For 13 years, Moran was the go-to guy, the water carrier for the Democrats, the minority party in the Virginia House of Delegates. If a Republican got up to insult then-Gov. Mark Warner or Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Moran, in an increasing crescendo, was the one who jumped to the microphone in protest. If a Republican signaled a willingness to negotiate, Moran was often the one called in to hammer out a deal, once at a diner over beers with the details spelled out on a bar napkin. Moran was the one who knew which delegate needed what and how to knit together the unruly votes to pass legislation, including a landmark increase in education spending in 2004.That's right! While some other candidates, who shall remain nameless, were off basking in the glamor of Washington, DC insider politics, hobnobbing with presidents and millionaires, Brian Moran was toiling in the commonwealth, driving miles to obscure little towns to help build the Virginia Democratic Party. At a time when it wasn't much fun to be a Democrat, Brian was doggedly working to reverse our fortunes. If this is a Richmond insider, it's only because he's been building a Democratic presence to be inside of.
For eight years, as Democratic caucus chair in the House of Delegates, he put 200,000 miles on his gold Toyota Highlander, traveling the state recruiting candidates, raising money, shaking hands at countless local gatherings, all with the aim of recapturing a Democratic majority in the House. His efforts netted 13 new Democratic seats, four seats shy of a majority, and some in areas so conservative that skeptics had told him he was crazy to try.
In addition, Mike, at Blueweeds, wrote a really nice endorsement of Moran. Mike reminded me of what made me commit to Moran in the first place:
1. The term of the next governor will likely be dominated by the difficult issues of zero budgeting and redistricting. This is necessary and un-flashy political work for which Brian is particularly well suited;I am not sure I agree completely with Mike. For example, I favor repeal of the Dillon Rule. But since Mike also is the husband of Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner, I would keep an open mind about his reasons for being in favor of the Dillon Rule. Maybe he knows something about politics and governance at the municipal level that I don't.
2. Northern Virginia is rightfully out of step with the rest of Virginia on gay rights and green issues. Brian's campaign has distinguished itself from his opponents on these two issues - demonstrating a clear willingness to lead Virginia in a progressive direction based on clearly articulate political values. Brian's tact on these two issues is clear, different than his opponents, and reflects remarkable political character;
3. Brian has unusually close ties to Falls Church City. He is the only candidate with a Falls Church City business license; he shops here; plays basketball at our community center; makes appearances in our local court system; and routinely sits in our Beltway - Broad Street traffic;
4. Brian is a proven party builder. He has done the hard work of being the minority caucus leader in the house of horrors known as the Republican-led House of Delegates. He has been a terrific advocate - forceful and outspoken on party differences, able to communicate clearly and respectfully with opponents. In a place in which it is especially hard to keep personal integrity, he has managed to do so;
5. Jim Moran, our congressman and Brian's brother, has been a remarkable asset to our region and to the Democratic Party. As a local party leader, Jim's willingness to assist businesses and political leaders in NOVA on grassroots community and constituency issues has been extraordinary. The congressman's value on local issues and party building, irrespective of how one comes down on Jim's outspoken positions on national issues, is hard to overestimate. Jim has kept his distance in his brother's campaign, but supporting Brian is an opportunity to acknowledge the work Jim has done for years for our region;
6. Brian understands the importance of the Dillon Rule to small local jurisdictions like Falls Church. His opponents have either not addressed the Dillon Rule or openly called for its repeal. Repealing the Dillon Rule would polarize the political climate of small jurisdictions and greatly complicate the efforts of communities like ours to maintain independent school systems and run effective local government; and
7. Our local political stealth-zellmiller-dixiecrat dark force has McAuliffe yards signs. All good people on the planet should take note and run, run, away from whatever they are selling. Seriously.
But the take home point from Mike and from the Washington Post article is that Brian Moran has been involved with Virginia politics and worked tirelessly to improve our local communities, not just in Northern Virginia, but across the state. He's paid his dues.
By that, I don't mean he just showed up and put in the time. I mean he did the unglamorous, heavy lifting, right here in Virginia.