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Republicans Regrouping After Bruising Eighth District Primary

by ARLnow.com July 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm 4,521 105 Comments

One month after an otherwise low-key primary ended with a smoldering intra-party controversy over a last-minute mailer, former GOP congressional candidate Matthew Berry is calling on supporters to “move on.”

Speaking at a recent Arlington County Republican Committee meeting, Berry — whose narrow loss to retired Army colonel Patrick Murray surprised some local political watchers — said it’s “very important” for the party to unite with the goal of retaking control of congress. But while he said that Murray “deserves our respect,” Berry stopped short of endorsing Murray or pledging to help his campaign.

Murray, who will face incumbent Rep. Jim Moran in November, seems eager to put the controversy behind him. (For the record, he says he “would very respectfully but strongly disagree” that his campaign’s controversial mailer tried to exploit the fact that Berry is gay.)

Murray met personally with Berry last week in an effort to smooth things over.

“Matthew acknowledges who our adversary is, and our adversary is Jim Moran,” Murray said. “We’re both on the same sheet of music strategically, which is to turn around congress.”

With the primary behind him, Murray says his primary focus is to win over independents and moderate Democrats. Still, he realizes there is some work to be done if he wants Berry supporters to do more than just vote for him.

“I’m sure there were some raw feelings right after the [election], and that’s to be understood,” Murray said. “People pour a lot of energy and emotion into campaigns… and I respect that. I just hope that moving forward we can harness that energy together and move forward against our common adversary.”

Murray will need to raise a lot of money — quickly — in order to be competitive with Moran, who already has $527,348 cash on hand, according to OpenSecrets.org.  That fundraising will be especially hard if the 6,651 Republicans who voted for Berry are reluctant to open their wallets and donate their time to Murray’s campaign.

Murray spent most of the $70,846 he raised during the primary. He had $14,816 in the bank as of May 19. His campaign has raised another $10,975 online since the election, a fraction of Moran’s war chest.

Mike Lane, Murray’s interim campaign manager and the only nominated Republican to win an election in Arlington in a generation, says fundraising will be the campaign’s biggest challenge. Lane says he’s confident that voters will respond to the campaign’s message, which will be heavy on fiscal issues and light on social issues.

“You have to make the case that the incumbent, or the monopoly party, is not getting the job done,” Lane said. “I think it’s going to be an easy case to make. The question is: will we have the resources to reach the number of people that will be able to listen to it.”

“Fundraising has gotten diametrically better” since the primary, Murray notes. He expects to get another boost from some of the state’s Republican luminaries, who have pledged their support.

Murray will hold a campaign kickoff event with former Virginia governor and current author George Allen at Army Navy Country Club on July 15. An event with controversial state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is planned for July 26. Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling have also offered to help.

“They believe that this year, all bets are off,” Murray said. “I am excited and very optimistic about the chances we have.”

  • JR

    i’m so sad… Berry would have made a great Congressman. now we are going to get Jim Moran and his anti-Semitic rantings for another a couple years.

  • Skeptical

    Like Berry or not — and I would say this even about a candidate I regarded as the Second Coming — he is not making a wonderful impression by having left rows of campaign signs up in every right-of-way I use nearly every day of my life. I can only assume they remain up everywhere.

    If you have the manpower to put up campaign signs, you have the manpower to take ’em down. Berry supporters, no matter how you feel about the primary results, how about a little citizenship?

  • No Honor No Courage

    Nothing has changed since June 9th. I respect that Matthew Berry is asking his supporters to “move on”, but my fury at how Murray conducted his campaign in the final weeks has not abated one whit. I have said before, and I say again, Murray will not get my money, my time, or my vote. He has NO HONOR and NO COURAGE.

    • Disgusted

      I agree completely … and one must also wonder about the company he keeps. Clueless or equally diabolical?

  • Mike

    I agree with skeptical. Taking down the signs after the election is over is required by law. But maybe I’m naive thinking that elected officials – even potential ones – would follow the laws meant for the peepul.

  • Darwin

    I like how this article points out that you have to have as much or more money than your opponent to buy enough votes to win!

  • Trevor

    Patrick Murray will lose to Jim Moran in greater numbers in 2010 than Mark Ellmore lost to Moran in 2008. Moran will crush Murray due to the simple fact that the 8th Congressional District is overwhelmingly Democratic. Stevie Wonder can see that. Jim Moran, despite all of his personal problems, shakes the proverbial ‘money tree’ for the 8th for transportation projects, as well as other needs for the District. Is Moran perfect? Far from it. But does he deserve to be out of office? That’s up to the voters to decide this November, but my guess is that Moran will win by a landslide and that Murray will get, maybe, just maybe, 30 percent, or less, of the overall vote. By the way, I’m a conservative Republican who can definitely see the forest through the trees. Jim Moran will absolutely trounce Patrick Murray, BIG TIME, this November. You can bet on it.

  • Let’s Be Free

    Berry had a great resume but was a lousy candidate. He isn’t steeled for the rough and tumble of a contested political campaign — too thin skinned and defensive by far. Murray will come on strong, very strong, in late October and early November. Since Moran is hardly beloved by the man or woman on the street, the race could actually get interesting.

    • Disgusted

      Dream on … I am still waiting to learn more about Murray’s personal life beyond being a retired Army Colonel. The Moran campaign might be just a bit more inquisitive than Berry’s was. Murray has already proven without any help from Moran’s people that he lacks ethics.

  • Disgusted Arlington Republican

    Mike Lane will be one of the main reasons that Patrick Murray will lose to Jim Moran this November. But Mike Lane won’t admit that. Lane’s in it for the false glory and publicity of working for a campaign that he knows is going down the tubes.

    Mike Lane does not know how to win, overall, and is a very mean-spirited, vindictive, all-in-all ‘LOSER’, who will continue to help bring Murray’s campaign to all new lows for Republicans in the 8th District.

    With the way that Mike Lane helped to tarnish the reputation of a good man, a fellow Republican, Matthew Berry, in the closing days of the primary campaign, it goes to show you how desperate Patrick Murray is for help. Patrick Murray apparently didn’t do any due diligence to delve into Mike Lane’s personal and political background before hiring him, that’s for sure.

    With Mike Lane on board Murray’s campaign, you know that you can always count on Lane rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. He’s good at doing that.

    Murray’s campaign is sinking so fast that Republicans in Arlington, and throughout the 8th District, are giving up hope in 2010 and looking forward to Matthew Berry or another much stronger, qualified candidate (other than Murray) running in 2012.

    Mike Lane should do the honorable thing (which he won’t) and resign from Murray’s campaign, while Patrick still has a chance to not lose as bad as he will with Lane “helping him out” this November.

    • John Antonelli

      If Lane does not know how to win, just how did he get on the Arlington County Board?

      • Disgusted

        Last minute special election. Voted out 6 months later in the general.

        • John Antonelli

          Mike won in a special something that no Republican has done since.

  • Disgusted

    You remind me of one of the questions I pondered June 7 before changing my allegiance from Murray to Berry. Did Murray lack the curiosity to delve into the personal and political backgrounds of his inner-circle or did he delve and simply not care what he found? I found both options coming from one running on a platform touting leadership qualities and traditional family values pretty darn scary.

  • Troubled GOP Voter

    Patrick Murray sure did sell his soul to the Devil himself when he brought on Mike Lane for his campaign. Please notice that Mike is Patrick’s ‘interim’ campaign manager, and not his full-time campaign manager. At least Murray hasn’t screwed up by hiring Lane, full time, yet. Since Murray was in the Army, maybe he wants to see how bad Lane will “tank” his campaign first.

    • Michael

      There are way too many Berry campaign signs still up, especially since the primary was on Tuesday, June 8th. What’s up with Matthew Berry’s people not taking down his signs? That just makes Matthew look bad.

  • SatiricalAlexandria

    I had a personal encounter with Murray and his staffers and it was not good. Granted, I’m a solid Democrat, but that doesn’t change the facts. I was marching with Dems in the Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day parade earlier this year. I had my neighbor’s 12 year old with me as he wanted to march in the parade. We were a little ahead of the Dem group, wearing Alexandria Democratic Committee t-shirts, when one of Murray’s supporters, a young man appearing to be college age, came up and cursed at us. I was appalled. I spoke to Murray about it after the parade. He seemed to just shrug it off. I also asked Murray some pointed questions about his positions. He told me he was pro-choice. I found that surprising coming from a far right Republican, but I took him at his word. Since that time, I have seen and heard some very anti-choice statements from Murray. This tells me the Murray will say anything to anybody in order to get elected. Why would he bother lying to ME of all people when I was so obviously a Moran supporter? He knew he wasn’t going to get my vote so why waste the enery to lie? I don’t think Murray could tell the truth if he had too. The man is a snake. And while I’m certainly no Berry supporter either, Murray’s last minute mailing was simply despicable.

    • Roger T.

      I will have to say, even as a Republican, I was thoroughly disgusted with the last mailing that I got from Patrick Murray. It was one of the most hateful and nasty political mailings that I have seen in quite some time. The Murray campaign went out of their way to make Matthew Berry, who is also a Republican, look bad, in every way they could, even stooping low enough to bring up the fact that Matthew is gay. Who cares if he is gay? Matthew Berry, unfortunately, did not put together a strong enough campaign to win the Republican primary on June 8th, but when Patrick Murray won, in the sleazy way that he did it, I just knew we had a huckster running against Jim Moran this year. For Republicans to win campaigns, we need better candidates! Patrick Murray and his campaign team are not good for the Republican party! Keep your powder dry for 2012! Don’t waste your money or time to work for Murray. You’ll be throwing away your money and wasting your time!

    • pvogel

      Are all the toad signs down yet?

  • Bill Long

    Patrick Murray most certainly broke Ronald Reagan’s ‘Eleventh Commandment’ with how he treated Matthew Berry, who is a fine upstanding gentleman, a man who did not deserve to be smeared the way he was during the primary. I’m a life long Republican and I am not going to vote for Patrick Murray, I’m also not going to vote for Jim Moran. I’m going to vote for the Libertarian candidate, Matt Mosley. He has my vote! Republicans in the 8th Congressional District need to rally around Matt Mosley this year and let’s help him get elected! http://www.mosley2010.com

  • michelle turner

    i am an independent voter and i have lived in the 8th congressional district for a long time. i’d like for the murray campaign to serve up some clear cut examples of how jim moran has not been there for the people he represents. a guy like jim moran, who’s been in office for 20 years, must be doing something right if he keeps getting elected. i mean, wow, come on patrick murray, talk to voters about how jim moran has hurt the 8th? prove to me that you could do better. prove to me that you have a plan on how you could better represent me and other voters in the 8th. you can’t, you know, it, the republican party knows it, everybody knows that jim moran will win again this november. period. end of story. jim moran is a proven winner for people in the 8th. he brings home the bacon and that’s why he keeps getting reelected. the only election that jim moran won’t win, is when he decides to retire from politics. until then, it’s moran, moran, moran, all the way.

  • pvogel

    Murray or Berry , it dont really matter. Moran saved my life a couple of years ago by interceding with a big bad health insurance company. at the same time republicans were telling me to just die.

  • Mike Burke

    It is a shame that Republicans in Arlington or Alexandria can’t win anything. In Alexandria, the Republicans are worse, even though Frank Fannon won last year. At least in Fairfax, with Pat Herrity and John Cook, well, they know how to win. Jim Moran, like him or not, he knows how to win. Republicans could learn from Jim Moran, how to be a winner, how to help people, how to be there when people need a hand, but the only thing that Arlington and Alexandria Republicans know how to do well is to bitch and complain, and grouse about how bad their lives are. Hmmm, and to think that for the most part, all of those Republicans live in Democratic strongholds where there is great prosperity. Patrick Murray, another Alexandria Republican, will be the latest to be taken out to the wood shed by Jim Moran. It’s going to be an ugly year for Arlington and Alexandria Republicans.

  • Sandy

    Mike Lane will bring down any campaign. He won’t be the reason that Murray loses to Moran, but he will be a big part of it. Anyone in Arlington who knows Mike Lane, and people in Alexandria too, for that matter, know how mean, nasty, vicious, acerbic, vile, rude, and disgusting Mike Lane can be when it comes to politics. An earlier posting is correct, he should resign, but, as the previous poster noted, Mike Lane will not resign because he will do what he can to take the Murray campaign down in flames. It’s what Mike Lane does. He only cares about his inflated ego. Mike Lane has no conscience, at all. He is the poster child for Republican political failure in Arlington and Alexandria.

    • Observer

      The only thing I would disagree with in your analysis is your qualifier “when it comes to politics”.

  • Sandy

    You disagree with my assessment of Mike Lane? How so?

    • Observer

      I agree completely! I just wouldn’t limit your description of him to politics only.

      • Sandy

        So you know Mike Lane personally to discuss his personal background, beyond politics? What do you know, that Patrick Murray probably doesn’t know, about Mike Lane?

        • John Antonelli

          I also know Mike Lane and I find him to be a bright and concerned individual who did much for Arlingtonians Republicans in his time on the County Board. I detect a political vendetta here.

  • Barbara


    • Sorry, Barbara, that may be the case but this is not a forum to discuss people’s private lives.

      • Barbara

        I would disagree. I believe that when people who either run for office or are working for a candidate, that their lives are open to the public. They choose to work to get elected or get someone elected, the public should and must know about who they’re voting for, especially when it comes to the nuts and bolts of a campaign. The public should have open knowledge about their candidates and staff who run their campaigns. That’s the way politics are and always will be.

      • Inquiring

        I would add to Barbara’s observations that voters have a right to know if candidates are aware, or not, of the notoriety of the people they choose to advise them.

  • George

    I don’t know who this guy Mike Lane is, but I do know that Jim Moran is a very seasoned politician who will win in November. No one is even questioning that fact. The Republican party knows they can’t win the 8th Congressional District and Jim Moran is considered a “lock” by everyone who watches political races across the country. Jim Moran was a councilman in the City of Alexandria, then Vice Mayor, then Mayor, before becoming a Congressman. Jim Moran is a very seasoned politician who gets the job done. That’s a fact. Jim Moran cares about people in the 8th and will be in office until, one day, he decides to retire.

    • John Antonelli

      Jim Moran is a crook and a wife beater. So just why was he forced to resign as Alexandria’s mayor?

      • Mike

        If you’re dumb enough to marry Moron, then a beatdown is the very least you can expect.

        • Janine

          And you are defending Mike Lane? What a hoot! Better check into his past a bit closer before throwing these barbs at Jim Moran.

          • Annie T.

            If Jim Moran’s personal life is fair game, so is Mike Lane’s, who was a politician, for, thankfully, a very short time, in Arlington County.

            With the comment about Jim Moran being a crook and a wife beater, what about Mike Lane’s history with his girlfriends? Mike Lane is a very bad man, in his personal life, and people need to know who is helping to run Patrick Murray’s campaign, what time of man he really is.

            Mike Lane’s personal life, with how bad he has treated his past girlfriends, is fair game, because he is a part of Murray’s team.

            I think that it is disgusting, some of the things that I personally know, about Mike Lane and how he as treated his girlfriends, that he has the guts to show himself in public, because a lot of people know what he has done to them too.

            That also brings to light Patrick Murray, and his personal life as well.

          • Skeptical

            You know, in spite of myself I’m beginning to wonder what people have to tell about this Mike Lane business. Not because I am seeking to base a political decision of any kind on it, but with this many posters signing women’s names to outraged comments, I see a reality show in the making.

  • Thes

    Mike Lane is a twit, and it’s fair game to question his involvement with Arlington Republicans, but ArlNow should consider how much anonymous character assassination is really appropriate or necessary here.

  • Barbara

    Thes, so do you think that any of the comments, referring to Mike Lane are untrue? Everyone who knows Mike Lane, politically, and most of us in Arlington do who are in politics unfortunately do know him, know that he doesn’t care about Patrick Murray. Mike Lane is Patrick Murray’s interim campaign manager, as noted, above. It will only be a very short time, that Mike, as Patrick’s interim campaign manager, drives the whole campaign right off a cliff. It’s going to happen. We all know it’s going to happen. Mike Lane knows what he is doing. Mike is a sociopath and that is public knowledge, not anonymous character assassination. There has not been one thing about Mike Lane posted on this page that is untrue. If you know him, you’ll know that as a fact as well. While what’s written about him as been vastly unflattering, Mike Lane loves the attention. He does not have a job and has nothing else to do but to read about himself. For Mike Lane, bad news is still good news, so politically he will still go down as a loser, no matter what campaign he leaches off of to get himself attention.

    • Barbara

      ARLnow.com, all of my postings about Mike Lane are public knowledge, and he is a political figure in Arlington, as well as Alexandria, so he should be fair game. Are you trying to shield Mike Lane’s vast political and private flaws from the public?

      • A campaign manager’s divorce is not relevant to this story.

  • Pingback: Patrick Murray has his work cut out for him | Bearing Drift: Virginia Politics On Demand()

  • Bill

    Mike Lane is a complete embarrassment to the Republican Party and will help make Patrick Murray’s campaign even more of a disaster than it already is now. Mike Lane’s past political history has shown him to be a complete negative for any campaign that he’s been a part of, including his own when he ran for Arlington County Board in the late nineties. Patrick Murray most certainly did not do his homework when he brought Mike Lane on board for his campaign. Look, Jim Moran is a very formidable candidate who’s been in office for 20 years, and it would take someone who people in the area knew and liked really well to probably beat him, but Patrick Murray? Come on Republicans! Wake up and smell the coffee! Why do we have to put up with very weak candidates like Patrick Murray, who bring on completely disastrous political deadbeats like Mike Lane? We just have to write off 2010 and work towards finding a Republican candidate for 2010 who has served office in the area, like Frank Fannon, for instance, on the Alexandria City Council, who has lived in the area all of his life, who tons of people know and they all like the guy. Lisa Marie Cheney, who also lives in Alexandria, would be a great candidate to run again against Moran as she did in 2004. Mark Kelly, from Arlington, also is someone to look towards for the future for the 8th as well.

    • Bill

      I meant to say: “We just have to write off 2010 and work towards finding a Republican candidate for 2012 who has served office in the area…”

  • Linda

    Patrick Murray has proven that he can not be trusted when he brings on an individual like Mike Lane, whom all of us Arlington Republicans know him very well, and are all equally disgusted with him too. Mike Lane got drummed out of Arlington and will eventually wear out his welcome in Alexandria too. That day could not come soon enough. The best thing that Lane can do for Northern Virginia Republicans is to get out of politics, and not be a part of the campaign of anyone running for office. Getting back to the campaign in this article, does Lane have pictures of Murray with sheep? Is that why he has a job?

  • Barbara

    (deleted), but I have heard from reliable sources that he and his girlfriend are working for Patrick Murray for free, gratis, no money needed by either of them. I guess he doesn’t want to get paid for bringing down the Murray campaign when he can do it for free, right?

    • Second warning. Personal attacks are not allowed. Especially when you start naming people not connected to the story.

  • Barbara

    ARLnow.com, ok, truce, I’m sorry, but I was wondering if you might work for the Murray campaign. Do you?

    • Nope. I think the article speaks for itself.

  • A Mad Conservative Republican in Arlington

    In a previous article on ARLnow.com, http://www.arlnow.com/2010/06/11/murray-looks-forward-but-berry-supporters-looking-back, there was a mention of a really nasty ‘last minute’ mailing done by the Murray campaign that was full of lies and innuendo about Matthew Berry. Folks who I know who helped out on the Murray campaign told me that Mike Lane was responsible for the mailing and was on a personal mission to try to thoroughly take down and embarrass Matthew Berry so that Patrick Murray could win the primary. The mission was successful from the fact that Murray won and Berry lost, but it exposed glaring weaknesses of Murray’s campaign, one of which is that he’s got no money and is basically running on fumes. I agree with a lot of other postings that Mike Lane is working for Patrick Murray for free and for his ego, but what he does is hurting the Republican Party, BIG TIME! As Republicans, yes, we must all come together, as one, to have a strong candidate to run against Jim Moran, but… we unfortunately don’t have a strong candidate with Patrick Murray as Moran’s Republican challenger. It is sad that Patrick Murray will be Jim Moran’s latest victim this November.

    • John Antonelli

      And Matthew Berry wouldn’t be?

      Nothing wrong with an aggressive campaign manager sounds like sour grapes to me.

      • A Mad Conservative Republican in Arlington

        Neither Patrick Murray, or even Matthew Berry, can or could have beat Jim Moran. Jim Moran will win reelections until we, as Republicans, nominate someone who has the ability to raise vast amounts of cash, has a message that moderate Democrats and Independents will follow with both cash and volunteers, and someone who is locally entrenched, someone who has a strong established background in the community. Right now Patrick Murray is a very nice guy, but even he has to know he can’t possibly beat Jim Moran. Look, if he’s intelligent, which he appears to be, then he knows that Jim Moran will trounce him on Election Day in November. Maybe Murray comes back for another shot in 2012 as a stronger candidate.

  • joe gop

    It’s amazing how much time and negative energy is thrown at Murray. Democrats love to point out that Moran is a lock and does good things for the 8th district despite Moran’s sleazy character which I guess is okay as long as you bring home the bacon. Just ask a democrat, they like holding the seat but many don’t like Moran personally. Even they can’t knock him off in a primary.

    Republicans on the other hand like to complain how great Berry was but for some reason they couldn’t get him elected. False claims of “gay bashing” directed at the Murray campaign. REALLY?? read the mailer, there was no gay bashing. So he twisted (or not) a few of Berry’s stances on issues in a comparison mailer. Shady maybe but dishonorable give me a break. This was a tame and boring primary. You call that comparison piece nasty, read it again then go research some really nasty campaigns and you’ll see how silly this is.

    The real reason no candidate in the 8th district can beat Moran is because Republicans keep beating themselves. The establishment picks an early favorite and thinks everyone will fall in line. Not always the case. Berry got too comfortable and coasted toward the finish line. Murray hit the streets hard, even though that bus was a little over the top he was out meeting and greeting non-stop, and sprinted toward the finish line. If Berry can’t get 7 thousand votes to win a primary, he sure as hell cant 170 thousand votes to win the general election.

    From the posts above it sounds like the same old sour grapes republicans and die hard democrats trying to mix things up. If the 8th District republicans were serious about beating Moran, they need to come together. I like the fact that Murray is an outsider and by the looks of it he will have to do it alone without help from Arlington and Alexandria republicans. That right there just might help him more than it would hurt him.

  • Former Alexandria GOPer

    You’re right about the Alexandria Republican Party. The Alexandria Republican City Committee, as it is formally called, is a complete waste. It’s a joke. They do absolutely nothing but bitch and complain, then they go to some place collectively to drink and complain and bitch about how bad their lives are. They won’t help Murray at all. Neither will the Alexandria Young Republicans, which are a complete waste among themselves. All they do is drink, bitch and complain. Wait, it’s the way they roll in Alexandria! Murray needs to stay away from Alexandria Republicans, that’s for sure!

    • Disenfranchised Alexandria Republican

      I gave up on the Alexandria Republican City Committee (ARCC) a long time ago. The ARCC does nothing to reach out to the community in a positive way. The previous poster is correct, all they do is have bitter and hateful conversations about their lives, when, in truth, if they wanted to win voters, they should be going out into the public and doing community outreach, volunteering for community projects, being a part of the community, but, alas, they don’t care about being ‘community leaders’, so that’s why they’ll never be winners. Hey, Frank Fannon pretty much won in Alexandria without the help of the ARCC, per se. He had an effective campaign staff that worked hard and helped him win. Frank Fannon is the lone exception to Alexandria Republicans, but, as Alexandrians, we all know that the ARCC does not respect Frank Fannon. They work around Frank and march to their own losing beat.

  • Tony G.

    The Arlington County Republican Party does what they can, but they’re overwhelmed by the liberal Democratic socialists who govern the entire county. Arlington Republicans just can’t win and I don’t think that Patrick Murray has much of a chance against Jim Moran. The liberal Democratic socialists overwhelm Republicans by vast numbers in the 8th Congressional District. We’ve seen the past history of Republicans who ran against Moran. All have tried. All have failed. Murray will most certainly fail this November against Moran. Murray has to already know his fate. Murray has to know that he won’t get too many voters in a district full of liberal Democratic socialists who would rather reelect one of their very own, Jim Moran.

    • MB

      Socialism!!! Oh noes!!!!

      Seriously kids, grow up, get a real policy argument, and make a sensible case. Until you can manage that, all the Arlington GOP candidates are going to get is ignored (and mocked, by people who just can’t help themselves (like me, I admit)).

  • Arlington Independent Voter

    As an independent Arlington voter, I have yearned for Republicans to put forth a candidate I could at least follow, someone who had a clear vision for the future of not just Arlington, but the entire 8th Congressional District. Sadly, as if they don’t learn from the past, local Republicans give us no alternative to the Democrats who solidly hold power in Arlington County and our area. I know a lot of independent voters in Arlington and Alexandria, and every one agrees with me, that the same, tired, old Republican pitch just doesn’t work. Hey, give us a Republican who at least has gone through the issues, who can express himself above the fray, who can be a visionary of where he wants to take Arlington and the 8th District in the future. We just don’t have that with Patrick Murray. Wow, the guy just doesn’t get it. It’s like he’s reading from a national playbook and doesn’t get that he should be reading from the ‘8th Congressional District Playbook,’ instead. So, our only other alternative is Jim Moran, who will no doubt win very convincingly, once again, this upcoming November. If the Republicans would just pick up the clue phone, they’d find a lot of voters who are looking for good alternatives, yet they just don’t appear to have the ability to find anyone to understands local politics and how it effects all of us. Hey, one thing you can say about Jim Moran, he shakes the money tree and gets things done for road projects and improvements. The Republicans have two years, until 2012, to reload and give us independents a guy we can look to as an alternative candidate. I have never met the man, but I have heard a lot of good things about Frank Fannon, who is on the Alexandria City Council. A few of my friends who are Democrats in Alexandria have told me that they voted for him and think he’s doing a great job. Maybe the Republicans should position Fannon for running in 2012? Just an independent thought.

    • Big Fan of Frank Fannon

      I am a big fan of Frank Fannon! I know he’s only been in office for a very short time, about a year or so now, but he might be a good candidate for running against Jim Moran in 2012, or sometime in the near future. Frank Fannon is a very nice guy who really cares about people a lot and might be the strong Republican candidate that we’re looking for to run against Jim Moran. He was born in the City of Alexandria, he’s a very, very successful businessman, he’s an entrepreneur, who’s also a ‘local guy’ who grew up in Alexandria too. I hope that Mr. Fannon would do us all a favor of running against Jim Moran in 2012. I believe that ‘FANNON for Congress 2012’ has a nice ring to it.

      • Rachel

        I sure hope that Mr. Fannon can successfully close down Landmark Mall and help provide the strong political leadership that will bring about dynamic redevelopment for that blighted tract of land. Landmark Mall, which anchors the West End of Alexandria, is over half empty, and of the stores that are there, is made of of junky stores that virtually no one shops at anymore. Landmark Mall is a ghost town! Mr. Fannon needs to help make Landmark Mall a thing of the past. He needs to help us make the land that’s there a new revitalized part of Alexandria that can have both vibrant retail and urban dwellings that will help generate taxes that can lower the overall tax base for residents throughout the city.

        • MB

          When Del Pepper becomes Mayor of Alexandria, in 2026, that’s when Landmark Mall will be closed, but not until then. Del will be fully in charge of Alexandria in 2026 and she can use her power of eminent domain and seize all of the land to build the world’s largest dog park, “Landmark Dog Park.”

  • Ronald

    To think that Patrick Murray will beat Jim Moran this November is pure lunacy. Patrick Murray neither has the money, nor campaign team, nor political skill, to be a grizzled pol like Jim Moran. Jim Moran will win this November in a landslide of historic proportions. It’s not just bound to happen, it’s going to happen. Bet on Jim Moran to win, big. Bet everything you’ve got on Jim Moran, big. Jim Moran will crush Patrick Murray on Election Night, this November, big. Jim Moran, big. Patrick Murray, small.

  • Tony G.

    I think that Patrick Murray has a shot, a long shot, to be sure, but a strong shot, at beating Jim Moran in November. Jim Moran is a guy who just seems like he’s done with politics, like he really doesn’t care, like he’s just going through the motions. I don’t think that Jim Moran has it in his heart anymore to try to win over votes in the 8th District. Patrick Murray is a fresh face, he’s not a politician and he could be a guy who could sneak up on Moran and win this November. I know most people are dismissing Patrick Murray, and Jim Moran has been in office for 20 years, but 2012 could be a great year for Republicans, right? Who here thinks that Murray has a chance to beat Moran this year? Anyone? I think that Murray does! He’s got my vote!

    • Inquiring

      Voting for a fresh face? You nor his campaign mention anything of credible substance. Voters like you gave us Obama.

    • Skeptical

      Realistically, you cannot expect the voters of the 8th District to send someone to Congress unless he is believably pro-choice, gay-friendly, and has a strong environmental plank in his platform. Murray’s site doesn’t mention reproductive rights or gay issues and his energy plan starts with more offshore drilling. If he has the blessing of the 8th District Committee, my guess is that he is traditionally conservative on social issues and will have to talk around them. That won’t sell.

  • Julie R.

    Wake up people! Mike Lane, as noted by many other posters here, is Patrick Murray’s “interim” campaign manager. Mike Lane doesn’t have a clue how to run a competent campaign. Every campaign that he has been a part of, all Republican, have been an abject disaster. Mike Lane is widely noted for his pension for trying to destroy political reputations, including his own. Patrick Murray is clearly mistaken if he thinks that Mike Lane is an asset to his already weak and financially cash strapped campaign. Patrick Murray is about to become the latest ‘Mike Lane victim’ where both his personal and political reputation will go down in flames. It’s how Mike Lane is, it’s how he operates, and he loves destroying campaigns, which he is very good at doing. His association with Patrick Murray will sink the Murray campaign to all new lows. Mike Lane is known in Arlington County as being a loser. Mike Lane is known in Fairfax County as being a loser. Mike Lane is known in Alexandria as being a loser. Maybe, if Mike Lane had a conscience, he would resign from the Murray campaign. But Mike Lane doesn’t have a conscience. Mike Lane truly has no shame.

    • gop observer

      I happen to think you’re giving Mike Lane too much credit for being intellectual, which he is not. Mike Lane does not have a job, which includes him in a big part of our society who are unemployed. Mike Lane is really not that smart, or intelligent to put together an effective winning campaign, so, what Patrick Murray has in Lane is a guy, without a real job, looking to try to pretend like he’s important in someone’s life, like Patrick’s, while he no doubt mismanages his own. So don’t think that Mike Lane will be the ultimate culprit in the failure of Murray’s campaign this year. Mike Lane is a dolt who couldn’t start a fire with a pack of matches and a can of gasoline, so give the guy a break.

  • Bill C.

    Julie, I do know from very good sources that Mike Lane did not have anything to do with Frank Fannon’s successful winning campaign in Alexandria in 2009, and Fannon is a Republican, so Mike Lane must have missed out on trying to get Fannon to “go down in flames”, right?

    Fannon had Catherine Roper, Pat Malone, and Brandon shultz all working for his campaign, along with a few other volunteers. They had a great campaign team that worked very hard for Fannon, effectively helping him to get his message out to Democrats and Independents, along with Republicans, in Alexandria which, in turn, helped Fannon get elected.

    Once again, Mike Lane had absolutely nothing to do with Frank Fannon’s campaign, which might prove your point, that Republicans can win, just not with Mike Lane as a part of their team.

  • Mike

    Ok, for some of us who are uninformed, who the hell is Mike Lane and why are so many people pissed off at him anyways?

  • Tom E.

    Mike Lane is really an absolute twit who, despite not having a real job, likes to think of himself as a “man about town”, which clearly he is not. Mike Lane is the definition of a ‘grifter’ in the truest sense of the word. Mike Lane is a political iceberg who also truly defines ‘loser’ as well. I am amazed at all the postings concerning Mike Lane because he is a very sad case of a man who has little political significance, who has no stature in public society in either Arlington, Alexandria of Fairfax County. Mike Lane is really irrelevant when it comes to local politics because anyone who’s running for office has a clue as to how much of a cancer the guy is and does not have him on their campaign. Don’t sweat Mike Lane. Patrick Murray will lose on his own, with or without Lane on his campaign.

  • Disappointed Arlington Voter

    You can ask Matthew Berry what kind of a vicious, callous, uncaring guy Mike Lane is.

    It has been said that Mike Lane is responsible for the nasty mailing that went out just before Tuesday, June 8. Patrick Murray likes to tell everybody that he fact checked everything before the mailing, that everything in it is true, but we all know that’s just b.s., not true, that there are a lot of half truths and lies that Mike Lane drummed up against Matthew.

    Mike Lane should be ashamed of himself.

    • Tom

      Why does ‘Disappointed Arlington Voter’ always float at the bottom? Is it stuck there permanently?

      Just curious.

  • MB

    Without speaking to the merits of any of the claims made here, I thought it might be appropriate to point out that anonymous attacks on specific individuals aren’t nearly as persuasive as those made by people willing to associate their own names with a claim.

    • Mark Torrance

      “MB?” Aren’t you the pot calling the kettle black with just “MB?” You’re right, no one has the balls to put their name down because we all live in a litigious society and I’m quite sure that someone would be afraid of getting sued for defamation of character, but, that’s only if what they are writing isn’t true. Right?

      Suppose all the accusations are true though? Isn’t it interesting that no one from Murray’s campaign has ‘officially’ chimed in to defend either their candidate, Patrick Murray, or their campaign manager, Mike Lane?

      The conclusion has to be what has been written about either Patrick Murray or Mike Lane is all true.

      • MB

        Welcome to the Internet, Mark. See how you can click on my initials? It’ll take you straight to my name (which will never be confused for anyone else’s around here) and more of my views than anyone on here really cares to know. If you click on “About” when you get there, you will even get a (very) short bio. Every comment I’ve ever posted here (and in most places) uses my initials and links to my personal site. While I definitely understand and value the capacity for anonymity on the Internet (one of my hobby policy issues, actually), 17 years online has generally brought me around to the idea that it’ll be a better place if we all just attached our names to the things we say. Would “Efrem” and “Mike” be so willing to crap all over this place the way they do, if they attached their real names? Doubtful. On the flip side, I think many of John Antonelli’s ideas/opinions are borderline (and sometimes over-the-line) ridiculous, but I always read what he writes, in large part because I respect his willingness to attach his name to it.

        Finally, what I’m saying here has nothing to do with any of the allegations about Lane or Murray. I’m more interested in protecting this place as a forum for a useful (instead of spiteful) discussion of Arlington’s issues.

  • Miker

    I still don’t understand, how an article that is about Matthew Berry and Patrick Murray, that a guy who is Murray’s interim campaign manager, Mike Lane, is getting so much negative attention. Seriously people, is Mike Lane that bad of a guy? Mike Lane continues to get ripped from a ton of different people here. What’s up with all that?

  • Arlington Doesn’t Care

    Arlington doesn’t care about Patrick Murray or Mike Lane, or any Republican, for that matter. Arlington County is a part of the 8th Congressional District and is a very strong Democratic stronghold, so all of this crap about Mike Lane and his personal problems or how bad the guy is really don’t matter. He is so insignificant to Arlington and the 8th. Nobody cares about Patrick Murray or Mike Lane. Ok?

  • Patrick Murray’s Campaign Is Broke!

    Patrick Murray’s campaign is virtually completely broke. He’s got no money, let alone no business, running against Jim Moran.

    Patrick Murray is and will be a complete embarrassment for the Republicans this November. Murray already is severely struggling to raise money, has no message, has no insight, has no forethought, and, hmmm, has no cash. What a great campaign.

    Patrick Murray should do the honorable thing and make an announcement that he is pulling out of the race and for his few token supporters, maybe five or ten, or so, to support Keith Fimian in the 11th District. At least Fimian has a lot of money, and looks like a professional candidate.

    Patrick Murray, please, for the sake of embarrassing yourself, personally, and the Republican Party, please drop out of the 2010 race for the 8th Congressional District. You have no money, no support, no chance in hell at all to win and you will do yourself and all of us Republicans in the 8th by folding up your tent and going away.

  • Angela Burke

    I’m no math wiz, but I can figure things out pretty fast. If Jim Moran has over $500,000.00 in the bank for his 2010 campaign, and Patrick Murray is broke, well, it’s pretty easy to figure out that Moran will win without even having to spend any of the money he has in the bank now. I’m an independent voter who likes to decide on which candidate that I’ll vote for but my decision is made up already. Murray talks about how Moran is running up the government deficit, yet Murray can’t even raise his any money for his campaign? That just bad math to me. I’m voting for Jim Moran.

  • Tom Regent

    Patrick Murray can’t even afford to buy bumper stickers, so that shows how bad off his campaign is right now. How sad is that? Murray’s campaign is a joke.

  • Mike Blairr

    Will the next thing we’ll see is Patrick Murray and his campaign team panhandling for money at stop lights like homeless people do?

    I can see Murray out on Wilson Boulevard bumming for money with a tin cup now.

  • Tom Regent

    I received this pathetic email, below, this morning, from Patrick Murray.

    Man, how desperate is this guy, or what?

    Murray seems to be quite a flim-flam man.
    What will it take to get rid of our nation’s debt? <——(Let me guess. You?)

    Dear Friend, <——-(I'm not your 'friend')

    The answer is simple and the choice is yours; it's going to take a different kind of leader in Washington to tackle our toughest problems this year. <——–(You are not the leader we're looking for. If you were, you'd have money, tons of it, a competent campaign staff, hundreds of people willing to volunteer for you, but you don't have any of that.)

    For twenty years, Congressman Jim Moran has done nothing to prevent our national debt from ballooning over $13 trillion. It would be bad enough if he were just standing on the sidelines, but he's actually been a significant part of the problem! In fact, it's only June and the federal deficit has already topped $1 trillion so far this year. <——-(Deficit spending has been going on for years and you're going to save us now? You can't even raise money for your own campaign! Pick up the clue phone. It's ringing off the hook!)

    Last November in Virginia, growing anxious over mounting debt, people went out and voted for a different kind of leader for their Governor. Yesterday, Governor McDonnell, having only been in office less than a year, announced a $220 million surplus after the state had been projected to have nearly a $2 billion deficit when the Governor took office. Even more impressive, he did it without raising taxes. <——(Yes, that's what the GOVERNOR did. Bob McDonnell is an effective campaigner, he's got a great staff. You sir, are a terrible campaigner and you do not have a great campaign staff.)

    The people have a choice in who they elect this November in the 8th District, and just like the Governor, I need to get my message out so that I can reach as many people who are as concerned as I am about the state of our nation. <——(No one really wants to hear your message Mr. Murray.)

    To do that, I need your help. We would like to place a large order of bumper stickers so that we can continue distributing them throughout the district. We've already gone through two full orders! We are still about $500 away from our fundraising goal and would appreciate any amount that you could give, $10 or $20, even $40? Please click the red contribute button below to donate. <——–($500 bucks? Do I hear bake sale? Or maybe asking people to go into all of their couches, sofas, love seats and Lazy Boys for loose change for Murray's campaign?)

    I appreciate your generous support. <——(I'm sure you would if you only had a clue how to put on an effective campaign, which clearly you don't.)

    Thank you! <—–(No, thank you for being so embarrassing to the Republican party.)

    Patrick Murray <——(This guy won't even get 30 percent of the vote on Election Day!)

    Candidate for Congress <——(He couldn't even raise money to be a dog catcher!)

  • Bill Craft

    Jim Moran’s got this one in the bag.

    Patrick Murray’s campaign is so bad off, his cologne smells like formaldehyde and they play a funeral dirge at all of his campaign events.

    It’s time for Patrick Murray to pick up all of his marbles and go home.

  • Mike

    All of these postings seem to show how out of touch the Murray team is to what’s going on in the 8th. People won’t vote for him, they’ll vote for Moran.

  • Cindy R.

    If people are looking for an up-an-coming politician that could one day run against Jim Moran, you should look in Arlington for Mark Kelly, who is running against 14-year incumbent Chris Zimmerman for a seat on the Arlington County Board. Mark Kelly has a strong vision for balance in Arlington County, whose voice could grow and be a strong factor in the 8th Congressional District, but he has to get elected this November. Please support Mark Kelly by donating and volunteering for his campaign by going to http://www.kellyforarlington.com. Arlington and the 8th District will be that much more better off with Mark Kelly on the Arlington County Board.

  • John A.

    On his blog, Red Nova 8, (http://rednova8.com/wordpress) Josh St. Louis thoroughly trashed Patrick Murray and his campaign before the June 8 Republican primary. Like so many others, Josh supported fellow Arlingtonian Matthew Berry to be nominated as the Republican candidate to run against Jim Moran.

    Josh’s comments about Murray and his campaign of how bad things would be with Murray running have most certainly come to fruition. If only more voters had read Josh’s warnings about Murray before hand, Murray might not have won the primary, and Berry would have no doubt been a much stronger candidate to run against Jim Moran this November. Would Berry possibly win against Moran? That’s doubtful too, but at least Berry would probably have a much stronger showing than Murray.

    When Murray gets totally whacked by Moran this November, we can then say that Josh St. Louis was right!

    Josh, “YOU DA MAN!”

  • Mark Russell

    Josh St. Louis had Patrick Murray so pegged, right from the start. Josh knew that Murray was a total loser and, yes, people will say after Moran’s reelection this November, that Josh was correct in his predictions about Murray.

    I wish that Josh didn’t have to suck up to the Murray campaign on his blog now. Josh was much more effective, as a blogger, when he highlighted what Murray and his team was doing wrong, which is like, what, every day?

    Please Josh, go back to putting Murray’s feet to the fire. It’s the only way that you can be effective as a blogger for the 8th Congressional District!

    Please stop sucking up to Murray and his misfiring campaign.

  • Ron T.

    I was a reader of Josh’s blog, but I too noticed how quickly he changed his tune and sucked up to Patrick Murray’s campaign.

    I guess that Josh has no shame, after all, he steadily ripped Murray and his campaign team every chance he had, and I’m guessing he was very stunned that Matthew Berry lost and Murray won on June 8.

    I agree, Josh needs to “do the right thing” and get back to his honest blunt style that wins him readers and support for RedNova8. By being a stooge for Murray, Josh has lost so much credibility. Very sad.

    Maybe Patrick Murray is paying Josh to work on his campaign now? Could that be the reason that Josh is so ‘buddy-buddy’ with Murray?

    Josh needs to break free of his guilt that he might have about writing about Murray’s floundering campaign, and just put the hammer down and go back to the slash and burn ‘take no prisoners’ style that we all came to love.

  • My, my – What a spirited discussion!

    Thanks for reading the blog. My recent postings on Murray weren’t meant to be “sucking up.” And no, he’s not paying me. Murray folks (Mike Lane) are still upset with me and holding grudges. Lane came up to me in front of 2 people and starting yelling at me. No class.

    In any event, I’m trying to show that I have moved on and am “shifting gears” to focus on Jim Moran. I guess I “shifted gears” too much. Thanks for keeping me honest.

    I hope you stay up to date with Red NoVA. I’ll be covering Mark Kelly’s race, the change of government debate, as well as focusing on Jim Moran. It should all still be very interesting reads.


    Josh St. Louis

  • Mark Torrance


    Since this guy, Mike Lane, as you say, is still upset with you and holding grudges, just what did he say say to you when he was yelling at you in front of two people?

    Come on Josh, give us some dirt on Mike Lane and Patrick Murray and his campaign. Hey, you said you were going to focus on Jim Moran, well, save it for 2012 because these guys look like they couldn’t spell “win” if you spotted them W and I.

  • Julie Simpson

    I used to be a very avid reader of Red Nova, but when Josh started to kiss Patrick Murray’s tail, that’s when I lost respect for him.

    I would read Josh’s blog if he were to be like he used to be, which is being honest, being truthful, laying things all out so people could see the good and the bad, even if the bad hurts.

    I echo what other posters have said by saying that I hope that Josh goes back to his rough and tumble style, where I really think he does so well. People who read political blogs like honesty, where the blogger tells it like it is, and that’s what Josh needs to do to win me back, and I’m guessing to win over new readers too.

    Is Patrick Murray a good candidate to beat Jim Moran? Right now, I would say no, but there’s a lot of time between now and November.

  • Mike Blake


    I used to read Josh’s blog religiously, but not anymore.

    When Josh went ‘Mister Softee’ on us, he lost my readership.

    Josh will have to being the tough guy on Patrick Murray, like he used to be, before the primary, to win me back.

  • Melissa Brighton

    I am amazed that Mike Lane is Patrick Murray’s campaign manager.

    Does anyone have a fact check to see how many losing campaigns that Mike Lane has been a part of?

    I know people who know Mike Lane and they have said he is one of the most diabolical and evil people involved in politics in Arlington or Alexandria.

    Mike Lane is a bad guy who is under the paid employ of Patrick Murray. To me, that says a lot about the lack of character of Patrick Murray.

  • Tom

    Mike Lane will most certainly prove to be one of the reasons that Patrick Murray will lose this November.

    We all know who Mike Lane is.

    Mike Lane is a loser who will leach off of political candidates to try to establish a name for himself, yet he more often just brings campaigns down to all new lows.

  • Janine

    Why does ARLnow keep deleting comments without explanation or note?

    • Using the name of private individuals not remotely connected to a story is strictly prohibited and will result in an immediate comment ban. I have made this warning more than once for this discussion.

      • Janine

        You have also deleted comments that name no one. Do you delete the responses to deleted comments as well?

  • Tom

    Why is ‘Disappointed Arlington Voter’ always at the bottom of this thread? Is it stuck there on purpose?

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  • joe gop

    The thing that bothers me about 8th district democrats is that none of them have the guts to run (or put up a quality opponent) against Moran in a primary. Why is it that when you talk to democrats and independents (the majority of voters in this district) no one really likes Moran due to all the documented problems he had and his constantly being voted one of the most corrupt politicians every year but they keep putting him back in office. Thats something to be proud of and teach your kids, be a screw up and you can still succeed in the 8th district as long as your a democrat.

    We all know 8th district democrats would never vote for a republican and they control the destiny of the district. At least look for one of your own all of us can be proud of. We’re worst than Charlie Rangle’s Harlem district who keeps electing him through all his ethics investigations. If extorting money for the 8th district (which in the grand scheme of things is pretty well off compared to the rest of the country) is all democrats value with Morans ability to bring home the federal bacon, then we’re sunk as a district anyway. If you want something more give Murray a try. If he doesn’t pan out at least in 2012 the democrats would be forced to have a primary and maybe, just maybe then they will get it right and nominate someone we can all be proud of to represent this district, after 20 years it’s time for “change we can believe in”.

    Republicans and Independents keep fighting. Right now Murray is the only alternative to a corrupt Moran. Check Murray out closer, he’s nothing like what these liberal hacks above would lead you to believe. Make up your own mind and rubber stamping a disgraceful politician.

    • Not Patrick Murray

      Joe – While Jim Moran may be as corrupt as they come, Patrick Murray is not the guy to beat him.

      We need to have stronger candidates, not weak ones like Patrick Murray, to be Jim Moran.

      • Not Patrick Murray

        I meant “beat” Jim Moran.

  • Robert

    Patrick Murray will undoubtedly lose miserably on Election Day, especially since he has shifted hard to the right, which in the 8th Congressional District, the population is actually mostly hard to the left.

    Plus, Murray has Mike Lane working for him, which adds to his losing perspective. Mike Lane will easily help Murray lose Republican support in the 8th District. Mike Lane doesn’t care if Murray wins or loses, but Lane just knows how to lose campaigns all to well.


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