Rep. Jim Moran (D)
Elected: 1990, 10th term.
Born: May 16, 1945, Buffalo, NY .
Education: Col. of Holy Cross, B.A. 1967, attended City U. of NY, 1967-68, U. of Pittsburgh, M.P.A. 1970.
Family: Married (LuAnn); 4 children.
Elected office: Alexandria City Cncl., 1979–82; Alexandria vice mayor, 1982–84, Alexandria mayor, 1985–90.
Professional Career: Budget analyst & auditor, U.S. Dept. of H.E.W., 1968–74; Fiscal policy spec., Library of Congress, 1974–76; Staff, U.S. Senate Approp. Cmte., 1976–80; Investment broker, 1980–88.
The congressman from the 8th District is Democrat Jim Moran, elected in 1990. He was one of seven children in an Irish Catholic family in suburban Boston. His father was a professional boxer and Washington Redskins football player. Moran graduated from the College of the Holy Cross and got a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He was elected to the Alexandria City Council in 1979 and became vice mayor in 1982. Then in 1984, the first of what would be many career controversies flared, and Morgan pleaded no contest to a conflict of interest charge and resigned from the Council. The charges were later dropped, and in 1985, Moran was elected mayor. In 1990, he ran for Congress against Republican incumbent Stanford Parris. It was a nasty race. Parris said Moran was a supporter of Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein, and Moran responded that he wanted to “break [Parris’s] nose,” and called him “a deceitful, fatuous jerk.” The major substantive issue was abortion rights; Moran ran an ad portraying Lady Liberty behind bars to demonstrate his “pro choice” position. With a big margin in Alexandria, he won 52%-45%.
|Jim Moran (D)||222,986||(68%)||($1,207,945)|
|Mark Ellmore (R)||97,425||(30%)||($65,940)|
|J. Ron Fisher (IG)||6,829||(2%)|
|Jim Moran (D)||11,792||(87%)|
|Matthew Famiglietti (D)||1,764||(13%)|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (66%), 2004 (60%), 2002 (60%), 2000 (63%), 1998 (67%), 1996 (66%), 1994 (59%), 1992 (56%), 1990 (52%)
In the House, Moran has styled himself as a moderate among Democrats. In 1997, he co-founded the New Democrat Coalition, made up of moderate Democrats to support alternatives to liberal policies. Unlike many liberals, Moran has supported free trade agreements, and, he is a strong ally of the high-tech industry. Concerned about young television audiences, Moran in April 2009 introduced a bill to ban advertisements for erectile dysfunction products from airing on commercial television between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
With a district chock full of federal employees, Moran watches out for their interests, and has sponsored a bill to create a public service academy. He is also an advocate for his district when it comes to earmarking, the practice of inserting special projects into appropriations bills to benefit lawmakers’ constituencies. On the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, he was among the top recipients of earmarks in the 2008 defense spending bill. But one of the downsides of earmarking in recent years has been the occasional scandals involving the beneficiaries. In 2009, it was reported that Moran received over $37,000 from the PMA lobbying firm and its employees during the 2008 election season, and that also in 2008, he secured a $1.6 million earmark for a PMA client. PMA is under federal investigation for possible improper campaign donations.
His short temper and edgy remarks sometimes land him in hot water. In 1995, he had a shoving match with California Republican Duke Cunningham on the House floor after Cunningham said that Moran had “turned his back on Desert Storm.” At an antiwar forum in 2003, Moran’s comments seemed to blame the pro-Israel lobby for the war in Iraq. “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq we would not be doing this,” he said. “The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going and I think they should.” The furious reaction prompted Moran to apologize. In 2006, Moran, in backing fellow defense appropriator John Murtha of Pennsylvania in his unsuccessful bid for majority leader, accused fellow members of double-crossing Murtha in the secret balloting and said freshmen who had not voted for his friend would “screw themselves for the rest of their lives” and threatened unwanted committee assignments as punishment.
Moran’s personal finances have raised problems as well. In 2000, the Washington Post reported that a pharmaceutical company lobbyist gave Moran a $25,000 loan on generous terms. Moran quickly agreed to repay the loan and suffered no apparent political damage. More trouble followed in 2002 with reports that he borrowed $50,000 from the founder of America Online, and that MBNA, the big credit card company, had given him a favorable rate on a mortgage.
In 2004, his primary opponent was Alexandria attorney Andrew Rosenberg, a political newcomer who criticized Moran’s character and rhetoric. Moran cited his advocacy for his district and prevailed 59%-41%. He went on to win the general election easily and has had uneventful re-elections since.