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Could Dirty Money Hurt Jim Moran’s Re-election Prospects?

by ARLnow.com October 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm 3,033 17 Comments

According to conventional wisdom, Rep. Jim Moran will likely win a comfortable re-election for an eleventh term as congressman for Virginia’s eighth district. But in an anti-incumbent year, any whiff of scandal could prove especially costly.

Enter last month’s guilty plea by former lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, founder of the now-defunct PMA Group. Magliocchetti pleaded guilty to illegally reimbursing family members and PMA employees for making political contributions.

PMA and its employees funneled at least $150,000 into Moran’s campaign coffers from 1998-2008, according to data compiled by political blogger Ben Tribbett. While the donations were taking place, millions of dollars in defense contracts were awarded to PMA’s clients by Moran and two other Defense Appropriations subcommittee members.

In his 2,200 word post (the first of two parts) Tribbett details PMA’s hiring of former Moran Chief of Staff Melissa Koloszar and the firm’s uncharacteristically generous donation to a state-level candidate: Brian Moran, the congressman’s brother.

Prosecutors concluded that campaigns that received money from PMA employees and Magliocchetti family members did not know it was procured illegally. Still, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-partisan government watchdog, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for additional information in the case.

Could the PMA affair hurt Moran’s re-election prospects? Obviously it doesn’t help, but at this point it doesn’t seem to be getting much traction. Moran’s Republican challenger, Patrick Murray, has done little to press the issue publicly, above and beyond sending an email calling on Moran to donate the money from PMA to charity.

Nonetheless, additional revelations could cause the slow-simmering affair to heat up as election day approaches.

  • Arlington

    Moran is a safe as a Brinks truck, and he will stay safe until someone in the Democratic Party with enough of a following of his or her own primaries him.

    It can’t be an upstart no one has heard of like Andy Schwartz from a few years ago. It needs to be someone with money (or the ability to raise it) and clout. An elected official or a Mark Warner/Don Beyer type. The right person in a primary could clean his clock, because let’s face it, we all tire of Jim’s antics and questionable ethics.

    But at the same time, there is zero chance that a 75% Democratic district is going to vote for a neophyte Republican against a seasoned legislator like Jim. Give us a primary choice. Otherwise, Jim will hold that seat for as long as he wants. And we will all be complicit in sending him back.

    • BarbinArlington

      Jim Moran deserves our vote. First, because he’s a trained economist and has good knowledge of the entire federal picture. Second, because he’s done a lot to lessen the effects of the BRAC in Arlington as far as jobs go and in Alexandria/Fairfax as far as requiring infrastructure be in place before jobs can be put there.

      • Arlington

        There are things he is very good at. I’m not taking that away from him. But I do think we could do better if the right person were to step up. And in a place like this with so many smart people who also know budgets and congressional procedure, I don’t think it’s fair to suggest he’s our best possible bet. But hey, if no good Democrat runs against him, I’ll keep voting for him too.

      • Burger

        Snicker….”trained economist” is laughable. Only last month he was espousing that taxes on dividend income should go up so that companies didn’t return shareholders money to them for supporting the company and instead invest it into the company. In otherwards, a company would pay back the money to shareholders because of the taxes. I mean really, no observant economist would understand what the principles of dividend income/interest are for. Moreover, it ignores that companies always make return on capital based on a variety of issues including taxes, investment, capital usage, etc.

        This comment was made in front of small business owners, joint venture owners, angel investors and investment bankers…so if his attempt was to induce those people to loan money or invest more, I’d guess those comments fell short of enticing those people to invest given his wanting to raise taxes, purely to stop a shareholder from getting his money back.

      • TGEoA

        Battered women shelters for Moran!

  • Novanglus

    A few years ago (2004?), Jay Fisette and a couple of Reston-area Fairfax supervisors announced their candidacy, and mysteriously all dropped out the same day. My guess is that Moran threatened them that if they challenged him and lost, he’d starve them politically.

    Ever since, I’ve been writing in Jay Fisette’s name instead of Moran or the republican. I plan to do the same this year.

    • Dan

      That is not exactly what happened. Moran had made one of his politically unfortunate comments and Fissette being ever oppotunistic, announced that he would challenge Moran in the primary.
      Fisette then discovered that his chances were a bit less than zero to defeat Moran so he beat a hasty retreat before he looked even more foolish and opportunistic.

      • Novanglus

        Really?? You’re defending _Moran_ by calling Fisette an opportunist? That’s hilarious.

        How would Fisette have “discovered” he had zero chance of winning just a few short days after announcing, unless someone (such as Moran, the DCCC, or some other cog in the Dem machine) had made it clear that Moran was the establishment candidate and he needed to get out of the way?

        Many dem voters in this district are gasping for a choice in the primary. Fisette is the most fiscally responsible board member, was an inspirational leader after 9/11 (unlike Zimmerman), and also represents the district well on social issues (unlike Murray and past GOP contenders).

        • Dan

          You think that Fissette is fiscally reponsible ??
          Hoo boy………….
          You probably think that The Artisphere is a good idea as well.

  • Alexandria

    Voting party lines–Why?! Wishing a better candidate would run against him but alas everyone seems to ignore his antics – I’ll continue to vote against him and hopefully one day he will either move on or be voted out.

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  • BoredHouseWife

    Moran will stay. I hope he does. God forbid a republican gets in and stalls govt.

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  • Brady

    If you look at Patrick Murray’s stance on social issues he is for once the right kind of Republican to unseat the crook Moran. Look beyond party lines and realize it’s time to fire Moran an give a moderate with character a chance to finally make us proud of our representative.

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