the local election authorities.

Then Shuttleworth heard nothing, nothing at all except total silence.  That is, until 4:45 pm on Monday, April 2nd, when one Ms. Margo Horner, Chair of the Eighth District Democratic Party rang his campaign office and left voicemail that he had fallen a mere 17 signatures short of the magical 1000.  No further explanation was offered.  The Moran machine rolled implacably on – over Bruce Shuttleworth’s now lifeless attempt to give the people of VA-8 a choice between Jim Moran and a decent Democratic challenger.  

Within the next fifteen minutes, Horner working with Moran’s brother, Brian Moran who happens to be State Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, certified James Moran as the sole eligible candidate for Congress in the June 12th primary.  

After hearing the wonderful news that he had no primary opponent, it is rumored that Jim Moran shuffled out of his office then got a haircut and went out for a night on the town visiting his favorite watering-holes and fleshpots in DC, Alexandria and Arlington.

“They fought like cats and dogs!”

James Moran is one of the crustiest crustaceans to populate the Halls of Congress.  A two-fisted, hard-drinking Irishman, Moran was a failed stockbroker before he found his true métier:  local politics.  

After becoming Mayor of Alexandria, Moran continued to indulge in his most beloved pursuits:  draining the bars dry and when provoked by the tiniest excuse for violence – fistfights with his local constituents.  The mayor was so frequently engaged in bar brawling that the local constabulary learned to ignore complaints that he had broken chairs, jaws, arms and legs in the town.  When Moran and his wife fought at their marital home, the neighbors soon learned to ignore the noisome ruckus.  Neighbors told reporters, the Morans, “fought like cats and dogs” and “there was always a lot of screaming.”  

Since the neighbors quickly learned to cover up Jim Moran’s domestic brutality, Mary Moran felt compelled to dial 911 herself one hot and sweltering night in June, 1999. When the police arrived, they talked to both Morans – then left without filing any charges.  One sharp-eyed neighbor with a pair of infrared binoculars said that he saw Moran stuff something into the bulging pockets of the police that night, but he kept that spectacle to himself.  The next day fearing for her life Mary Moran filed for divorce citing her husband for physical abuse, aka:  ‘wife-beating’ as it was known in a kinder, gentler age.

Now free of his irksome spouse, Moran swaggered through the streets of Alexandria, slapping backs, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars.  “I like to hit people,” became his motto and his mantra.  Local police heard Moran repeat his mantra so many times, they started repeating it themselves.

Moran-Bush Bankruptcy Act

Mrs. Mary Moran was not finished.  In court documents, Mrs. Moran reported that the failed stockbroker was reckless with the family checkbook losing hundreds of thousands of dollars of their hard-earned life-savings.  James Moran was labeled a “reckless” stock market gambler who was always teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.  

While serving in Congress, Moran ran up staggering losses and was facing margin calls that would have staggered Donald Trump.  The temptation was too great.  Moran became a habitual inside-trader, converting information he gleaned from representing the people of VA-8 into raw-boned, bare-knuckled capitalism.  No worry that the practice of insider trading was illegal for ordinary mortals.  This was Jim Moran.  Still Moran’s losses mounted.  The Congressman who now often “likes to hit people” was himself being hit upon by banks, arm-twisters and who knows, leg-breaking loan sharks allegedly now stalking him through the halls of Congress.  

With his back up against the financial walls, Moran made a deal with a white knight in the form of a bank.  The bank loaned him a massive amount of money given his credit rating and assets (something approaching half a million dollars when his assets were far below zero).  The next day, Moran repaid the bank by authoring what has come to be known in some knowledgeable circles in northern Virginia and Washington as the “Moran-Bush Bankruptcy Act.”  Tim Kaine led the calls for a House Ethics Committee investigation into Moran's sweetheart loan.  

What does the Moran-Bush Bankruptcy Act do?  It protects banks from their own customers by preventing consumers from seeking refuge in bankruptcy when faced with crushing credit card debt – ie. exactly the same situation Moran had been in before his sweetheart loan.

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act

Now known in Congress as a relentless inside-trader who constantly churns his personal stock portfolio desperate for profits somewhere, somehow, Moran came face-to-face with temptation too great, too awesome, too compelling to ignore.  In 2008, Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson held a top-secret briefing for Congress and informed Moran and others that the big Meltdown had finally arrived.  The very next day, Jim Moran personally ordered 90 repeat 90 stock transactions – selling Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and a host of other blue, red and green stocks like they were junk bonds.

Hauled before the House Ethics Committee more than once for conflicts of interest, Moran swaggered through the Halls of Congress, red-faced, reckless, uncouth, violent, unkempt and known by his peers as: “not a very nice man” as well as “The Biggest Crook in Congress.”

Eventually, his peers noticed that Moran had become their poster boy for corruption.  Beholden to banks and the oodles of cash he shook down from the defense industry, Moran had become an aggressive ear-marker of expensive tidbits for the generous contributors in his district, largely defense contractors.

Sagacious minds in the Obama administration encouraged legislation to put an end to the open crimes of James Moran.  The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act) overwhelmingly passed Congress this year, and the President signed it into law exactly three days ago.

“Ugly, Brutal & Violent” - Throttling an 8-Year Old Black Boy

To cover over his crimes, Moran embarked on a plan to obscure his personal violence, insolvency and insider trading with a flamboyant public ploy:  he would arrange to get arrested at the Sudanese embassy along with two dupes:  George Clooney and Ben Jealous.  People who know Moran in his district were brought to tears of laughter when they saw the red-faced and obviously intoxicated Congressman handcuffed along with the unsuspecting Hollywood star and the unassuming Executive Director of the NAACP.  Moran achieved a masterstroke:  smokescreening the passage of the STOCK Act, by grandstanding for Sudanese freedom-fighters.

But, fate soon turned the table.  In Florida, the case of Trayvon Martin began to stir the memory banks in VA-8.  Trayvon Martin was killed in a now legal act of racial profiling as a direct result of the dreadful “stand your ground” law of Florida that converts the palm-draped tropical jungle into the outlaw badlands of Arizona and New Mexico in the late nineteenth century where the gun ruled, and the gun-fighter was king.  People in VA-8 recalled a very nasty incident that took place in 1999 involving Jim Moran and an 8-year old black boy.

Unable to afford a car of his own on his paltry Congressional salary, Moran used campaign funds to buy himself a brand new Japanese Toyota Avalon.  Proud of his glittering new car, Moran parked it on the streets of Alexandria and popped into his local bar for a bit too much refreshment as was his habitual wont.  Upon his alcohol-drenched return to his parking place, he found an 8-year old boy peering at his shining new car.  Defaulting to his usual response, Moran “throttled” the black boy, who would tell police that the Congressman “cussed” him while other eyewitnesses said that Moran had assailed the boy with the “N-word” in what was described as an, “ugly, brutal and violent” outburst of Moran being Moran.  The story became national news when NBC reported Moran's "racial profiling."

While the profile of Trayvon Martin rose to giddy heights, the memory banks in VA-8 recalled the “ugly, brutal and violent” racial profiling incident of Jim Moran.

There is a new buzz in VA-8, “Jim Moran has got to go.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  So I take it you don't like Moran? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    let it go Moran has that seat for life.

    •  Let it go? (7+ / 0-)

      He has the seat for life? Seriously?
      I don't live there, but if I did I sure as hell would not be letting it go.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 10:19:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I DO live there... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fcvaguy, RamblinDave, Anorish

        ...and I'm not sure if the diarist does or not, but the diarist's linked sources for this very obvious hit piece are all either 1) Free Republic  2) Wikipedia or 3) A Republican sponsored hit site/anti-Moran campaign site, so any questions about who needs to let certain things go should probably be taken with a large dosage of salt grains.

        The cynic in me is very active with this one.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:21:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Preposterous, Moran Fears Shuttleworth (0+ / 0-)

      Moran is scared to death somebody with some guts will run against him.  That's why Moran shreds petitions filed by candidates who want to face him in primaries.  The man is a gutless coward, a bully and a fake Democrat.

      •  The petition shredding claim is bogus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Before submitting petitions, a campaign usually prescreens the signatures themselves against voter rolls to make sure they have enough signatures. That apparently was not done. In addition, copies are made of all the petitions that are submitted and retained. If petitions were shredded it would be child's play to prove that they were. You make an extraordinary claim, with zero evidence.

  •  Can you elaborate (0+ / 0-)

    on the relationship between Shuttleworth and SuperPac Campaign for Primary Responsibility, Leo Linbeck III, and Eric Cantor?

  •  Don't know what you are smoking (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agrenadier, FG, fcvaguy, RamblinDave, Anorish

    but as someone who has lived in what is now Moran's district since 1982 there is absolutely NO buzz that Moran has to go.

    When the district was redrawn and stretched out into Fairfax County and thus a part of it did not know Moran, he might have been defeated in primary had he faced only one opponent and that opponent had been Kate Hanley.  She chose not to run.

    The person who chose to run in 2004, Andy Rosenberg, had as his main reason the implication the Moran was anti-semitic, largely fed by two things,  1) a remark taken somewhat out of context at a public forum on Israel, and 2) accusations by a former consultant.

    Moran took some hits.  Rabbi Jack Moline of Agudas Achim Synagogue in Alexandria, who had been a long-time friend and who had had Jim as a guest at his daugher's Bat Mitzvah, unloaded on Moran.  

    What was interesting is that Howard Dean came in and did a fundraiser for Moran (who had been one of the first Congressmen outside of the CBC to endorse Dean in his run for President) and Dean, whose wife is Jewish, totally took apart the idea that Jim was anti-semitic.

    I could go into this in more detail, but I won't.

    Rosenberg had connections with the people around Ted Kennedy.

    He did not lack for money.

    Moran beat him 59-41.

    Jim Moran is far from a perfect human being, and far from being a perfect Congressman.

    He has on most issues been solid for his district, which is why he has never been seriously challenged in a primary.

    Even had Shuttlesworth gotten on the primary ballot, he had no chance whatsoever of winning the primary.

    That is simple reality.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:16:42 AM PDT

    •  Moran Fears Bruce Shuttleworth (0+ / 0-)

      Stating that Moran is impregnable is where you depart from reality.  Any incumbent can be unseated; in a primary or in a general election.  Jim Moran knows that very well.  That is why he avoids primaries like the plague.  The man is described as a bully.  Any man who would put his hands on an eight-year old black boy and yell the N-word at the top of his lungs does not deserve to be in Congress.  As for your intelligence about VA-8, you don't know what you are talking about.  Moran is loathed.  He knows it.  That's why he and his brother and the Moran Mafia rig the primaries.

      •  again, you should watch what u r smoking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if Shuttlesworth is so fearsome, let him get on ballot as independent and see how he does.

        For your information, my intelligence on things in VA-08 and in Democratic politics around the state is quite solid.

        Bloviate all you want, but you are so far off base it is ridiculous.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 05:12:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Former VA-8 resident here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    On two nonconsecutive occasions, even: 1989-91 (I volunteered for Moran's first campaign, and met him once) and 2002-04. I used to admire him tremendously, but I now have very little respect left for him and if I still lived in the 8th I would likely vote against him in the primary. Besides his famous big mouth, his constituent service and his staff's PR in his DC office were a bad joke.

    I say all that as a way of establishing that if all the accusations in this diary were true, I would likely be aware of them. And this is the first I've heard of nearly all of it. Yes, there are rumors about his drinking and his temper, but nothing on the level suggested here. Yes, he made a dumb comment about Jewish support for the war in Iraq, but if I recall correctly he said it in response to a woman at a town meeting who identified herself as Jewish and asked "Why aren't more people like me supporting the war?" I don't know about you, but I can't think of any response she could have reasonably expected that wouldn't have offended someone. Given Moran's already established reputation for careless comments, that was quite possibly her intention.

    I don't like Moran. But if these things were even close to the truth, the SCLM would never shut up about them. And as it is, there's been little or no mention of any of them.

    Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

    by RamblinDave on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 06:42:05 PM PDT

    •  They are lies (0+ / 0-)

      And the sources cited in support are wing nut sites. There are many very problematic putative Democrats in congress. Moran is not one of them. This diary is unhinged.

      •  NBC and NYT Wing-Nuts? (0+ / 0-)

        Goebbels proved that the big lie works better than the little lie.  NBC took Moran to task over the racial profiling incident described above and the New York Times covered his conflicts of interest.  Wikipedia catalogues all of the shenanigans listed in this article - and the other sites are based on local reports and mainstream media.  You can fool all of the people of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

        •  They were both... (0+ / 0-)

          ...instrumental in carrying water for the right wing shit machine with all the Clinton-era "scandals" that weren't. So it's easy for me to believe they'd join in inadvertently on a hatchet job against a Democratic congressman. Buys them some inoculation against accusations of liberal bias, or at least they'd probably believe it would.

          Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

          by RamblinDave on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:15:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Listen to Larry Bethea, Constituent of Moran (0+ / 0-)

            "As a former resident of Alexandria, then City Councilmen James Moron, called a fellow Councilmen outside. As soon as they had departed City Hall, in the back alley, Moran punched the other City Councilman to the ground. When the reporters heard of this Moran proudly stated that he was a golden gloves boxer! Moran has always punched and yelled his way out of an argument. I hate bullies and he is a classic! BTW he had that 8 year old child by the ear and was dragging him into the recreation center. He is such a Moron, James (Moran) that is!"

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