Governor Kitzhaber may think he got yanked from his interview with a KATU reporter just in time yesterday, but all he succeeded in doing was raising more questions about what he knew of the Cover Oregon–OrBamaCare–fail and when he knew it. The episode also reveals in what contempt the governor and his aides hold the people–especially those who don’t agree with him.
Oregon media must hold Kitzhaber to account now before the “investigation” gets underway and Kitzhaber can hide behind the “I can’t comment on anything under investigation” blind. Lawyers are currently pouring over the contract with Oracle over its disastrous software glitches. In terms of an investigation into the (lack of) management, Kitzhaber ordering an investigation of his mistakes in the rollout of OrBamaCare is like a kid with chocolate smudged all over his face telling his mother he’s ordered an investigation into the empty cookie jar.
KATU reporter Hillary Lake had this exchange with the Governor, questioning him about a warning from then- State Rep Patrick Sheehan back in 2012 outlining reasons why the Cover Oregon IT chief should be sacked.
HL: You knew about those red flags or your office knew about the red flags specifically about Carolyn Lawson and people calling for her to be let go far before she resigned.
Kitzhaber: Well, I knew about the problems in uh late October is when I first learned about the problems.
HL: We have an email from Represenative Patrick Sheehan that went to you and he encourage you at the end of 2012 to let her go.
Kitzhaber: It may have come to my office but I didn’t see it.
Kitzhaber was yanked out of the interview before she could continue her entirely appropriate questioning. See the awkwardness at 2:40 in the interview below:
Republican legislative leader Julie Parrish tweeted out her skepticism about Kitzhaber’s scaredy cat exit, alluding to Governor Chris Christie’s nearly two hour long presser about the allegedly politically motivated bridge closing.
— Julie Parrish (@hotcouponmama) January 10, 2014
Here are more questions that need to be answered:
How did you find out about Patrick Sheehan’s letter? Who told you about it? When?
What did you do when you discovered your employee failed to tell you about Sheehan’s letter?
Why would your underling feel it was appropriate to disregard this information? Why?
Is there a policy to disregard House oversight suggestions? Or just Republican members?
At what point have you taken any suggestion proffered by legislative oversight members?
Why did your underling believe it appropriate to ignore questions from a committee tasked with overseeing this program?
Are there any more warnings you’ve now become aware of that were hidden from you by your underling/s?
Would you make public those communications?
What have you done to the aides at your office who did not disclose the letter? Have they been fired or reassigned?