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.



June 4, 2004
10:00 am

I agree completely.
The only thing I’d add is that it does bespeak of Moran’s leadership ability when he has so many scandals that break out, even in a case where he has two eyewitnesses to back him up. He just can’t shake them, and that’s another reason he needs to go.


June 6, 2004
2:19 am

Put aside the substance of the accusation for a moment and look at the accusation itself.
What kind of anger did Moran provoke in a highly-respected Alan Secrest that would cause Secrest to endanger himself professionally by taking this action?
What kind of person provokes this kind of response from people? And do we want them representing us?

Jason Lefkowitz

June 7, 2004
10:45 am

“What kind of anger did Moran provoke in a highly-respected Alan Secrest that would cause Secrest to endanger himself professionally by taking this action?”
I dunno, maybe the kind of anger you get when you realize you’re being fired from a campaign that looks like it might be a sinking ship anyway, so you take a whack at it on your way out the door to avoid taint by association with a loser?
Like I said, I’m no fan of Moran’s but this story still stinks to me. I can construct plausible scenarios to fit all the proferred explanations. That’s why I prefer to just set this incident aside and judge Moran on his record — and there’s more than enough reason there to want to send him packing.

Unbeknownst to Me

June 8, 2004
4:07 pm

Election Day (extremely) Redux

So I did my bit to fend off the Visigoths today at my local polling place, and I’m afraid things don’t look good for Andy Rosenberg, challenger to Jim Moran, the incumbent possible anti-semite and generally embarrassing guy, about whom…