It is now becoming apparent that Portland Mayor Sam Adams — who was a Portland City Commissioner at the time — lied to Portlanders and the media in 2007 about his relationship with former Oregon Capitol intern Beau Breedlove.
Will this ruin Adams’ career in a city that prides itself on being one of the nation’s most tolerant?
The Willamette Week broke the story on Monday that Adams began a “sexual” relationship with the young man sometime shortly after Breedlove turned 18 in the summer of 2005. A variety of other local media outlets also jumped on the issue.
It is not the fact that Adams had a relationship that is the issue here. In fact, the media seems to be making it pretty clear that the issue is that he lied.
Anyone who has been around the media long knows the number one rule is to never lie. You can sometimes get away with leaving things out, dodging questions, parsing your words, or saying no comment. But for goodness sakes don’t lie. Why? Because when (not if) the truth comes out they will eat you for lunch.
Do you need examples? Here are just a few that come to mind”¦
-Neil Goldschmidt — another Portland Mayor — who dodged the issue of a statutory rape of a young girl for years.
-Bob Packwood who during his 1992 campaign dodged The Oregonian’s research of inappropriate advances toward women only to have them come out in the Washington Post — and boy did The Oregonian want revenge.
-Mike Erickson who could not seem to remember this rule on anything (abortion, Cuba, etc.).
In all these situations the official lost the public’s trust and more or less where knocked from the bully-pulpit their positions or roles in the public eye carried.
What will be Mayor Adams fate? The Crystal Ball is cloudy on this one.
Adams is obviously spinning it that he lied with good intentions as people would never have believed that although he struck up the relationship with a minor, he waited until he was 18 to allow it to become sexual in nature. Thus, there was nothing illegal Adams argues. Here is Adams’ quote:
“I should have been honest at the time when this first surfaced in 2007. But I didn’t believe that given the way that rumors were being spread””about whether I had broken the law by having sex with a minor””that people would believe me.”
Will the fact that there was nothing “illegal” give him a second chance with Portlanders? Will the fact that his lie allowed him to remain in — and win — the Mayor’s race make voters irate enough to require his resignation?
You tell me. Will the Summer of (Breed)love cause Adams to resign either now or sometime in the future?