James Patrick "Jim" Moran, Jr. (born May 16, 1945) is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 8th congressional district, serving since 1991. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is located in Northern Virginia and includes the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria, all of Arlington County, and a portion of Fairfax County.
Jim Moran was the mayor of Alexandria, Virginia for five years from 1985 to 1990, when he resigned to run for Congress. He defeated Republican incumbent Stanford Parris in the general election on November 6, 1990, and was sworn in the following January. Since then he has served ten consecutive terms as a member of the Congress.
He is of Irish American descent and is the son of professional football player James Patrick Moran, Sr. and the brother of Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Brian Moran.
Early life, education and career
Moran, one of seven children, was born in Buffalo, New York, and grew up in Natick, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. His parents, James Patrick Moran, Sr., a professional football player for the Boston Redskins in the 1930s, and Dorothy, were both Roosevelt Democrats and supporters of the New Deal.
Moran attended Marian High School in Framingham, Massachusetts, before earning a B.A. in economics (1967) at the College of the Holy Cross, where he played college football, and a Master of Public Administration (1970) at the University of Pittsburgh. Moran admitted in 1992 that he had experimented with marijuana during his early twenties.
Moran secured an internship in financial management at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and spent five years there as a budget officer.
He was a senior specialist for budgetary and fiscal policy at the Library of Congress, and then was on the staff of U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations from 1976 to 1979 under Warren Magnuson's sponsorship.
He was elected to the Alexandria, Virginia, City Council in 1979. He was deputy mayor from 1982 until his resignation in 1984 as part of a nolo contendere plea bargain to a misdemeanor conflict of interest charge, which courts later erased. The incident stemmed from charges that Moran had used money from a political action committee to rent a tuxedo and buy Christmas cards; both of which were later judged by the Commonwealth Attorney to "fit the definition of constituent services", and were dismissed. In 1985 Moran was elected Mayor of Alexandria.
U.S. House of Representatives
Moran represents Virginia's 8th congressional district, an area in Northern Virginia that is just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.; the district includes Arlington county, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. The redistricting that followed the 2000 census also gave Moran a portion of Reston, Virginia. His district is located in the Dulles Technology Corridor and is the home of many federal defense contractors as well as a significant number of those who work in the information technology industry. Many federal employees also reside within the district, mostly due to its proximity to Washington and because both the United States Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, among others, are headquartered there.
During the mid nineties, Moran co-founded and later co-chaired the Democratic Leadership Council, a coalition of Democratic lawmakers who report to be moderates when considering commerce, budgeting, and economic legislation, but will vote as a liberal would on social issues. Moran is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the largest caucus operating within the Democratic caucus, which works to advance progressive issues and opinions.
He joined the caucus prior to the 111th Congress.
In 1995, Moran had to be restrained by the Capitol Police after a shoving match with California Republican Duke Cunningham on the house floor over President Bill Clinton's decision to send U.S. troops to Bosnia. "I thought he had been bullying too many people for too long, and I told him so," Moran recalled. "He said he didn't mean to be so accusatory... After that, he would bring me candy from California." Moran claims that after the encounter he later found Cunningham crying in the cloakroom.
Moran was critical of the President during the final years of the Clinton administration: In 1998, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Moran was one of only 31 House Democrats to support launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Bill Clinton. Time magazine that "This whole sordid mess is just too tawdry and tedious and embarrassing... It's like a novel that just became too full of juicy parts and bizarre, sleazy characters." Moran is also reported to have told First Lady Hillary Clinton that if she had been his sister, he would have punched her husband in the nose. Moran eventually decided not to vote for impeachment, explaining that Clinton had not compromised the country's security, and that he still respected him for what he had accomplished as President. He still proposed a resolution demanding that Clinton confess to a pattern of "dishonest and illegal conduct" surrounding his sexual involvement with Monica Lewinsky.
Moran has been voted High Technology Legislator of the Year by the Information Technology Industry Council and has been voted into the American Electronics Association Hall of Fame for his work on avoiding the Year 2000 crisis and his support of the IT Industry and defense contractors in Northern Virginia. He cosponsored failed bills in 2005 to provide the District of Columbia with a House seat and to prohibit slaughter of horses.
On April 28, 2006, Moran, along with four other members of Congress, the now-deceased Rep. Tom Lantos of California, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, and James McGovern and John Olver of Massachusetts; as well as six other activists, was arrested for disorderly conduct in front of the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C., and spent 45 minutes in a jail cell before being released. They were protesting the alleged role of Sudan's government in ethnic cleansing in Darfur. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Their protest and civil disobedience was designed to embarrass the military dictatorship's ongoing genocide of its non-Arab citizens."
The day after the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007, Moran told a local radio station that the assault weapons ban should be reinstated and blamed the National Rifle Association, which he accused of getting a "free ride", and President George W. Bush for blocking gun control legislation. He further warned that if gun control legislation was not passed, then shootings such as the one at Virginia Tech will happen "time and time again." He later dismissed charges that he was politicizing the shooting, telling Politico that "as a legislator, your immediate reaction is to think something could be done to avoid this. I don't know why the idea of figuring out how to avoid it is a political partisan issue."
A few days before the 2008 Virginia Democratic primaries, Moran endorsed Senator Barack Obama of Illinois for the presidency over New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton. Explaining his endorsement, he told a local newspaper that the long term goal of closing Alexandria's coal-fired power plant would be more attainable under Obama than under Clinton. Obama later won the primaries and later the general election to win the presidency.
In May 2009, Moran introduced a bill that would restrict broadcast advertisements for erectile dysfunction or male enhancement medication. He said that such ads were indecent and should be prohibited on radio and television between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm, in accordance with Federal Communications Commission policy. Later that year, Moran and former presidential candidate and former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean held a town hall meeting on the issue of Health Care at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia. The meeting was interrupted several times by protesters, most notably pro-life activist Randall Terry, who, along with about half a dozen supporters, caused such a commotion that he had to be escorted out by police. The incident was replayed several times over the next few weeks on television as an example of the tension at town halls that fall.
The following February he made a call on the House floor for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the military policy of discharging soldiers on active duty who are openly homosexual. He spoke about a letter penned by a gay soldier who was then serving in the Afghanistan War, who had "learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq. The partner of the deceased soldier wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known... This immutable human trait, sexual orientation, like the color of one's skin, does not affect one’s integrity, their honor, our commitment to their country. Soldiers serving their country in combat should not have their sacrifices compounded by having to struggle with an antiquated Don’t ask, don’t tell policy. Let's do the right and honorable thing and repeal this policy."
Moran is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, a position he uses to allocate federal funding to projects in Northern Virginia, usually in the technology and defense industries. He also assisted in authorizing the replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, a bridge between Alexandria, Virginia, and Prince George's County, Maryland, which had gained a reputation over the years among Northern Virginia residents as the site of numerous rush-hour traffic jams.
On March 9, 2010, Moran was named to succeed Norm Dicks of Washington as the chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. Dicks ceded the chairmanship of the Interior Appropriations subcommittee in order to replace the recently deceased John Murtha as the chair of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The chairmanship gave Moran authority over appropriations to the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts; among other things. Moran said he was excited to be able to play a role in protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. Moran became the ranking member of the subcommittee after the Democratic Party lost control of the House of Representatives following the 2010 midterm elections.
After President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address, Moran was interviewed by Alhurra, an Arab television network. During the interview, he said, "a lot of people in [the United States of America]...don't want to be governed by an African-American" and that the Democrats lost seats in the 2010 election for "the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States...the Southern states, particularly the slaveholding states, didn't want to see a president who was opposed to slavery." The remarks received national media attention. The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin said the remarks were "beyond uncivil" and "obnoxious".
Moran occasionally makes appearances on MSNBC, usually on Hardball with Chris Matthews and The Ed Show.
Moran has been married three times. His second wife, Mary Howard Moran, filed for divorce in 1999 after an argument at the couple's Alexandria home which resulted in a visit by the police. The Congressman provided his own divorce papers a few months later, and in 2003 the couple officially separated. He remarried in 2004 to real estate developer LuAnn Bennett. On December 23, 2010, Moran and Bennett announced they plan to divorce.
Moran is the father of four children, including Mary Moran, who works at the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), and Dorothy, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her father's campaign for reelection against Kyle McSlarrow in 1994. It was said at the time that she had only a twenty percent chance of living to age five, but after almost two years of chemotherapy and herbal therapies she was designated cancer free.
His brother, Brian Moran, is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and currently the head of the Virginia Democratic Party. He was an unsuccessful primary candidate for Governor of Virginia in the 2009 election.
Moran, who was a stockbroker before running for public office, made more than 537 options trades, which had a potential value of more than $3 million, between 1995 and 2003; according to The Washington Post. In 1999 Moran lost approximately $120,000 from options investments. During divorce proceedings, the attorneys for his second wife described the trading as "stock market gambling" in court papers. Since his remarriage to LuAnn Bennett in 2004, Moran's disclosure statements have shown him to have one of the most actively traded portfolios in Congress. Moran's Chief of Staff, Austin Durrer, has stated that Moran has not made any trades personally for five years as of 2010.
February 28, 2012