Is Money Talking?

Moran Foes Collectively Out-raise Him

Posted July 16, 2003 at 6:45pm

The Democratic primary challengers of Rep. Jim Moran (Va.) raised more money combined than the embattled incumbent in the second quarter of the year, according to recently filed fundraising reports.

Moran, currently in his seventh term, is facing a challenge from at least two other Democrats next year in what is expected to be one of the highest-profile House primaries of the cycle.

While Moran raised $230,000 in the three month period and reported having $254,000 in the bank at the end of June, two Democrats in the 8th district filed second-quarter Federal Election Commission reports showing they raised a combined $302,000.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kate Hanley reported raising $144,000 in the period while attorney Andy Rosenberg raised $158,000 for his 8th district bid.

State Sen. Leslie Byrne (D), a former Congresswoman, and Washington, D.C., attorney Jeremy Bash (D) have also said they are considering the race but have yet to file with the FEC or raise any money.

Moran stirred a storm of controversy in March when he said Jews were partially responsible for pushing the nation toward war with Iraq. He later apologized for his remarks, which he said were taken out of context.

The incident prompted six prominent Jewish House Members to write a letter denouncing Moran and pledging not to support his re-election.

Moran spokesman Dan Drummond said the Congressman is only concerned about his official business right now.

“The Congressman remains focused on serving the constituents of the 8th district,” Drummond said.

However, a source close to Moran downplayed the fundraising totals of his opponents, arguing that a majority of Rosenberg’s contributions came from outside of the suburban district.

“The Congressman obviously has been raising money and been doing a good job with that and has been getting a broad base of support, most of it from within the district,” the source said.

The source added that it would be premature for Moran to launch a full scale campaign or hire a campaign staff.

Meanwhile, both Rosenberg and Hanley have opened campaign offices and are beginning to assemble campaign teams.

Rosenberg recently hired Rick Alley to manage the race. Alley is a former staffer for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). He is putting together what he calls a “lean campaign” team, which also includes a paid fundraising consultant and paid interns.

“The numbers speak for themselves. I think they represent a growing movement for change in my district,” Rosenberg said, referring to his recent FEC report.

Among the contributors to Moran’s campaign, however, was top D.C. lobbyist Tommy Boggs, Executive Committee chairman of Patton Boggs, the law firm where Rosenberg is an associate.

Hanley, who is not seeking re-election to the board this fall, hired a campaign manager, Will Drake, in May. He is a former political director of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

“I’m pleased with the way it’s going. I’m pleased with the breath of support we’re getting,” Hanley said. “One of the things that I’m excited about are the number of people who are contributing to me who have not contributed to me before.”

One of the more noteworthy contributors to Hanley was Dan Alcorn, a Falls Church attorney and former chairman of the 11th district Democratic Party. Alcorn gave $2,000, the maximum allowed for the primary, to Hanley on June 30. He contributed $1,000 to Moran in both 2000 and 2001.

During Congressional redistricting before the 2002 election, parts of Rep. Tom Davis’ (R-Va.) 11th district were moved into Moran’s Alexandria-based 8th district. Consequently, Moran, who has only had one district office in Alexandria since being elected in 1990, announced this week he is opening a second district office in Reston on July 21.