Strange Bedfellows in Oregon

Unseen by me because I generally don’t look in that direction, there is apparently a scandal brewing in Oregon. There have been charges of a conflict of interest on the part of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber in his fiancee’s receipt of fellowship money that ultimately derives from Oregon’s state government. The Oregonian, the state’s largest and oldest newspaper, has called for the governor’s resignation:

More ugliness may surface, but it should be clear by now to Kitzhaber that his credibility has evaporated to such a degree that he can no longer serve effectively as governor. If he wants to serve his constituents he should resign.

To recite every reported instance in which Hayes, ostensibly under Kitzhaber’s watchful eye, has used public resources, including public employee time and her “first lady” title, in pursuit of professional gain would require far more space than we have here and, besides, repeat what most readers already know. Suffice it to say there’s a pattern, and the person who bears the responsibility for allowing it to form and persist is Kitzhaber, who should know better. After all, as he pointed out during Friday’s press conference, he’s been serving in public office on and off since the 1970s.

Consistent with my practice of keeping my nose out of other people’s business, I’m not going to remark on the scandal or offer any opinions other than to say that I’m a bit relieved to read of a state other than Illinois with a governor in hot water. If that’s schadenfreude, so be it.

There’s a round-up of more commentary on the scandal at memeorandum.

6 comments… add one
  • ... Link

    There’s at least one scandal with our governor, concerning the head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. However I find that I just don’t care enough to figure out why it’s a scandal, or how big a scandal.

    But I report this just to give you some additional relief.

  • steve Link

    Dave- You will always have Louisiana. If they don’t have one now, it’s just a matter of time.


  • Guarneri Link

    Resign for no cred syndrome (NCS), eh?

    I say give him a break. It’s not like he claimed that rocket propelled grenades were fired at him, or he was under sniper fire when his plane landed…….or even that you can keep your doctor and your medical insurance premiums will go down. I guess only the little people from Oregon have to resign for lying right through their teeth.

  • TastyBits Link


    Over the last 25 years, there are quite a few governors who have been convicted. You may notice that IL is represented twice, but LA is represented the same number as WV. This list does not include the scandals and indictments.

    Guy Hunt (R), Alabama
    J. Fife Symington III (R), Arizona
    Jim Guy Tucker (D), Arkansas
    John Rowland (R), Connecticut
    Rod Blagojevich (D), Illinois
    George Ryan (R), Illinois
    Edwin Edwards (D), Louisiana
    Roger Wilson (D), Missouri
    Mike Easley (D), N. Carolina
    Bob Taft (R), Ohio
    David Lee Walters (D), Oklahoma
    Edward DiPrete (R), Rhode Island
    Bill Janklow (R), S. Dakota
    Bob McDonnell (R), Virginia
    Arch Moore Jr. (R), West Virginia

    Politics is a racket, and politicians are hustlers. Some of us realize it. Everybody else is shocked to learn that their politicians are screwing them over. A lot of our politicians are honest crooks. They just take a little off the top. They know how the game is played, and they do not get too greedy.

    Mayor Ray Nagin was not from New Orleans, and he did not know how the game was played. He got greedy, and he did not share with the right people.

  • ... Link

    Yeah, there’s always LA, as Steve says:

    Maybe some of the commenters from down there can attest to the validity of the criticism.

  • TastyBits Link

    I do not follow local or state politics anymore. After Katrina, my newspaper delivery got interrupted for over a year, and by the time I was ready to re-subscribe, I had lost interest. Now, they only publish three days a week plus Sunday.

    Governor Jindal has never impressed me. He has never worked a real job where he had to support himself outside of government. Basically, he has been living on the government dole or his parent’s dime. I doubt he was ever spent a summer knee deep in mud as a roustabout, sling pipe on an offshore drilling rig, working any of the piers from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, shoveling slag under the cat cracker at a refinery, or working the cane fields, but I could be wrong.

    Edwin Edwards was one of Louisiana’s better governors. Had he been in charge during Katrina, there would have been no crying. He would have gotten Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld out on the levee with shovels filling sandbags and betting on who could fill the most. After, he would have had donors from around the world contributing to the rebuilding effort.

    Louisiana only has a few industries with little competition. Oil wells, oil refineries, and chemical plants are not being lured away by other states. If Valero wants to increase its refining capacity, it will expand one of its existing plants. Chemical plants are the same, and well heads cannot be moved.

    Because of this, cutting taxes to these businesses does not increase business, but you do not want to squeeze them dry. The oil business is located in Houston. There are satellite and regional offices in Louisiana, but few companies are going to locate their headquarters here. It is like Wall Street and the financial industry.

    The problem is that the oil industry is boom and bust, and usually, the busts are a lot longer than the booms. Everybody assumes that the good times will last forever or that the good times are just about to start, and they plan based upon these assumptions. When the good times stop, the money is suddenly gone, or when the good times do not start, the money is not there.

    I can put together another list of governors with budget problems.

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