Congress Moran’s News Commentary: My Retirement Announcement

January 22, 2014 10:24 PM0 comments

moran-fcnpCongressman Moran announced his retirement at the conclusion of this term following 24 years representing Northern Virginia in the House of Representatives. Moran first ran for Alexandria City Council in 1979. In 1984, he successfully ran for Mayor of the City, serving in that position until running for Congress in 1990, winning an up-hill race against the favored incumbent Republican. He has been a leader on the Appropriations Committee, bringing billions in economic investment to the area, and a vocal, active champion for progressive policies.

Mr. Moran is a father of two sons and two daughters and the grandfather of four. He lives in the Del Ray community of Alexandria where he got his first start in politics nearly four decades ago.

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Last week I had the privilege to announce my retirement from the House after 24 years representing the smartest, most diverse, caring constituency in the country. Together, I’m proud of what we accomplished making Northern Virginia one of the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family.

The list of candidates running to represent you is long and seems to grow by the day. I am confident that through the coming race, the best person, representing the values of Northern Virginia, will win.

As we watch this progression of the democratic process, it’s important to reflect on the 4th anniversary of one of the least democratic rulings, the Citizen’s United decision that undermines the power of many at the voting booth in favor of the deep pockets of a few. This is a monumental step backwards for American democracy and will allow corporations and wealthy, ideological individuals to drown out the voices of average Americans.

This decision decimated the boundary between commerce and corporate advocacy, allowing corporations to fund political advertising out of their general funds. While these special interests have always had their role in American politics, it’s only been in recent years has their power increased to such an alarming degree. Third party expenditures, through unlimited outside money, reached new highs in last year’s elections and will only continue to grow.

Coupled with the effects of gerrymandered districts that only serve to make our elections less competitive, we saw a million more Americans vote for Democratic House candidates over their Republican opponents, yet remain the minority party by an overwhelming margin.

The 20th century was marked by successful efforts to make our political process more inclusive by doing away with gender discrimination and racist Jim Crow era laws, to more closely reflect the ideals of ‘one person, one vote’. Partisan redistricting and corporate money has turned that principle and the efforts of many to secure universal suffrage on its head.

Special interests were never meant to have such an outsized influence in American politics. These measures undermine the principles our democracy is based on and weaken our political process. We must find ways to limit the power of outside money in elections. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to pass measures that mitigate the impact of this decision and restore the people’s confidence in the American system.

 

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