New website on scandals & pay-to-play politics of Salem Democrats

Salem Dems web_thb

Promote Oregon Leadership PAC

Salem, Ore.Promote Oregon Leadership PAC launched a website and ad campaign highlighting the scandals and pay-to-play style politics of Salem Democrats. The website,, includes the release of a digital ad featuring ex-Governor John Kitzhaber, former First Lady of Oregon Cylvia Hayes, Governor Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek, and exposes the corrupt dealings of Oregon’s majority party.

“Salem Democrats control every aspect of Oregon’s Capitol, yet feign surprise when members of their own party are forced to resign and their own state agencies face federal investigations,” said David Huguenel, Executive Director of Promote Oregon. “Instead of cleaning up their act, they’ve done nothing but double down on a partisan agenda, pandering to their out-of-state-donors and special interest allies so they can line their pockets with millions of dollars in campaign donations.”

Oregon grabbed national headlines last February when the state’s longest-serving governor, John Kitzhaber, resigned in disgrace amid a criminal investigation of influence peddling within his office. During his time in office, ex-Gov. Kitzhaber’s fiancee Cylvia Hayes received hundreds of thousands of dollars from interest groups seeking to advance green energy policies in Salem, including a controversial policy known as the low-carbon fuel standard.

Despite Kitzhaber’s resignation, Hayes’ potentially criminal ties to the program, and the fact that records related to the low-carbon fuel standard were part of an active federal investigation, Salem Democrats approved the program just days after Kitzhaber left office.

Adoption of the low-carbon fuel standard was a top priority for California hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who poured over $300,000 dollars of campaign donations into Oregon in 2014. During the 2015 legislative session, the out-of-state billionaire had direct access to Kitzhaber’s replacement, Governor Kate Brown, and may have even played a role in killing a much-needed transportation package, which would have repealed of portions of his beloved fuel standard program.

The scandals do not end there. Oregon’s state government is currently facing no less than four federal investigations, ranging in nature from corruption to fraud to severe incompetence.

In just the latest example of pay-to-play style politics, Governor Brown’s office last month held secretive negotiations with government employee unions seeking to increase Oregon’s minimum wage. Around the time her office was engaged in those negotiations, Governor Brown accepted a $100,000 check from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the most prominent proponents behind increasing the minimum wage. Just days after receiving the contribution, Governor Brown unveiled a proposal to raise Oregon’s minimum wage by more than 60 percent.

Oregon was recently ranked as one of the worst states in the country for government transparency and accountability. The Center for Public Integrity gave Oregon an ‘F’ in its 2015 state integrity report card, citing Oregon as a state “where ethical behavior is assumed rather than regulated,” and “where good behavior is taken for granted rather than enforced.”

Democrats rejected Republican efforts to reform the state’s ethics and transparency laws during the 2015 legislative session.

Promote Oregon Leadership PAC is the political action committee for Oregon House Republicans