About my brother…..


For all of you who were juged by your schoolteachers based on the reputation of your older sibling, think of the plight of Brian Moran. He’s running for governor of Virginia, but his more famous and much more controversial brother may be a factor in how voters judge him. The Washington Post explores the situation today, noting  that It is a particular problem in the Jewish community — with whom Brian Moran has good relations and Jim … not so much:

"The only way the relationship hurts is if people make conclusions about me based on my brother’s positions," Brian Moran, 49, said, noting that he and his brother have differed on a variety of issues. "I mean, I gotta win this on my own."

That has meant … repeatedly reaching out to Jewish leaders who were outraged by Jim’s remarks blaming the pro-Israel lobby for the country’s war with Iraq. It has meant emphasizing his own more conservative record, including votes in favor of gun rights and the abolition of parole.

The story continues:

Jim has earned unfavorable attention over the years for shoving another congressman on the floor of the House, scuffling with an 8-year-old boy in Alexandria who pretended to point a gun at Moran while trying to snatch his keys, and supporting a bankruptcy reform bill after accepting a favorable home equity loan from a lender. Most spectacularly, he blamed the pro-Israel lobby and "the Jewish community" for pushing the country to war with Iraq, earning the enmity of Jews and non-Jews alike.

Even President Obama, when Jim Moran endorsed him last year, issued a statement distancing himself from Moran’s remarks about Jews.

"I don’t think there has been a member of Congress who has said worse things about Jewish values and the Jewish community than Jim Moran," said Rabbi Jack Moline of the Agudas Achim congregation in Alexandria.

Jim Moran blames himself for the negative public perceptions that his brother has registered in some recent political surveys. Yet Brian Moran credits his brother for the widespread name recognition that those polls also capture. And not everyone assumes guilt by association: Moline, for instance, has endorsed Brian.

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