August 31, 2002 - Gainsville Sun: RPCV Brian Moore has appetite to bring about change

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 08 August 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: August 31, 2002 - Gainsville Sun: RPCV Brian Moore has appetite to bring about change

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RPCV Brian Moore has appetite to bring about change

RPCV Brian Moore has appetite to bring about change

Moore has appetite to bring about change

Sun staff writer

Brian Moore has been questioning "the establishment" at least since his early 20s, when he was training to be a Franciscan priest at Mission San Luis Rey College in San Luis Rey, Calif.

Now a 59-year-old Reform Party candidate living in Spring Hill trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman, Moore works as an executive recruiter, or headhunter, in the health-care field.

As a young man, Moore was asked to leave the seminary for questioning the friars' practices.

"I wondered: if we were dedicated to serving the poor, why do we stay in a cloistered environment?" Moore said. "I wondered why we still prayed in Latin and why we continued to wear the (brown robe, white rope and sandals)."

Moore said his positions have since been vindicated. The seminary was moved closer to the people it serves, he said, and the priests now wear lay clothes, pray in English and work among the poor.

The experience could be a metaphor for Moore's political life.

Although he has failed to win political office - running unsuccessfully for mayor and city council in Washington, D.C., repeatedly, Moore feels he influenced public policy there as vice president of the D.C. Federation of Civic Organizations, an umbrella group of 69 neighborhood associations.

"I tend to be vindicated," Moore said. "On the short term you lose, and in the long term you are part of a movement for change."

Moore's political positions also have changed over the years. Moore's original political leanings were as "a very liberal Democrat."

A Peace Corps veteran who served in the slums of Latin America, "I'm a product of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam era," Moore said.

"All of those things formulated my philosophy and seriousness about getting involved in my community."

But Moore joined the third-party movement in 1975.

"I withdrew from the Democratic Party and became an Independent," he said. "I am convinced that real change will require new blood and a new mentality from individuals who have the political will to make changes and who are less beholden and obligated and entwined by not only money and special interests, but also their own partisanship."

For most of Moore's adult life, he's worked as an executive for a variety of Health Maintenance Organizations.

Beginning 10 years ago, he spent five years in health-related non-governmental organizations in Africa and Latin America.

In 1998, he started his own health-care headhunting firm.

He had been the vice chairman of the Reform Party, but resigned in June in protest when the state party split from the national party.

He's also the vice president of the Good Government League in Hernando County.

In addition to the incumbent, Thurman, Moore will face no-party candidate Jack Gargan of Cedar Key and the winner of the Republican primary - either Virginia "Ginny" Brown-Waite, a term-limited state senator from Brooksville or Don Gessner of Lecanto, a retired businessman and relative newcomer to politics.

Brian Moore
AGE: 59
FAMILY: Never married
HOMETOWN: Oakland, Calif. (Now lives in Spring Hill)

JOB: Executive recruiter, specializing in health-care field

POLITICAL PARTY: National Reform Party
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Unsuccessfully ran for city council and mayor of Washington, D.C., 1994 and 1998.

CIVIC EXPERIENCE: Member of St. Theresa's Catholic Church; vice president of Good Government League in Hernando County; vice president of D.C. Federation of Civic Organizations, 1994-1998; member of Flagler Museum; member of Hernando County Historical Heritage Group.

EDUCATION: Master's of Public Administration Arizona State University 1976; attended Mission San Luis Rey College, San Luis Rey College, Calif. 1966.

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Story Source: Gainsville Sun

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