Tag Archives: nepotism

#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’.

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.

 

Rumor: Kitzhaber to Resign

Willamette Week reports Secretary of State Kate Brown is rushing back to take helm following reputed Kitzhaber resignation.

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

Willamette Week reports the Secretary of State dropped everything–including a speaking engagement in Washington DC– and is now quickly returning back to Oregon. Kitzhaber’s planned tree planting for the Oregon Birthday on February 14th has been canceled. Both stories are fueling speculation of John Kitzhaber’s pending resignation. 

From Willamette Week:

Her unexpected return from an east-coast conference of secretaries of state comes as Gov. John Kitzhaber is under intense pressure over an influence-peddling scandal involving himself and First Lady Cylvia Hayes. 

Kitzhaber and Hayes are the subject of a criminal investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice and the FBI.

Brown would become governor if Kitzhaber resigns. WW examined her potential succession in today’s paper.

As Lars Larson puts it, “He’s chosen his girlfriend over the job.”

But let’s not go all King Edward II on this. Cylvia Hayes is no better than Wallis Simpson–in fact has less class, but let’s not fool ourselves here: John Kitzhaber is doing nothing noble by quitting now. He’s the walking advertising for ignobility. I would have had more respect for him if he’d come clean before the election.

More later. 

Kitzhaber: ‘I’m Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined’*

Governor Kitzhaber’s performance Friday at a presser (video below) called to do damage control after reports surfaced, and his girlfriend subsequently confirmed, she made money trading on her role as ‘First “Lady”‘and didn’t report it.

kitz hands
Kitzhaber pleading with reporters to believe he’s not ‘trying to be like Marshawn Lynch or anything, but…’ he can’t answer questions.

Though he owes the citizens of Oregon answers, he called the presser Friday morning to stage a little political theater and to pretend to answer questions. And though we did glean a bit of information from Kitzhaber (he doesn’t regret getting together with her, he doesn’t know if he lives with her), he mostly pulled a Marshawn Lynch, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”

Kitzhaber brought up the Seahawks running back in his remarks in answer to a question by Lars Larson, “I don’t want to sound like Marshawn Lynch, but as I’ve said before…”

While both people hate the media, there’s a big difference between Lynch and Kitzhaber: Lynch isn’t trying to hide anything.

Here a few things we learned during this most awkward presser:

  • The man who hates the media (especially talk shows) held a news conference. He’s willing to take questions from other than friendly reporters in a desperate attempt to look statesmanlike and in control of his disastrous message (see example below).
  • Kitzhaber doesn’t actually know if the woman with whom he’s been living for the past four years, whom he claims is part of his household and whom he calls Oregon’s “first lady”, actually lives with him. 
  • He calls a distraction questions about Hayes’s “first lady” status, though it was he who foisted the title on the citizens and leaned on the media to hop-to and follow along. Or, as I put it in my post, ‘Cylvia Hayes You’ll Look Marvelous in an Orange Jump Suit“, Oregonians have been “forced to tolerate this woman much like kids forced to be nice to Dad’s fourth wife named Bambi”.
  • “Of course” he won’t resign, regardless of whether he’s guilty of violating his ethics or not. Yes, he really said that.
  • He took questions (but never actually answered) questions from radio talk host Lars Larson on whose show he refuses to come.
  • He unsuccessfully tried to sell the idea the woman who’s been trading on the title the Governor gave her, “first lady”, and whom he said he loves and had no regrets getting together with, won’t have any effect on his decision in office, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
  • He doesn’t think an independent audit will shed light on his and Cylvia’s shenanigans. Kitzhaber names some of the members to the Government Ethics Commission so I can see why he would want people who aren’t his cronies looking at his and Cylvia’s books.
  • He tried to convince reporters, and anyone else watching, he didn’t didn’t conduct the state’s money and business with his zipper down.  
  • Though Hayes is reportedly targeted with an FBI investigation, neither Cylvia nor Kitzhaber has hired a criminal defense attorney, although Kitzhaber confirmed he and Hayes have retained Ball Janik to represent them on civil issues. 

This exchange between Willamette Week’s Nigel Jacquiss and the Governor encapsulates why he’s in trouble:

Jacquiss: Governor, have you ever used the authority of your office or attended a meeting to benefit Cylvia Hayes’s career?
Kitz: No.
Jacquiss: Ok, so 2013 you went to Bhutan with Lou Baily from Demos. For the preceding year, you and Cylvia Hayes had been in close contact with Beemos and Lou Baily. You went to Bhutan in the middle of a legislative session. When you returned, Demos awarded Cylvia Hayes a contract. So are you sure that you didn’t go to Bhutan to benefit her career.
Kitz: (Smirks) I’m absolutely sure.
Jacquiss: How can you say that?
Kitz: It’s very easy. I’m absolutely sure ..
crosstalk
Jacquiss: You went to Bhutan, lending the credibility of your name and the credibility of your office to Demos and they rewarded Cylvia with a contract..
Kitz: So, you can draw that conclusion. I suppose the Ethics Commission will take a look at this. Well, but let’s talk about …

Robert Kennedy. That’s right. He changed the subject to talk about Robert Kennedy and how he became involved and enthralled with Beemos during a speech by Robert Kennedy at the University of Kansas in 1968 (he says this searching the room to see if picking up what he’s throwing down).

Changing the subject is the only thing he’s got going for him. Who knows, the compliant press just might let him get away with it. 

*He didn’t actually say this, though he did invoke Lynch’s name and the episode where he said this.

*This post has been updated to reflect the correct name of the company from which Hayes received money, perks in exchange for government jobs.