Green Watch November 2015: The Kitzhaber-Hayes Affair: Oregon’s four-term governor falls to an environmentalist scandal

kitzhaber

The Kitzhaber-Hayes Affair
Oregon’s four-term governor falls to an environmentalist scandal [PDF here] [This is Part 1. Click HERE for Part 2.]
by Jim Pasero

Summary: Four-term Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber first came to the state’s highest office by ruthlessly forcing a fellow Democrat, the incumbent, out of the position. But two decades later, when an epic scandal forced him out, he publicly wept for the state’s loss of pleasant “public discourse.” This is part one of a two-part report on a “green” scandal that reaches from Oregon to surrounding states, to the nation’s capital, and to other countries.

[Editor’s note: Whatever you think of his politics, you have to view John Kitzhaber as one of Oregon’s most successful politicians. He was an emergency room physician who became a state representative and president of the state Senate, the creator of a healthcare rationing “death panel” scheme that was a precursor to Obamacare, the longest-serving governor in his state’s history, and one of the fathers of policies that, even after his departure from public office, promote a radical “green” agenda in Oregon and far beyond.

Yet across the country the Governor will be remembered most of all for his ultimately disastrous relationship with Cylvia Hayes, a woman who committed immigration fraud, bought land for an illegal marijuana farm, and, while on the payroll of billionaire-backed environmentalists, pushed Kitzhaber to pursue anti-taxpayer schemes ranging from a hidden gasoline tax to an “index of well-being” that hid governmental failure from the voters.

The Kitzhaber-Hayes scandal resulted in his resignation and in an FBI investigation still active as this is written. The probe has subpoenaed tens of thousands of documents and is peeling back the layers of corruption and cronyism that make up the modern environmental movement. —SJA]

On February 13, just a month into his fourth term, Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Oregon) resigned. In his resignation letter, he explained that he was a victim.

I must 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 have been willing to accept this judgment at its face value.

It is something that is hard for me to comprehend – something that 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 public discourse that once made Oregon stand out from the pack.

Among those who helped push him out of office—the leaders of his party, including Secretary of State (and now Governor) Kate Brown, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek—the letter may have evoked pity or sadness. But to those who saw him as a colossal political figure, the governor’s tone was whiny and pathetic. Kitzhaber was no longer the powerful and historic four-term governor. He was just another politician who, with his career in ruins, felt sorry for himself and couldn’t accept that his situation was his own fault—the kind of loser who, as he headed out the door, asked state employees to delete his e-mails. [Click HERE for the rest of the article.]

[This is Part 1. Click HERE for Part 2.]

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