Jeff Kruse must resign

These days politicians seem deaf to any criticism or accountability that doesn’t come from their own party. This development necessitate that each party hold their own members accountable for their actions. That isn’t happening.As the editor in chief of the largest conservative blog in Oregon, I believe I have a moral obligation to hold Republicans accountable when I can. I know this will not be well received but I am of the belief that doing what’s right must always come before doing what is convenient.

Jeff Kruse must resign.

Things might be different if Senator Kruse had taken responsibility for his actions. He has yet to do so and it does not appear he will. Senator Jeff Kruse has sexually harassed and assaulted as many as 15 women who work in the Oregon Legislature.

I want to be absolutely clear; The identities of the women are not relevant. It doesn’t matter if they are public officials or staffers. It doesn’t matter what party they come from. It doesn’t matter if it happened 40 years ago or yesterday. It doesn’t matter if it was intentional or unintentional. And most importantly: It doesn’t matter why they came forward.

This shouldn’t happen to anyone. We as a society, we as Oregonians, and most especially we as Republicans should not tolerate this kind of behavior. I am embarrassed that most of my party continues to say nothing. I am saddened that some have even come forward to defend him.

Whenever an issue like this occurs in the political realm, the political ramifications must also be discussed. These issues are substantially less important than the damage that has been done on a human level but still must be addressed.

For all intents and purposes, Oregonians in Senate District 1 do not have a Senator. He has been stripped of the committee assignments that allow him to influence legislation. It is possible the Senate will be forced to expel him in the near future.

Kruse’s constituents are not well-served by having a powerless Senator mired in scandal. Senator Kruse stepping aside may still allow the women he hurt to heal in their personal and professional lives and will allow us to return to governing.

As someone who worked alongside Senator Kruse when I was a staffer in the legislature, I am surprised and saddened it has come to this. If he values and respects the Oregon Legislature as an institution and — more importantly — as a group made up of human beings, he should apologize to those he hurt and he should step down.

Reagan Knopp is a digital political consultant and the Editor in Chief of Oregon Catalyst.

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  • James K Walsh

    I think you are right that he should resign because now his reputation for honesty appears completely impaired. If there was one accuser it would be simpler to evaluate conflicting stories. But with 15, it is pretty impossible to contend that they are all lying. I liked getting his newsletters during the last two sessions and I felt he had a good insider’s view of what is really going on in Salem. Absent these allegations he would be a “normal” Republican member of the legislature. But he should go and let the process pick another Republican from his area to finish out his term. He has no ability to move forward any legislation from this point on.

  • David Johnson

    “………….I am of the belief that doing what’s right must always come before doing what is convenient. Jeff Kruse must resign.”

    Apparently you don’t know very much about “doing what’s right.”
    I saw nothing in your rant and I have read nothing in the newspapers about proof of guilt. I guess in your book every accused is guilty until proven innocent. It is my humble opinion that he should face his accusers and be tried in a court of law before being pronounced guilty.
    “……..it doesn’t matter if it was unintentional?” What happens, in your book, if someone opens a door and it hits someone on the other side? Is that person guilty of assault?
    Has it every occurred to you that he “hasn’t taken responsibility for his actions” because he didn’t to it?
    I suppose not …………
    If he has to work with people like you he should probably resign.

    • Reagan Knopp

      What other kind of evidence do you expect to materialize? It’s not like this was all recorded on video. The evidence is in the large number of accounts. It would be harder to perceive who was right if it was one story but it’s not, it’s 15+.

      If it were just one person we should still believe them but it’s harder to be certain.

      • David Johnson

        What you say is true but he still deserves his day in court before he is condemned and his reputation ruined.

  • Frontman

    Well said. It seems like we have double helix downward spiral of new worse and worse allegations connected with worse and worse explanations. It feels like the DNA of a disaster.

  • Ben

    I areee with David Johnson that he should be able to face his accusers in a court of law. But on the other hand, James Walsh is correct in saying his effectiveness in the legislature is diminished, and now might be a good time to allow another Republican to step in and represent his constituents.

    • Reagan Knopp

      The women who were assaulted only seek his removal from the Senate. They’re not suing him and they’re not asking for the state to sue him either.

    • David Johnson

      And I agree with you. His reputation and his effectiveness in Salem is probably gone and partly because of articles like this one. He may be guilty but he should not have been condemned in public like this before any investigation and I don’t mean an investigation by the press.

      • Snoopy and The Red Baron

        There have been investigations. Sara Gelser outed him and the Legislative Counsel (lawyers who work for all senators) conducted an investigation and interviewed dozens of women. Up to 15 have been confirmed to have some complaint against him inappropriately harassing them. “Condemning him in public like this” is exactly what should be done.

        Also, let me be clear and state that all of the senators know he’s guilty of it. That may be a point of contention for you, but not for the people who serve with him. It’s simply a matter of what he’s going to do about it now, and how the rest of his colleagues will handle it.

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