The Curious Case of John Kitzhaber.
Saturday, February 13, marks the one-year anniversary of former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s (D-OR) resignation in the face of a conflict of interest scandal involving the governor and his paramour, Cylvia Hayes. At the time of Mr. Kitzhaber’s resignation, the Justice Department was said to be conducting a grand jury investigation into the matter, and the Oregon Attorney General had suspended her investigation in order to defer to the federal government. That is the Justice Department that was being run by then Attorney General Eric Holder (D).
A year has passed and the following is what has been done in furtherance of justice.
That’s right – nothing.
In February of last year I wrote a column that stated:
“The [Democrat] machine is populated by Democrat politicians, public employee union officials, environmental activists and, strangely, a gaggle of business executives – primarily from Portland. (I don’t want to ignore the various other advocacy groups that populate Democrat politics – abortion advocates, minorities, gays, poverty advocates and others – who provide noise and publicity but little in terms of actual direction.)
“Compared to the size of its base, its leadership is a relatively small cadre. They all know each other, went to school with each other, married each other, had affairs with each other, hired each other and have risen to positions of prominence in business and government as a result. And they are corrupt.
“The corruption extends to those benefiting from government largesse – that would include the public employee unions, those who contract with government for a whole variety of goods and services, the activists who rely on government for funds and grants to this or that “good cause”, and the environmental lobby who rely on government subsidies for their very commercial existence. It includes those who benefit from government action that either shelters them from governmental burdens (taxes and rules or regulations) or imposes disproportionate burdens on their competitors. And finally, it includes those who acquire power and position simply for the sake of acquiring power and position and who use that power and position primarily to retain power and position rather than pursue the commonweal of citizens. And in Oregon, the mainstream press is a part of that cadre and serves primarily to extol their virtues, bury their misdeeds and savage their opponents. (For the past decade the responsibility of “government watchdog” has fallen singularly to Willamette Week – an alternative newspaper primarily noted for its “personal classifieds” but which is directed by Richard Meeker, a fearless muckracker, and staffed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss. (Surely Mr. Jaquiss will win another Pulitzer for his unearthing of this scandal while the other media outlets sat on their hands.)
“While Mr. Kitzhaber is toast and no one in power actually gives a damn about Ms. Hayes (she was always more interloper than insider), the rest of the machine needs protection – and protection they will get.”
Time is always on the side of the corrupt. As time passes and the media turns its head away, the populace forgets or shrugs it off as being one more instance in which the politicians have gotten away with something.
It’s too bad. At one time, at least three decades ago, before the Governor Neil Goldschimdt (D-OR) administration, Oregon was noted for its “clean government.” Not any more, not by a long shot. And it isn’t going to recover any time soon given that the Democrats retain every state-wide elected office and super majorities or near super majorities in both houses of the legislature.
Your job is to feed the machine. Oh, and shut up.