Add the Oregonian, Oregon’s largest newspaper, to the many calling for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber to resign.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Kitzhaber, the 67-year-old governor, began his fourth term under a cloud of suspicion over his relationship with environmental consultant Cylvia Hayes, 47, Kitzhaber’s fiancee. Many have accused Hayes of using Kitzhaber’s influence for personal and monetary gain. The main allegation is that she falsified tax records and collected consulting fees to influence Kitzhaber.
The Oregonian editorial staff recently wrote, “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.”
Even the Oregonian staff seemed astounded by the weight of the entire scandal and the call to resign. For them to try “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.”
The top two allegations that led to calls for him to resign, more specifically, are as follows.
• From 2011 to 2012, Hayes received $118,000 through the Clean Economy Development Center in Washington, D.C., while serving as an unpaid energy advisor to her then-boyfriend.
• Hayes did not account for that income on tax forms while Kitzhaber did not account for that money on his required ethics filings.
According to Fox News, the jobs that Hayes got were given to her from members of Kitzhaber’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. After the election, both men received positions within Kitzhaber’s administration. One person, Dan Carol, is now Kitzhaber’s top-paid aid at $165,000 a year.
Kitzhaber does admit telling some people in his campaign that Hayes was looking for work, but her getting those jobs and the gentlemen getting jobs in Kitzhaber’s administration were not political payoffs. He also vehemently refused to resign.
Kitzhaber was first elected as Oregon’s governor in 1994. He served two terms, then left office when his second term ended in 2003. He ran again in 2010, barely beating former NBA player Chris Dudley for his third term. And, in spite of the controversial stories beginning to swirl around him, he easily won his fourth term, defeating Republican Dennis Richardson.
Kitzhaber’s issues began when it was revealed by the Willamette Weekly before the 2014 election that in 1997, Hayes was paid to enter into a sham marriage with an Ethiopian man so he could get American citizenship. She held a press conference, tearfully stating the decision to do so was the “the biggest mistake of my life.” Oregonian voters didn’t seem to mind. With everything else that has been discovered, they may be more resigned to his resigning sooner rather than later.
[Image courtesy of Fox News]