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I would like to second Howard Dean's call for people to run for office, particularly in the 8th Congressional District, where a good Democrat with progressive politics is needed to replace the very image of old school cronyism and corruption, Jim Moran.

If your organization doesn't have the courage to support a primary challenge to someone like Moran, you have no credibility whatsoever to talk about changing anything. You will have proven to be no different from the other party hacks who go along to get along, when you know deep down it was the wrong thing to do.


I'd like to offer a different view. We've only got 3 Democratic members of Congress from Virginia. And three Republican members of Congress from Virginia ran UNOPPOSED last time. THAT's what I'd like to see DFV focus on, and I'm really glad to see DFV helping to train future candidates for the many, many lower level races that we Democrats too often concede to the Republicans.

Personally, although I live in the 8th district, I didn't donate to Jim Moran's campaign because I wanted to help challengers such as Ken Longmyer, Al Weed, and James Socas. I've seen DFV stand up for an open primary process, which is great. But personally I wouldn't want to see DFV spending money on opposing a Democratic incumbent when there are so many Republicans who run unopposed.

Mosquito and other pests like him are obsessed with Jim Moran, but many of us who want to change the party believe we can do so by building a stronger "farm team" of progressives who run for lower offices. For those of you like Mosquito who hate Jim Moran, imagine how much stronger Andy Rosenberg's campaign would have been if he had actually had experience in elected office on a city council, school board, or as a state delegate before running for Congress? You don't just run for Congress against an incumbent without any experience and realistically expect to win.

I hope DFV stays focused on empowering ordinary Virginians to run for lower offices.


Dude. 43 Republicans out of 100 members of the House of Delegates in Virginia ran unopposed in 2003. DFV's been ringing that bell since at least last summer, when the rest of us were focusing on federal stuff. I think it's great.

We've got far more work to do before worrying about having a perfect progressive in the 8th district. Personally, my money will go to a challenger running against a previously-unopposed Republican rather than someone primarying a Democrat. If people want to primary Moran, that's fine - you just have different priorities. But I'd personally rather spend my money and time opposing an actual Republican rather than an imperfect Democrat.

Kudos to DFV for what you guys are doing - especially for trying to get NoVA democrats to pay attention to actual Virginia races. I made a small donation to you about a month ago and hope to donate again soon.


So AnneVA, I guess that pests like us who "obsessed" over Democrats like Ross Barnett, George Wallace and Orval Faubus should have just kept quiet and ignored their repugnant views and actions for the sake of... what exactly?

How dare stupid kids like Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner oppose them, right? They had no political experience in the South, they didn't live there and couldn't bring home any pork, right?

People who talk a good game about how they want to revitalize the party and change politics as usual, and then nonchalantly throw their support, tacit or otherwise, behind a pugilistic hack who votes in lockstep with corporations and makes questionable sweeping remarks about entire groups of people, only defeat their own argument.

Turning one's head and looking away from a problem will not make it go away.

It is exactly because we have a safe seat in the 8th that we should be doing all we can to make sure that we have elected the best person we can find to that seat. Moran is not that person, and there is almost no way to make an argument that he is.

If that's obsessing, then God help politics in this state.

That seat could be a great voice for progressive politics in Virginia as well as nationwide. As one of only three, we should maximize our party's potential in it. Our loss is that it is filled by a deeply inadequate human being.


Well, Mosquito, those may be your priorities. But I agree with what David said above; they're not mine.

You seem to think that if a person or organization doesn't share your focus on opposing Jim Moran, then they're just "party hacks". I think that's pretty myopic of you, but go ahead and focus on what's important to you. It seems like if you want to run for office or be a campaign leader, you can get trained by DFV. If we had a stronger farm team of progressive elected officials in the 8th district, maybe it would be easier to find someone with elected experience who'd be willing to run in a primary. DFV is all about building a strong, effective, experienced progressive farm team in Virginia.


Dude, you compare politics in the 8th district with the murders in Mississippi Burning? Moran is as evil as segregationist leaders in the South? What an insult to those brave civil rights activists who risked their lives and were murdered for their bravery. Why don't you just go ahead and compare Moran to Hitler while you're at it?

It's so easy to make sensationalistic comparisons from the anonymity of your keyboard and attack Moran supporters from your anonymous anti-Moran blog. How BRAVE of you. Why, you're just as BRAVE as those civil rights activists who put their lives on the line for their political beliefs, right? NOT!

Mosquito, you are one twisted dude. Talk about having no credibility whatsoever. You shot it all with that ridiculous comment.


And how exactly is DFV qualified to make such judgments of what is "progressive" when it supports a congressman who has:
- voted to ban late-term abortions
- voted for the bankruptcy bill
- been an enthusiastic supporter of CAFTA
- voted for No Child Left Behind

Before you teach someone how to build a "progressive" team, shouldn't you know what the word means?

Lynn in VA

I don't believe that Democracy for Virginia has endorsed anyone. And when the group does, it will be state house candidates. (DFV is currently just a state PAC, focused on state races. ) Whatever people feel or don't feel about Jim Moran seems pretty irrelevant to this group. Shouldn't we all be focused on 2005?

Shelley Marcus

I totally agree with Lynn. DFV is a state PAC, not a federal PAC. If you want to bash Jim Moran, stick to your own anonymous blog or GoodbyeJim (whose owner at least has the courage to post under his own name.) If you want to avail yourself of DFV training, go ahead. If you want to bash a group that's trying to actually get more people energized, trained, and focused...well, I have no time for you.

I live in Rick Boucher's district. He's not as progressive as I am, but I'm proud that he's my Congressman. If some people want to spend their time on progressive purity tests, I guess that's their business. But I want to get more Democrats elected and more progressive Virginians like me involved in state politics -- especially, as Lynn said, THIS YEAR, in Virginia. That's what DFV is focused on!


Maura and others from DFV -- sorry that I helped to hijack this thread by engaging in a pissing match with Mosquito. I'm signed up for the training this weekend and I've told other people about it, too, so I promise I'm not usually a time-waster.


Sorry David, that outburst won't help you.

The point is very simple: Democrats have been defending the right-wing garbage in our party for years, justifying it with all sorts of reasons. All the politicians I named were "good Southern Democrats," who received the backing of the party when they did not deserve it.

Your outrage indicates how you feel about those people now. At the time however, Faubus was actually supposed to be quite a "progressive" on economic issues and by some accounts was privately against segregation.

The people who spoke out against him were attacked by Arkansas Democrats who couldn't understand why everyone was beating up on their good Democratic governor.

Sound familiar?

The comparison is perfectly valid because it involves people who see a problem being attacked by those who refuse to see and address that problem.

Goodman, Cheney, and Schwerner were not afraid to address the problem of bad Democrats holding power and using it against the people.

The fact that some Virginia Democrats can even utter the word progressive and Moran in the same breath shows that not much has changed when it comes to people having the courage to attack corruption, cronyism, and racism in their own house.

Which side are you on?

The question is all the more important for you because you claim to be on the side of the angels.


Wow, welcome to blogging bizarro world, where an anonymous blogger who runs an anonymous blog to bash a Democrat and other Democrats who have supported him compares his "work" to that of activists who risked (and ultimately sacrified) their lives for civil rights. Mosquito is an apt name, a blood sucker who spreads disease and causes annoyance. But I don't blame you for your anonymity, Mosquito - I'm sure your life is in danger from hateful Democrats in the 8th district who are trying to MURDER you for your beliefs. That's why you hide behind your pseudonym for your "work" online. Future generations surely will thank you for your selfless sacrifice in the name of progressive purity.

I've heard DFV viewed with skepticism and even hostility by some party leaders for not toeing the party line or for being too progressive. And then someone like Mosquito comes along and says the group is just party hacks unless it actively opposes Jim Moran, as if he is the ultimate enemy of progressives in Virginia! Puh-leeze. David, you hit the nail on the head.

I guess the lesson here is that there are extremists on the left as well as the right. (This one even thinks that he is on the side of "the angels".) Jim Moran might not be perfect, but anyone who compares his shortcomings to that of segregationist leaders is too deluded and myopic to be taken seriously. And I guess I should follow David's example by not engaging with this pest any longer.

Diane B

I'm sorry, am I in a time warp? Wasn't the 8th district primary decided in 2004, and don't we have other elections to work on in 2005?

Someone ought to send Mosquito the memo.

BTW, if I ever have anything to do with it, DFV will never have anything like a Moran-related litmus test. If you think that's what this organization is about, Mosquito, you should look elsewhere.


You can scream and foam all you want at me, but the fact remains that you and your self-serving pals here seem to be unable to address the heart of the matter.

My identity doesn't matter. I don't matter. My arguments do, and you know it.

If a so-called "litmus test" for progressive politics cannot be used against someone like Moran, whose votes are anti-progressive, who can it be used against? Is Joe Lieberman a "progressive" too now? Can John Breaux join your club?

Do you people honestly think you can take any word you like and define it in some Orwellian way because you like to think of yourselves that way?

Progressives do not vote against women.

Progressives do not vote against working people.

Progressives do not vote for corporate lobbyists who have paid for their votes.

And progressives do not blame wars on "the Jews" or any other group of people.

What in the hell do you not understand about that?

I'll spell it out again for you: the comparison to those three young men in Mississippi works because they had the guts to stand up to corruption, to injustice, and to ignorance.

The people they stood up to were Democrats, whose party activists excused all of their racism, preferred to turn their head and look elsewhere because they had other things to take care of, other races to win.

Oh no, you couldn't win races in the South by doing the right thing... you had to not make waves and get elected.

Maybe it irks you so much because you know I'm right. We have a congressman in Virginia who is as rotten as he can be. But don't make waves... don't threaten a Democrat, even when he's wrong. Just work on other things that are more important.

That kind of thinking leads to politics that you should be ashamed of.

Whether it's supporting Democrats who turn a blind eye to segregation or a blind eye to a corrupt anti-Semite, it's all the same in the end. You either confront injustice or you don't. And when people like me tell you that you're not, your reaction is exactly that of your Dixiecrat forebears: you call us extremists.

People like you are destroying the Democratic Party, because you will not be honest with yourselves. You're not progressives; you're playing charades.

Shelley Marcus

I'm sorry, but where did this post ever call Jim Moran progressive? Where did this post ever talk about Jim Moran at all?

It's you who live in a Jim Moran-centric world. And if you want to dedicate your whole life to getting rid of him, go right ahead!

Me, I'll stick to my "self-serving" activism - helping to engage, train, and motivate other Virginians to become more involved in the political process and to promote issues and causes that are important to me. I'm glad to have others in DFV as my allies in that work. If you don't like what we do, no one is forcing you to spend your whole day here commenting on it!

Waldo Jaquith

Wow. Jim Moran is more central to this guy's life than to even Mrs. Moran. Here's hoping that he doesn't start blogging his dream journal.


Take the beam out of your own eye before you come for the splinter in mine.

DFV didn't have to hold its event in the 8th District. But since it did, you are deliberately walking into one of the most divisive fights in the Democratic Party. Yet you want to remain "neutral?"

Not smart on your part. You could have done this in Richmond, or in Roanoke where you really need to.

Instead you stick this thing right in the middle of where progressive Democrats need to take a stand, and then attack me for asking you to be consistent with your principles?

If you want to talk about changing the party, and be part of a national group that says things like "DFA fights against... the selfish special interests that for too long have dominated our politics." but don't want to confront the reality of a corrupt special interest-beholden Democrat right in front of your face, exactly what kind of organization are you building?

Jonathan Mark

Mr.Marcus, I do not believe that anyone will be able to grow the Democratic party in northern Virginia with Jim Moran still in office.

Washing your hands of the matter and pretending that Moran is not there and not a problem might work. But it has not worked so far, and there is no reason to think that it will work in the future.

When a lot of Democrats dislike Jim Moran more than we dislike some Republicans there is a major problem here.

If you do not wish to address it that is your right.

Maura can delete these posts if she finds them off topic. If she chooses not to delete them then obviously these postings about Moran have some relevance.

You cannot grow the Democratic party by saying "Don't think about Moran! Don't ask about Moran! Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Moran ran 17,539 votes behind John Kerry in 04. That is an awful lot of supporters to be alienating.

Jonathan Mark


Hi, Jonathan. I don't often agree with you, but at least you have the courage to criticize Jim under your own name, and you even went and ran for Central Committee chair, which took some courage.

I think some people who are completely focused on Jim Moran miss the point. There was a primary last year. Moran won. Maybe there will be a primary again next year. The first comment I wrote mentioned that I thought Andy Rosenberg would have been a much stronger candidate had he had experience in elected office before running for Congress. This DFV training is about getting more people trained to become campaign leaders or future candidates. Isn't that a GOOD thing? Look at David Englin! If he ran for Congress in '08, he'd be a far more strong candidate than Rosenberg ever was.

But the fact is there are good Democrats in the 8th district who are busy with things other than our positions on Jim Moran.

We're busy building our precincts, registering new voters, raising awareness about this year's elections, etc. Mosquito thinks DFV stepped into a big fight when it chose to hold a training event in the 8th district. But for most of us there is no "fight" about Moran right now, except in the heads of people who are consumed with defeating him. The political world does NOT revolve around Jim Moran; it really doesn't. He doesn't control the sun rising and setting. He doesn't control the tides. He doesn't consume my waking thoughts. And not making him the focus of this organization doesn't mean anyone's avoiding anything.

Another irony is that I imagine that your site and Mosquito's blog would criticize the Democratic party for not being neutral enough when it comes to Moran. But then a new organization which includes Moran supporters AND Moran opponents comes along, and now Mosquito bashes it for being TOO NEUTRAL!


To whom much is given, much is expected. Everything is relative.

For yellow dog Democrats accustomed to rolling over and playing dead, neutrality would be a plus.

But for people who want to be seen as progressive Democrats, the bar is much higher. Remaining silent in the face of an anti-progressive Congressman isn't good enough, and you stain the name of progressives all over the country when you don't speak out against him.

Neutrality in the face of corruption or hate is no virtue. If you don't understand that, I don't think you will ever be able to change anything.

Maura in VA

This discussion is interesting in that it takes place in the context of other discussions about anonymity in the Virginia political blogosphere - from today's Washington Post article to posts on Commonwealth Commonsense and Waldo Jaquith's blog, the ethics of anonymity is a hot topic.

As I wrote on Bob's site today, I don't think anonymous blogging or commenting is inherently unethical, but someone writing anonymously IMO has a far greater duty to refrain from personal attacks and unsubstantiated rumors. In this case, I certainly think Mosquito has failed. AnneVA commented on what she perceived has his myopia; I was struck by his hubris in comparing his anonymous blogging to the courageous work of martyred civil rights activists.

When I look back at Mosquito's history on the DFV blog, I see that he has written comments disparaging not only Moran but also people from southern Virginia. He has said he thought NoVa should "secede from the hillbillies" and that people in NoVA are "yoked to the ignorant millstone that is the rest of the state", which is certainly instructive regarding his respect for fellow Virginians. And yet he criticizes US for not being progressive enough! His outrageousness speaks for itself.

DFV is a statewide organization focused on statewide issues, not just issues for NoVA or the 8th district. We don't believe NoVA should secede, and as much as Mosquito would love for us to be as consumed with Jim Moran as he is, we're simply not.

Hoping it will be helpful, I'd like to make a few follow-up comments to my post this morning.

First of all, Lynn and others are correct - Democracy for Virginia PAC is a state political action committee. This year, we are focused on Virginia House of Delegates elections. We are not focused on Jim Moran.

Mosquito wrote, "If your organization doesn't have the courage to support a primary challenge to someone like Moran, you have no credibility whatsoever to talk about changing anything."

Democracy for Virginia's goals for 2005 are written here: http://www.democracyforvirginia.com/goals. DFV-PAC has no plans to get involved in any federal primary challenges this year.

Since Mosquito believes this means DFV has "no credibility whatsoever to talk about changing anything", I can't imagine why he'd want to read or comment here except to attack members for not agreeing with his agenda, which I find unacceptable.

Jonathan, FYI, I don't read or moderate comments before they are posted. The fact that I don't delete all comments that I don't personally agree with doesn't mean that I necessarily find them useful or productive. If I removed these, would you accuse me of censorship of anti-Moran speech? ;-)

Mosquito clearly does not agree with DFV's mission or goals, and now that this is clear, I would expect that he would no longer want to read or comment here. Seeing his comments tonight disparaging DFV's mission and the outrageous comments he's written in the past about fellow Virginians, however, I see no reason not to remove any similar comments in the future.

Waldo Jaquith

Maura, not only does "DFV-PAC have no plans to get involved in any federal primary challenges this year," but, in fact, DFV-PAC cannot legally do so, as a state PAC. (As the head of a state PAC, I'm intimately familiar with these regulations.)

You can have nothing to do with Moran's race, and that is the law of the land.

Maura in VA

Yup. Our goals for 2005 are quite clear, and they don't involve any federal primary. A state PAC is not a federal PAC, and we chose to form a STATE PAC this year in order to focus on STATE races. It's not an issue of "courage" either way.

Jonathan Mark

>>> If I removed these, would you accuse me of censorship of anti-Moran speech? ;-)<<<

I most certainly would not accuse you of censorship if you removed posts that were off-topic, boring, or expressed views that were contrary to your own. That would not be censorship, but merely your own exercise of editorial control over your own blog.

Maura in VA

Uh oh. If being not boring were a criterion for posts and comments not getting the axe, I think I'd be in real trouble. :-) With my own top-level posts, I mean!

In more than a year of posting on this blog, I've only ever removed one or two comments other than auto-generated spam, and neither of them had anything to do with the 8th district. Luckily, most of the activity in the comments section has been positive and productive. I hope that disagreement on some issues or individual candidates can co-exist within a larger framework of aggreement on a mission. If people don't agree with our organization's focus, though, there's not much point in being here!

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