Daily Archives: June 22, 2012

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Rep. Matt Wingard and the Oregon GOP: What next?

by The Bill Post Radio Show on Monday, June 18, 2012 at 12:00pm ·
In Jan 2012 a young woman who used to work for Matt Wingard as a legislative aide and campaign worker filed a report with the Oregon Department of Justice about Matt Wingard.
In March of 2012, the young woman decided to file a report with the Wilsonville Police/Clackamas County Sheriff – as she’d been instructed how to do so by the Oregon DOJ.
On May 17, the GOP House Caucus was given a chance to conduct its own ethics investigation or whatever they deemed appropriate before outside events took control in mid-May that two public documents existed regarding what the young woman reported
Nigel Jaquiss at WW in the course of trying to determine why Oregon Attorney General John Kroger was not running for re-election due to health concerns – health concerns that didn’t prevent him from accepting a lucrative and demanding job as president of Reed College (From Nigel’s WW article on Kroger: “A review of Kroger’s calendar for the weeks after he announced he was ill show a far less active attorney general than from his early years, when he regularly roamed the state and the nation.”)  He found Wingard’s name in his records search, an entry in Kroger’s calendar: “investigate legislator” from January 2012 that led him to this story: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-19321-a_violation_of_trust.html.
There was an article recently on Blue Oregon: http://www.bpshow.com/shows/wingard.pdf concerning child abuse charges in the early 2000’s. I’ve heard Matt give his “I threw a screwdriver at my son” story many times, but I’d never seen the full story. It made me sick – especially the last 4 pages or so. How on earth did he get into the legislature in the first place and why did our caucus promote him twice, given his background of two felony indictments?  I hate using Blue Oregon as a source but credit must be given where credit is due, and they have done their job well.
I am also very concerned that “conservative” talk show hosts have chosen to attack and vilify a couple who were instrumental in helping the victim named in the WW story.  It continues to appall me how everyone has sympathy for the alleged perpetrator, but NONE for the young woman. Some of it is extremely nasty – especially from several “conservative” talk show hosts – including Rob Kremer (an officer of the Oregon Republican Party-Treasurer by the way) recently who was savaging the young woman and her confidants on air and continue unabated.  Jeff Kropf, Jayne Carroll and Victoria Taft all with a very public forums to go after those who even dare to support a young woman who brought forth allegations of sexual harassment, criminal serving of alcohol to minors, and other possible sexual misconduct.
What in the world would we be doing to the Democrats if they treated the young woman who came forward against Wu at the end like this? What would you do if a young woman at your church came to you and told you, sobbing, that the pastor was sleeping with her, and it made her uncomfortable? Would you tell her to keep quiet? Would you tell her you don’t want to get involved?
By the way, it has been pointed out to me that there was NEVER an official record of misconduct on the part of David Wu. Matt, on the other hand, has two felony indictments for child abuse, a misdemeanor conviction for child abuse/assault, an official report with the Oregon Department of Justice, an official report with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office, and a possible additional file at the Clackamas County District Attorney’s office. I think we may be holding ourselves to a different standard than we hold the Democrats.
I chose to wait on this story until I had more facts and out of my own personal relationship with Matt Wingard.  He is both my friend and a political mentor.  I am deeply hurt by what has transpired but also concerned for him as my friend that he gets his spiritual house in order but also be prepared to face the consequences of his actions without casting further aspersions on the victim.
I now feel that it is time to call out what needs to be called out.  There are many in the GOP of Oregon who knew that there might have been problems with Wingard before his election and though were warned that it  might not be a good idea to support him, pushed forward anyway.  I now firmly believe that in 2008 the GOP should have backed away from him as a candidate.  With this most recent situation, the GOP has acted inappropriately, taking too long to take action, did not deal with it quickly enough (thought they did ask for and receive Wingard’s resignation as Deputy Leader as reported in WW: http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog28763wingard_steps_down_as_deputy_gop_house_leader_%28updated%29.html), and has been more concerned with the possible loss of the tie in the House.  If we do not have HIGHER moral standards than the Democrats, then what reason do we have to continue on?
I have to answer to my God for my actions or lack of actions and I will not stand silent any longer.  The GOP of Oregon MUST take action immediately and face the consequences of their action or lack thereof.  It is time to clean up this mess, no matter the cost in November.  I pray that the Oregon GOP will do the right thing, I pray for the victim in this case and I pray for Matt Wingard.  We MUST as Republicans, be above board on everything!