Murray Hopes to Benefit from Moran “Public Service” Swipe

by ARLnow.com October 25, 2010 at 8:39 am 4,910 46 Comments

(Updated at 9:50 a.m.) Republican congressional candidate Patrick Murray is seizing on remarks about his experience made by his opponent, Rep. Jim Moran, at an Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. And, it seems, Murray is picking up some long-sought traction, at least from right-leaning media outlets.

With cameras rolling, Moran said of Murray, a retired Army officer: “What [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly.”

The gaffe-prone congressman then dug the hole a bit deeper while referring to Murray’s limited government stance.

“Of course for 24 years he’s taken a government check, because, frankly, the military is still part of the federal government, and yet his principal platform is to cut government spending,” Moran said.

The Murray camp, in response to Moran’s “public service” swipe, has issued a flurry of YouTube videos, press releases and blog posts. Today at 12:30 p.m., nearly three weeks after the original remarks were made, Murray will be holding a news conference in Alexandria with veterans who support his campaign. (Update at 5:00 p.m. — The campaign has posted video from the event here.)

The press conference comes as right-leaning outlets like the Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, Fox News and others have started to pick up the story. It’s the first round of sustained media exposure in a race that has otherwise seen a dearth of reportorial interest from mainstream news outlets.

In what may be a preview of today’s press conference, Murray released a video response to the comments.

“Congressman Moran, I’m proud to have served my county in the Army for 24 years, including tours in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq during the surge,” Murray said. “Why don’t you come with me to Arlington cemetery, where more of my friends and fellow service members are buried than I care to think about — and tell their surviving family members that their loved ones had no public service.”

For his part, Moran says that he misspoke.

While Moran “commends” Murray’s military service, his campaign says he’s “disappointed by [the] distortion of his remarks.”

“[Congressman Moran] has the deepest respect for our military and those who sacrifice to protect our security and freedoms,” Moran’s campaign said in a statement. “As Congressman, he has worked hard over the course of his career to strengthen our Armed Forces, particularly as a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds all of the military’s operations.”

“The point Congressman Moran was making is that Northern Virginia is a region that prides itself on local civic engagement – serving in the PTA, on local boards, working with non-profits to help those less fortunate and also serving in local elected office,” the campaign continued. “Because Murray has virtually no ties to our community – moving here a scant 18 months ago in order to run for Congress – it is difficult to see how he can adequately represent Northern Virginia.”

The Murray campaign, in what could be described as a bit of a reach, has also released a video claiming that Moran is “proud of faking military endorsements.”

In the ambush-style video, someone asks the congressman as he’s leaving a recent event in Rosslyn: “Are you proud of your endorsement from the Disabled American Veterans Association?”

Moran, a bit befuddled, responds: “Uh… sure. Uh, I mean I would always be proud to have support from the Disabled American Veterans.”

“Jim Moran doesn’t have the endorsement from the Disabled American Veterans,” a title card says after the clip. “They don’t make endorsements. Isn’t claiming non-existent support from wounded veterans a little sleazy?”

  • Skeptical

    Let it go on record that I have written in names rather than vote for Jim Moran, who really has forfeited my respect on many levels.

    At the same time, it’s ridiculous to accuse him of “disrespecting our troops” as the current Murray ads have it. Whatever one can say about Moran, and there’s plenty, he’s built a large part of his traction in this district on being available to military servicepeople and retirees and solving their problems. I’m a witness to his office’s responsiveness to constituents who needed some help regarding their military service, records or retirement.

    It’s all too true that the local Republican party repeatedly runs people who, even if they have served their country, can’t seem to point to community activism, involvement with government advisory committees, longevity in neighborhood associations, or similar records that would suggest experience appraising the needs of citizens and the appropriate level of government response. The two are by no means the same thing. (We certainly have Republicans in Arlington who have been active in the community for many years and have a local profile… they just aren’t the ones who run.)

    • Let’s Be Free

      Name one Republican, OK now name two. Name a thousand Democrats. Fact of the matter is that the ACDC has its tentacles into, subsidizes, controls and disciplines operatives in virtually all aspects of the shadow government, even to the point of censoring speech on neighborhood listserves. You might as well criticize Solzhenitsyn for not having served the Politiburo or yielded children to the membership of the Young Pioneers.

      • BoredHouseWife

        It has nothing to do with Arlington’s demographics and everything to do with a secret librul conspiracy to shut Koch minions out.

      • Skeptical

        I just got back to this.

        Do you know how many people who are NOT Republicans in this county would line up to vote for Jim Pebley or Wayne Kubicki if they chose to run for office? Level headed, intelligent individuals known for speaking truth to power. OK, that’s two off the top of my head and I’m not someone who currently hangs out at Board, civic association or committee meetings. Mike Mc Menamin, one of the few I can remember who campaigned pointing to a serious level of community involvement, did pretty well.

        You make yourself preposterous when you start talking about shadow governments, list-serve censoring and comparisons to the Politburo. Do we have a machine? No question. Is there leveraging of people inside the Democratic party involving reward and retribution in terms of political advancement? Wouldn’t doubt it. I’ve always wondered how hard someone stamped on Jay Fisette’s feet when he declared an intention to primary Moran for all of about twenty minutes. But they don’t come knock on your door in the middle of the night. I can’t think of any vocal critics of the local Democratic establishment who have disappeared, can you?

        No, the problem with Moran’s string of past opponents is that typically, the 8th District committee picks out someone who’s “ideologically pure” in a way that doesn’t reflect the social conscience of most of the district, and that person flings stinkbombs at Jim Moran without explaining how he or she is qualified to improve on his grasp of policy and political dealmaking.

        Do I think Moran is a great guy? Obviously not. But if the people running against him have so much to offer, why do they have to resort to “gotcha” games and lists of his character flaws that haven’t deterred voters for two decades?

      • You’ve got to be kidding

        Let’s be Free- You ACTUALLY think that ACDC is some kind of shadowy uber political force that can actually stifle discussion and dissent here in ARLINGTON of all places!? You have got to be kidding. Tentacles? Political Operatives? Get Real!! You clearly have no basis in fact upon which to lob these outlandish accusations, and for the record, ACDC’s so called operatives are novice and veteran community organizers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, who come together to advance a progressive agenda in Arlington and to support candidates who embrace democratic ideals. There are no “tentacles” and there is no “shadow government.” As I write, I am ashamed I even took the time to dignify your comment with any kind of coherent, well thought out response. Come to an ACDC meeting (first wednesday of the month) and see for yourself how “shadowy” things can get. Sheesh. You’d think we were living in Stalin’s Russia from your comments!!

  • el fat kid

    Kind of disgusted with the Murray campaign at this point…

    That video re: disabled veterans is horse shit. Moran never makes the claim that he was endorsed by them. The camera man ambushes him w/ a made up endorsement and tries to put words in his mouth. Appears to be the skeezy tactics of some schmuck from the Leadership Institute, the same school that produced the toolbag who tried to seduce a CNN reporter w/ candles, a dildo and alicia keys music.

    Moran misspoke and said so… but as half the Republicans who participated in the primary can attest – Murray has no dignity or ethical boundaries and is an embarrassment to himself and conservatives in the 8th district.

    • Burger

      Kettle have you met the pot. Go look at the Webb/Allen campaign to see where this occurred before. Or the Frank campaign sending out his significant other to harass his opponent last week in Boston.

      • el fat kid

        there’s a difference between a tracker and an idiot.

        you probably can’t parse the two so here’s the deal – a tracker, such as SR Sidarth, records opponents speeches and public appearances. An idiot attempts juvenile pranks such as seducing female cnn reporters w/ dildos and ambushes members of congress with bullshit statements trying to trick them into a response. One group went to film school is a dedicated volunteer, the other went to the Leadership Institute where they learn how to mock purple heart medals and sexually harass CNN reporters.

        as far as the frank story… you have your facts entirely wrong so it’s not worth addressing.

        • hooooos

          Mike Stark fits your description quite well, rather than Siddarth.

          • uhm

            hooos: what juvenile pranks has stark perpetrated? or what non-legit questions has he asked? curious libs want to know!

  • Mark Kinzler

    Did the author of this article somehow chop off another paragraph or two about the REST of the video on Jim Moran’s faking endorsements? First, the author of this article offers his/her opinion that the video is a reach, but never bothers to explain why. The second part of the video clearly shows a “cease and desist” letter from the Military Officer’s Association of America asking Moran’s campaign to remove any association Moran is claiming he has with them from his campaign literature. Conveniently, Moran’s campaign now has a “Vote November 2nd” sticker over those two fraudulent endorsements on all of his literature. Some reach, huh?

    Further, who cares if the comments were made three weeks ago today or three years ago? The fact of the matter is that they were made and recorded by a Democrat. The video was found later on Blue Virginia and was used by Murray’s campaign soon after. Nameless author, are you incapable of writing the entire article in an objective manner, or only when you’re talking about Moran?

    Just the facts.

    • The reason I didn’t write about the MOAA thing is because I haven’t seen the literature in question. If the Murray camp would have released a copy or quoted it, I would have written about it. But as it were, I didn’t have enough information at press time to feel comfortable writing about it.

      • Just talked to Joseph Lynch of the Military Officers Association of America. He said the Moran campaign included MOAA in a list of organizations that has endorsed the congressman. But MOAA doesn’t endorse candidates. What they did do was give Moran an award for congressional leadership a few years back. Lynch sent Moran a letter asking him to stop implying an endorsement. It’s Lynch’s understanding that the Moran camp has since stopped including MOAA in its literature — although the Murray video shows Moran saying he received the organization’s “top rating.”

  • CJR

    Wife and I already early voted for Murray – Time to get Big-Government Has All the Answers Moran out of office!

    • el fat kid

      by big government, i assume you mean half the jobs in arlington? probably 90% when you include contractors, subcontractors, etc.

      • Jack

        you can stop being a shrill for the Arlington county democrat party anytime now… it’s getting old.

        • el fat kid

          you clearly don’t read this blog or my comments very often… i rarely vote for any local level d’s or bond measures and will donate a significant amount of money to Favola’s challenger next time around.

  • Westover

    Neither Candidate is actually from Arlington, or even Northen Virginia. Hopefully we will have someone that knows the area, that was raised in the area, that wants the best for the kids in Arlington/Alexandria/Falls Church/Fairfax County, to run for the seat in two years. Right now we have Moran who is just an old New England Democrat pushing for his Big D machine against Murray, a distinguished veteran, but an out of towner none the less, who is just pushing the National GOP Agenda rather than understanding the unique area that we are in. You can pursue keeping the government jobs and increasing government efficiency while lowering the intrusiveness of the government into individual lives. I don’t think either guy has a clue, but at least they definitely are not in the la-la land of the “Green Party” candidate.

    • Frenchy B

      Saying that Jim Moran is an out-of-towner is quite a stretch. He’s been in Alexandria since the mid 1970s, and was elected to the Alexandria City Council in 1979.

      • Clarendude

        Well, you’re either a Clam Digger, or a Mussel Sucker…

      • NorthAdams

        Moran is a carpetbagger. just a long term one.
        Zimmie and Walter are also New York carpetbaggers.

        • RestonRunner86

          Nearly everyone in Northern Virginia is originally from somewhere else. I fail to see how not being “born and bred” in Arlington should make someone any less credible. Reston wasn’t founded until 1964. Anyone over the age of 46 is not a “native”. Does that make every middle-aged and elderly person in Reston a “carpetbagger?” I suppose I just don’t follow your logic. Like it or not nearly everyone moving to NoVA today is ONLY moving here for work (myself included, as well as all of my friends).

          • Baby Boomer

            Reston was originally populated by fellow Northern Virginians. Rt.66 wasn’t built and the only way to get to Reston was on Route 7. It was built surrounded by farms and country estates. Dulles Airport was out in the sticks and Tysons Corner was truly that – a corner. Lots of people were born, raised and stayed in the area. Why is it so crowded if people don’t like the metro area? It used to be a much nicer place until local governments allowed NOVA and Maryland to be overdeveloped turning the area into a traffic nightmare.

  • I respect the military

    ARLnow — Retire Jim Moran just posted info about Moran’s military “endorsements”.

  • I respect the military

    *RetireJimMoran.com, I meant

  • Darwin

    Moran has got to go!

  • Real World Economics

    Yep – leave it to the Dems to make an issue of “experience”. Just how much legitimate experience does the jacka$$ in the WH have?

    And it’s rather difficult for military personnel to establish long-term community ties due to the nature of their military service. Most get moved every couple of years. And if you wanna throw stones at a candidate for moving to an area “just to get elected”, look no further than that wonderful former Democtrat Senator from NY, Hillary Clinton.

    • PikeHoo

      How about former VA governor George Allen? He was born and raised in CA.

  • BoredHouseWife

    If Murray had good ideas, no one would care that his community involvement is purely for his political career.

    • DT

      You’re saying Murray served in the military only for political gain? Are you that stupid or do you hate the military like many other liberals?

      That’s like accusing a fireman of running into burning buildings because chicks dig it. Unreal.

  • Jack

    Murray will make a respectable Congressman… which is something we haven’t had for years.

    • el fat kid

      except he’s going to lose. sorry, jack

  • joe_gop

    Murray was asked about his lack of living in this area at an early debate and made an excellent point that often does not get reported. To paraphrase he said he could have thrown a dart at a map of the US and picked a better place to run as a republican for congress for the 8th district of Virginia. The fact is he lived here years ago, and like many of us not originally from this area fell in the love with area. He lives here now, is out of the military and establishing roots. If that’s a crime and the only thing Moran and company can complain about then Murray has to be doing something right. Moran loses on the issues so goes back to the old days of disrespecting and demagoguing your opponent. It’s time the 8th district had someone to represent us that we can be proud of instead of Moran – the man consistently voted one of the top 10 corrupt politicians year in and year out.

  • el fat kid

    Murray played a sleazy game in the primary and is getting desperate again… Expect more stupid bullshit stunts, whining, deceptive mailers and false accusations.

    Here’s what Republicans have to say about Murray….

    “Upon losing you pause for a moment and then shift gears to throw your support behind the winner. In the end, we’re all Republicans, right? Well not this time for me. I saw the ugly, inside game Murray put up especially the final 96hrs and I refuse to reward that with my vote in the fall.”

    “People I’ve spoken to in the last three days are shocked and disgusted by Murrays tactics…”

    “one of the most foul mailers ever.” – RedNova

    “Patrick Murray’s campaign cannot read” – RedNova

    “Patrick Murray doesn’t even know where the 8th District is. Sad but true.” -Red Nova

    oh and… Recently, Murray announced the endorsement of Congressman Steve King, a “National Pro- Life Leader.” However, it looks like someone changed their mind. -Red Nova

    Several key players of the Republican party in the area know what a sleaze and liar Murray is to the point they did an 8 part series fact checking his false claims.

  • A_COL

    The obvious question is, was 65 Year Old Rep. “Little Jimmy” Moran (D-VA 8) a Vietnam Era Draft Dodger? Now that the “Little Jimmy” Youtube video rant that “military service is not public service” has gone viral on the Internet, I’m surprised no one is asking how “Little Jimmy” managed to Dodge the Draft despite being of optimum draft age during Vietnam (DOB: 16 May 45). As a retired Army Colonel VN Vet draftee, I’m appalled by “Little Jimmy’s” comment on the service record of his opponent, retired Army COL Patrick Murray, On 6 Oct, Jimmy stated, “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.” COL Murray served his country for 24 years in the Army with 4 combat deployments including Iraq as part of the troop surge.

    Like his mentor, good old Joe “5-Deferment” Biden (and Dick Cheney to be fair), it appears “Little Jimmy” did everything short of maiming himself (he didn’t have the guts) to dodge the VN Draft. By comparison, COWARDs like him make “George W” look like a war hero! (For the record, Bush flying antique Air Guard Convair F-102s was probably in more danger than I was during an extended CIB-earning tour in Vietnam!). Active military service was a certainty for any male born between 1940-49 unless morally, mentally or medically unfit, or they took some overt action to “dodge” the draft. Also, when “Little Jimmy” evaded, someone else, probably less educated or advantaged and definitely less eligible, served in his place.

    My point, if “Little Jimmy” wasn’t fit to serve then, what makes him fit to serve now? Better still, what makes him more fit to serve than combat vet COL (Ret) Pat Murray?

    If you want to know how I really feel about this, check out my Blog at: http://old-soldier-colonel.blogspot.com/

    • El Fat Kid

      wow. your blog is awful. regurgitated glenn beck rants mixed with bragging and a simplistic world view and then some purely despicable attacks on Ted Kennedy following his death.

      kind of sad in a way.

  • BarbinArlington

    I will be voting Moran. I like what he’s been able to accomplish for his District,especially with regard to BRAC. As a trained economist, I trust his judgement on what needs to be done to get the economy moving.

    • WhiteFlipFlops

      You also probably believe in the “Summer of Recovery” and the tooth fairy.

      • Doug

        Isn’t “Summer of Recovery” like “Mission Accomplished?” Both failed.

    • Real World Economics

      A “trained economist” as opposed to a practicing or working economist. In other words, an academic. Which is exactly why the economic policies of the current “president” and Democrat controlled congress are failing – because they are being thought up by a bunch of academics that have never held a real job or owned a business in their lives. They are advancing ideological theories that even in a perfect world would not work and, in fact, have been proven time and again in the REAL WORLD not to work. It is NOT the government’s job to grow the economy or create jobs any more than it is the government’s job to feed you, put a roof over your head, or anything else. The government CAN provide an environment in which the economy can thrive. However, the current administration is doing everything it possibly can to choke the economy. And Moran has voted with them EVERY time. If you want to see things improve, vote for someone else. If you want more of the same, keep voting for Moran.

      • El Fat Kid

        Dear Real World Economics,

        your thoughts are as contrived and manipulated as the show…

        You had a supply-sider’s wet dream now for several years. We lowered taxes to a historic low and what happened? sure increased money supply combined w/ technological advances and education led to jump in production. But you forgot, well you didn’t forget, but chose to ignore the people who actually buy stuff. Wages stayed flat, and in many income brackets – declined relative to inflation, leading to a stagnant demand among the bourgeoisie which was stuck waiting for the trickle down that never came.

        Oh, but of course supply-siders aren’t limited to fiscal recklessness – so when growth slowed they lowered interest rates making that new home, car, flat screen tv, etc. seem that much more affordable when America was already drowning in debt. There were tell-tale signs of the impending collapse in late 2007 and early 2008 so how did supply-side theory economists respond? They essentially zeroed out interest rates delaying a full-scale collapse another 6-12 months but also making it that much worse and adding banks to the millions of households that became insolvent.

        So monetary fixes had already been tested to the extreme and failed… there wasn’t much room for movement fiscally after you started two wars while cutting taxes – leaving Obama w/ a 1.2 trillion dollar annual deficit before he even took office.

        Meanwhile you and Art Laffer still can’t understand basic macro… Given the shit show we were in there were few options – unfortunately Obama chose the milder approach of a half-witted stimulus. Even Zandi, John McCain’s top-economist, rated the stimulus approach of Obama’s far superior to the Republican alternative.

        If you still don’t believe that fiscal stimulus works, even and especially in times of economic uncertainty, check out krugman’s latest piece of the issue…
        he uses pretty and patriotic pictures to lay it out as simply as possible.

        There’s nothing wrong with studying policy/econ/etc to come up with a logical, if not always intuitive (especially in your case), approach.

  • Arlington Bill

    Cut to the chase, Dems gained control of both houses in 2006 with 4.5% unemployment, it’s over 9.5% now. That trend has seen the three times since 1947 when the Reps lost control of both houses. I have no respect for Moran.

  • John F

    Isn’t this the same Patrick Murray who said that we needed our congressman to spend more time outside the beltway? Apparently he is unfamiliar with the geographic limits of his district. Moran has done a good job for this district. He takes care of his constituents needs and despite being gaffe prone seems to genuinely care about the folks in his district. Mr Murray seems more concerned with keeping gays out, interfering in a woman’s private medical decisions and all manner of issues totally unrelated to the needs of Arlington residents. He can take a cushy job at some conservative think tank and talk about those on cable. We need a congressman not a pundit.

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