VA: Jim Moran’s son resigns from campaign amid video furor

October 25, 2012

By Errin Haines,The Washington Post

The son of 11-term Rep. James P. Moran Jr. resigned from his father’s campaign Wednesday hours after an undercover video showed him discussing possible voter fraud with an activist posing as a campaign worker.

In the video, dated Oct. 8 and posted by conservative activist James O’Keefe, Patrick Moran does not explicitly advocate or condone the worker’s suggestion to cast ballots on behalf of 100 voters he says are unlikely to show up Nov. 6.

Moran, who appears not to know that he is being recorded, attempts to discourage the worker from carrying out the scheme, saying he should instead join get-out-the-vote efforts. But Moran, a campaign field director, also offers guidance on how to possibly skirt Virginia’s new voter identification laws. He also doesn’t tell the worker not to proceed with his plan.

Moran’s campaign issued a statement, calling it “an error in judgment.”

“Patrick is well liked and was a well-respected member of the campaign team,” Moran’s the statement says. “The campaign has accepted Patrick’s resignation, effective immediately.”

In a statement, Patrick Moran, 23, said: “In reference to the ‘O’Keefe’ video, at no point have I, or will I ever endorse any sort of illegal or unethical behavior. At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him.

“In hindsight, I should have immediately walked away, making it clear that there is no place in the electoral process for even the suggestion of illegal behavior: joking or not. In regards to my position on the campaign, I have stepped down because I do not want to be a distraction during this year’s critical election.”

James Moran (D-Va.) was first elected to the House in 1990. The veteran’s district includes Arlington County, Alexandria, Falls Church and portions of Fairfax County.

State Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran, his brother, called the incident “a mistake.”

“Patrick Moran is my nephew and a good kid,” Brian Moran said in a statement. “He has taken responsibility and has stepped down from the Moran campaign. The Democratic Party of Virginia is an organization that stands for free and open participation in our elections and we oppose even the appearance of any effort to undermine those values.”

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