July 6, 2012

Virginia Democratic Party Chair, Subject of Our Reporting, Ends His Job As For-Profit College Lobbyist

In May, Republic Report approached Virginia Democratic Party chairman Brian Moran and asked him if there was a conflict of interest between his role in the party — advancing the goals of President Barack Obama — and his job as a for-profit college lobbyist for the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), which has specialized in battling Obama’s attempts to hold the industry accountable to students and taxpayers.

He blew us off, saying that our reporting was “totally unfair” and that there was “absolutely not” any conflict between being chair of the Democratic Party and being a corporate lobbyist opposed to the Democratic president’s agenda.

In June, we again asked Moran why he continues to work for APSCU, even after the revelation that it is part of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which works for a corporate agenda in state legislatures nationwide.  Last month the party Moran heads called on state legislators to end their affiliation with ALEC. But Moran continued to defend his role with ALEC member APSCU.

It now appears that Moran may have been feeling more heat than he let on. APSCU announced that Moran will resign from the trade group on August 1st.

Moran’s departure may be another sign that APSCU — and the industry it represents — is not invincible. The for-profit colleges may have a lot of money, a lot of connections, and a lot of lobbyists, but their representatives are still vulnerable to some good old fashioned public outrage. On the other hand, the move could merely be APSCU trading up from Moran to a more capable higher education hand, Bush Education Department official Sally Stroup.

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  • Miltfarrow

    That’s just fine- Go to college for a few hundred thousand dollars and the Institutions will guarantee a job at Burger King, Wendy’s or MacDonalds-or Publix or Wallmart- That is what the body politic of the 2 party system has accomplished

  • Jjdp47

    I think he dropped the wrong side. He should have been kicked out of his party position where he clearly is at odds with their positions.

  • I agree with your takeaway that interest groups, industries, lobbyists and elected officials are not invincible. Transparency, awareness and engagement are the foundation to change. Thank you so much for making this information available to us interested citizens!

  • CatKinNY

    Color me SHOCKED that the DNC apparently went after the party chair in an important battleground state in an election year and told him to take his snout out of the trough! This may be fabulous news on many, many levels. Now that big money seems to have completely migrated to the other side of the aisle in this brave, new, post Citizens United world, perhaps we can force the Democrats to really be the honest, regular persons party. God knows, this country desperately needs one of those!

  • Sagebrush

    (“perhaps we can force the Democrats to really be the honest, regular persons party. God knows, this country desperately needs one of those!”)
    There is still enough cash slopping unseen over the edges of the trough to keep the Democrats in the pigpen. Besides most of the publicized financial favoritism by the elite is meaningless anyway. They already own both parties lock stock and barrel. Until we have transparent public campaign financing, get the elite special interest money out of our elections and government and put a bounty on those d**mn lobbyists, a desperately needed, honest, regular persons party is not going to be allowed to exist.

  • I would think that we could be little more effective at eliminating the special interest money in politics. We should stop chasing our tails and focus more on identifying the individuals who are in ALEC and concentrate on having them removed from office. Instead we waste time getting individuals to quit ALEC. All they do is change the name of the hog trough they feed out of and we are left trying to find out the name of the new hog trough. You don’t tell your enemy you are coming up the drive looking for damning evidence. You save it for when it will do the most good, on the campaign trail. Then you start asking these questions publicly and loudly. More people would hear about their transgressions, and we would get financial help from the very people we are trying to get rid of. These hogs spend millions in advertising on the radio, tv, and the internet. They would have to spend more of their campaign money trying to defend themselves and less on self promotion. The people fighting these campaigns need to read up on the arts of warfare. A good book to start with is Sun Tzu’s Art of War. I know the people behind the scenes with all the money have read it, and so far they seem to be kicking our asses in the war of public opinion.

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