Moran Accused of (Another) Anti-Semitic Remark
A truly weird story is running in today’s Washington Post, in which political consultant Alan Secrest accuses incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D), who’s fighting to win a primary battle to keep his seat, of making an anti-Semitic remark in a private campaign meeting. Moran has made at least one such remark in public before, which is one of the reasons why what should be a walk-away primary for him is proving so competitive.
Here’s the thing. I’m no fan of Jim Moran — he’s my Congressman, and I think he’s an embarassment to my district and to the Democratic Party. (The local GOP has a Web site, Morantics, that recaps all his gaffes and ethical issues, if you want the gory details.) I support his Democratic primary challenger, Andy Rosenberg, and I’ve done a little phone banking for Rosenberg over the last couple of weeks to help him out. (And this in spite of the fact that Moran has been endorsed by Howard Dean. Hey, everyone makes mistakes.)
But even I have trouble buying this story. There were four people in the room when Secrest alleges Moran made his remark — including former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi — and the Post article cites all of them as denying that Moran said any such thing. Moreover, Moran’s explanation — that what happened in the meeting was that he essentially fired Secrest from the campaign over differences of opinion in how to proceed, and that these charges are Secrest’s attempt to get revenge — aren’t implausible. The timing of the charges (the primary election is next Tuesday) certainly makes one wonder if Secrest wasn’t looking to hit Moran a fatal blow at the last moment before voters went to the polls.
Of course, Secrest could be telling the truth; it’s not like those other three people wouldn’t have reasons for lying about such a remark by Moran, if it did happen — they’re all working hard to get him re-elected. But when things like this happen I usually err on the side of assuming that nothing happened until I hear a convincing argument otherwise. And this Post story just isn’t that convincing.
Of course, even if he didn’t do this one thing, he’s done so many other things in the past that I still think it’s time for Jim Moran to go. The Democratic primary on June 8 is an open primary (you don’t have to be a Democrat to vote), so if you live in the 8th District (find out), take a few minutes and consider casting a ballot for Andy Rosenberg. It’d be nice to have a congressman who made headlines for the right reasons once in a while.