Daily Archives: February 13, 2015

#KitzOver #QuitzHaber: Reaction to Kitzhaber Resignation

Official reaction. Not so official reaction. And the crazy.

Image Credit: Twitter
Image Credit: Twitter

Dragon Slayers

Cascade Policy’s founder, Steve Buckstein, puts it succinctly

Oh, Nice, that’s not nice! But ya know she’s right:

Truth

Pow

Today’s not the day, boys.

KGW notes the memes have begun:

Oregon’s one party rule comes up in this meme:

Premature e-celebration:

And I just had to add this one because this guy exploited the trending topic just like Cylvia Hayes exploited her boyfriend and John Kitzhaber exploited his job title.

And this guy did too, but it’s the only time you’ll see Kitzhaber in the same meme with ‘Kardashian’ and ‘Kanye’.

KITZHABER ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION

John Kitzhaber will retire on Wednesday of next week.

I do solemnly swear that I've been up to no good. Image Credit: The Oregonian
I do solemnly swear that I’ve been up to no good.
Image Credit: The Oregonian

Here’s his petulant letter released today.

I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon.

It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken – it is to stand and fight for the cause. For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue.

I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling – and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon – is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value.

It is something that is hard for me to comprehend – something we might expect in Washington, D.C. but surely not in Oregon. I do not know what it means for our shared future but I do know that it is seriously undermining civic engagement in this state and the quality of the public discourse that once made Oregon stand out from the pack.

Nonetheless, I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life. As a former presiding officer I fully understand the reasons for which I have been asked to resign. I wish Speaker Kotek and President Courtney and their colleagues on both sides of the aisle success in this legislative session and beyond. And I hope that they are truly committed to carrying forward the spirit of bipartisanship and collaboration that has marked the last four years in Oregon.

In 1968 I was inspired to commit my life to public service by the last campaign of Robert Kennedy. Forty-one years ago I started work as an emergency room doctor in Roseburg with a goal to make life better for those in my care. Ever since then, I have sought to keep that focus by trying to make things better for the people and the communities of this state that I love. I have had the extraordinary privilege of pursuing that work as a State Representative, State Senator, Senate President and as your Governor.

Over those years, I have had the honor to be a part of some remarkable achievements.

We responded to the worst recession and financial crisis since the Great Depression by rebuilding an Oregon economy that has added jobs and vitality in many regions of our state. And, unlike many other parts of our nation, we did it together with cooperation and respect for Oregon and for each other.

We successfully defended Oregon’s spectacular natural heritage of clean water, clean air, forests, farmland and special places. We created the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds and nearly 90 watershed councils.

We have also found ways to support our rural communities and to create jobs in our natural resources industries while enhancing the environment.

When forces of intolerance sought to divide us we stood up for the principal that every Oregonian deserves respect and basic rights – including the right to choose and the right to marry the person we love.

And I am proud that Oregon has not invoked the death penalty during my last four years on the watch.

We have stood by our working men and women steadfastly supporting collective bargaining and the right to form a union.

We have transformed our health care system, improving access and quality while lowering costs through our new Coordinated Care Organizations. Tonight over 95 percent of Oregonians will go to bed knowing that they have health insurance coverage. We did that together.

In a three-day special session we reformed our public pension system, provided tax relief to small businesses and raised new revenue for mental health and for public education — the foundation of our future.

We have passionately pursued the goal of equity and opportunity – especially for those Oregonians who have been left behind: communities of color, English language learners and those in poverty, those in the rural parts of our state, the very young and the very old.

We have laid the groundwork for eliminating the achievement gap and ensuring that over 90 percent of our children could be reading at level in 3rd grade within five years.

And we are poised to reach agreements that will resolve the century-old water crisis in the Klamath Basin and expand irrigated agriculture in the Umatilla.

As important as what we have accomplished – how we have accomplished it is perhaps even more important. We have had a great tradition of overcoming partisan differences in this state and doing what is right for Oregon. That tradition had faltered, but over the past four years we have rebuilt a functional political center, reaching across party lines to do difficult, important things by reducing polarization and building community to help right the ship and chart a better course for our future.

I ran for a fourth term as your governor to continue that progress. But the questions that have been raised about my administration – specifically allegations against me concerning the work done by my fiancé Cylvia Hayes and the contracts she obtained during my last term – and the escalating media frenzy that has stemmed from this – has clearly reached the point of no return.

I am confident that I have not broken any laws nor taken any actions that were dishonest or dishonorable in their intent or outcome. That is why I asked both the Ethics Commission and the Attorney General to take a full and comprehensive look at my actions – and I will continue to fully cooperate with those ongoing efforts. I am equally confident that once they have been concluded Oregonians will see that I have never put anything before my love for and commitment to Oregon and faithfully fulfilling the responsibilities of the public offices I have held

But it is also clear that this process will take months.

I have always had the deepest respect for the remarkable institution that is the Oregon Legislature; and for the office of the Governor. And I cannot in good conscience continue to be the element that undermines it. I have always tried to do the right thing and now the right thing to do is to step aside.

One thing I hope people know about me is that I love this state and its people, its rivers, its mountains and its landscapes with every fiber of my being. It is because of that love that I tender my resignation as Governor, effective at 10 a.m. on February 18, 2015. Secretary of State Kate Brown will take the oath of office as Oregon’s Governor at that time. Oregon will be in good hands and I wish her well.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you and our state. It has been the honor of my life. And I believe I can say that looking back over those years we have left it better than we found it.

From KPTV

The National Media Start Connecting the Kitzhaber Data Points

The national media begin paying closer attention to the Kitzhaber Steyer connection.

I do solemnly swear that I've been up to no good. Image Credit: The Oregonian
I do solemnly swear that I’ve been up to no good.
Image Credit: The Oregonian

HT Andy from Beaverton

From the Washington Times in a piece about the Democrats’ latest green energy scandal:

Mr. Steyer, Mr. Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes appeared together at an environmental dinner in November 2013 celebrating environmental accomplishments in the West. Mr. Steyer has given $100,000 to the Oregon Democratic Party through his NextGen Climate Action political movement.

Mr. Steyer’s office did not return repeated emails seeking comment. A San Francisco-based hedge fund manager, the billionaire environmentalist was a fundraising bundler for both of Mr. Obama’s presidential races and a heavy supporter of Democratic causes across the country.

Jenny Coyle, communications manager for the Energy Foundation, told The Times that the foundation provided the Clean Economy Development Center $50,000 in 2011 and $25,000 in 2012 for the fellowship program in which Ms. Hayes participated. She was the center’s only fellow.

And this tells you what you need to know about she has traded on her position as ‘Oregon’s First Lady’:

Although Ms. Hayes has been removed from Mr. Kitzhaber’s official website as “Oregon’s First Lady,” she still uses the title in her bio on her consulting firm’s website.

The national media are alert to the seriousness of the scandal now. KGW has done a sampling of the national media reaction to the Kitzhaber-Hayes influence peddling scandal. Here’s a sample:

From the Washington Post:

“The governor is pretty clearly holding onto his career by a thread.”

From The Atlantic:

“Just blame the first lady.”

“How does Kitzhaber get off blaming Hayes? After all, he’s a four-term governor of the state, and must have had some understanding of the ethical issues involved. Asked by a reporter if he was “blinded by love,” Kitzhaber did say his eyes were “wide open,” but he also seemed to distance himself from the controversy, saying Hayes is “an independent woman” and announcing her de facto banishment from the government. 

From The New York Times:

“[Energy-related] issues have long been a priority of Mr. Kitzhaber’s administration, but now they are bound up in, and perhaps undermined by, questions of whether love and politics got too cozy in the governor’s mansion. 

More later.