Although neither man leaves behind a huge body of legislation bearing his name, both Beilenson and Moorhead made their marks on Congress. Only history will tell whether they were in indelible ink.
On the floor of the House one night last week, colleagues paid tribute to the pair, commending them for staying above the increasingly bitter partisan fray.
"Tony and Carlos represent a special type of member who is willing to work with colleagues of any political persuasion in order to get good things done here in the Congress," said Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-San Bernardino). "Each has weathered some criticism within their respective political parties for this tendency toward supporting good government."
Beilenson wrote the legislation creating the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and chaired the Intelligence Committee during the Bush administration--something he still can't talk about much. He earned a reputation among colleagues as a free-thinking, straight-arrow type who turned down money from political action committees even as election campaigns grew into spending sprees.
Moorhead spent much of his career in the minority, unable to advance legislation of his own. But he worked behind the scenes on a range of technical issues that rarely grab the headlines, such as energy policy, copyright law and cable TV regulation.
Moorhead amassed one of the most conservative voting records in the House, yet considered Democrats his friends.
His genial nature ran him afoul of the new House leadership, who overlooked him for two coveted chairmanships and prompted him to call it quits. Moorhead leaves behind the California Institute, a bipartisan group that he helped found. Its aim is to get the state's lawmakers to work across political fault lines for the good of California.
"I think I've gotten some bills through that have been very helpful, but there's very few members who are remembered," Moorhead said. "Some people have buildings named after them. There's a Rayburn building and a Cannon building and a Longworth building [named after former House speakers Sam Rayburn of Texas, Joseph Cannon of Illinois and Nicholas Longworth of Ohio]. There will be people who will remember some of what I've done, but I don't expect to, or ever want to, become a household name."