Last night, I went to bed thinking about the latest scandal involving a governor-- this time mine. Being a Democrat, although a rather moderate one, I favored John Kitzhaber all four times he ran for governor. I was pleased when he came back from his first two terms to run again. We donated to his campaign. Although he is a liberal, he also stood up to the unions in an attempt to balance Oregon's budget. I think tried to balance right and left agendas...
First time he ran for governor, he married a woman who he then had a son with. She seemed delightful, business woman, attractive and bright.
The divorce as soon as he finished his second term came as a shock. It would not have had we known him better. In 2002, he had met a woman at a conference. After his divorce, he began openly dating her. The woman was 20 years younger, beautiful, intelligent, had her own business in Bend. No big surprise he was attracted to her.
When he ran for governor in 2010, after the last Democrat finished his two terms, he had this woman at his side but they weren't married. They have yet to marry. She is quite a number in every way someone can imagine-- good and bad. this article on Bloomberg pretty well lays out the current situation-- as much as any can right now
The story of her past made the news right before the elections in November. Would it have turned the election if the right hadn't put up such an extremist? Hard to say, but Kitzhaber won handily-- kind of reminding me of Clinton after his scandal broke.
Oregonians like Kitzhaber for his independence and cowboy ways. He talks of fishing on the Umpqua where he had a home at one time, not sure about now. He is someone a person can like for his love of nature, as well as agree with their political stances.
The woman he is with has evidently been quite a grifter, who didn't give up her ways when she got him to run for governor again and used his position to bag big contracts for her business. The hysteria is building in Oregon to try to force Kitzhaber to resign. Others are talking recalls which cannot happen until the summer, if at all, given he was just re-elected for a fourth term based on his positions and character...
Recently, the Willamette Week has gone after him with one after another articles, which indicate she got big bucks with the belief she would influence him in their favor. What we don't know is if she did. We know she got the money but not what he did for it. Did he then give contracts that rewarded those who
attempted to influence her? If he did, there are several other governors who got in big trouble for that kind of thing. I would honestly have never believed he'd be one of them. Other than being a foolish old man, bewitched by a smooth talking, beautiful woman twenty years younger than him, what else did he do that deserves his being kicked out of office-- and the Secretary of State, who is more liberal than he is, taking the seat for what is almost a full term?
Despite what some say, the rumors were out there before the election.
The 2014 alternative offered by Republicans was so abominable that Kitzhaber
would have been elected anyway whether others had heard the rumors