Political Requiem for John Kitzhaber: A Media Wrap

By  USDR.

The longest serving governor in the history of Oregon, John Kitzhaber, resigned today among accusations of paybacks and scandal.  USDR decided to bring you some of those stories:

ABC News: Oregon Secretary of State Rises to Governor (Source: AP):

The resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber instantly promoted the liberal Democrat who is next in line to succeed him: the 54-year-old secretary of state who has long been thought to have her eye on Oregon’s top elected position.

Kate Brown, who is widely considered to be to the left of the departing Democratic governor, will also become the first openly bisexual governor in the nation. She will not assume office until Wednesday, when Kitzhaber’s resignation takes effect. He is stepping down amid suspicions that his fiancee used their relationship to land contracts for her green-energy consulting business.

“This is a sad day for Oregon. But I am confident that legislators are ready to come together to move Oregon forward,” Brown said Friday. “I know you all have a lot of questions, and I will answer them as soon as possible. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done between now and Wednesday.”

Unlike most states, Oregon has no lieutenant governor. Under the state constitution, the secretary of state takes over if a governor steps down or dies. That has happened eight times since statehood, according to the Blue Book, the state government almanac.

Until recent weeks, the assumptions were that Kitzhaber would finish his full, fourth term and Brown would be a top contender in 2018 to succeed him.

The new job will require her to start running for election immediately, said Ron Cease, a retired professor of political science and public… (read  more)

The Daily Caller: Oregon’s Governor Resigns in Scandal:

Disgraced Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday, just after noon, local time. The newly re-elected governor was brought down by a scandal concerning his fiancee’s dealings with green energy groups.

Kitzhaber announced his resignation in a letter sent to Secretary of State Kate Brown, who will assume the governor’s office following Kitzhaber’s departure. Brown will be the nation’s first openly bisexual governor.

The announcement was to the point.

“Dear Secretary Brown:

Effective February 18, 2015, at 10 a.m., I am resigning my position as governor of Oregon.

Sincerely,

John A. Kitzhaber, M.D.”

Kitzhaber’s Democratic allies had almost totally abandoned him by Friday, as the state treasurer, speaker of the House, and Senate president had all issued statements demanding his resignation. The governor himself apparently vacillated, according to The Oregonian, originally deciding to resign on Tuesday before changing his mind Wednesday, but then…(read  more)

Williamette Week: Governor Announces his Resignation:

Gov. John Kitzhaber has resigned as Oregon’s governor, little more than a month after he was sworn in as the first four-term governor in the state’s history. His resignation will take effect Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m.

The resignation caps a tumultuous week in which Kitzhaber appeared to have decided to resign, only to change his mind at least twice.

Kitzhaber, 67, has seen his 36-year political career consumed by an influence-peddling scandal centered on private consulting contracts that his fiancee, first lady Cylvia Hayes, obtained from advocacy groups seeking to impact state policy.

Those contracts, which paid Hayes more than $200,000, also benefited Kitzhaber because the two share a household. WW first reported on Hayes’ contracts and the conflict of interest they presented last October and since then new allegations have emerged.

Kitzhaber, despite winning re-election in November, has seen his administration undercut by a series of questions about his knowledge and involvement that he has been unwilling to answer.

His political position weakened Jan. 30, when he held a 20-minute press conference to speak a previously undisclosed $118,000 contract Hayes received in 2011 and 2012, and the possibility she failed to report the income on her tax return. Kitzhaber’s evasiveness at the press conference started the drumbeat that led state… (read  more)

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.