Gov. Brown follows Kitzhaber scandal with $100,000 consultant

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

As taxes continue to increase for Oregonians, Gov. Brown is on track to spend more than $100,000 in taxpayer funds for a political consultant paid with a no-bid contract.   This is somewhat similar to the former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber scandal where he hired his girlfriend as a consultant of which eventually caused his resignation.

In early 2020 Brown hired her former communications director, Chris Pair, through a no-bid state contract at a rate of $6,500 a month to attend weekly meetings of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA). Gov. Brown is actually chairman of the WGA and her “signature initiative” is unsurprisingly on expanding electric vehicle infrastructure. Pair allegedly has spent his time focusing on this topic through the WGA. However, Brown also paid Pair an undisclosed amount through her political action committee for work of an unknown purpose, described as unrelated to state business.

Brown declined to comment on why it was necessary and beneficial to taxpayers for her to hire her former staffer through a no-bid contract.  Brown is hiding the details just as John Kitzhaber did years ago.

Forbes magazine in 2018 highlighted inappropriate spending by Brown and her staff;

“Recently at Forbes, we about the governor using state agency resources and employees to log and redact from disclosure the details around 500 campaign events on her official state calendar since 2015.Now, our auditors found Brown repeatedly blurred the lines between state agency resources and campaign activities – for years. Here are some examples:On May 10, 2018, Brown was the commencement speaker at the University of Colorado Boulder. Over a two-day period, the governor’s office, which includes her security detail, including hotels ($4,148), airline flights ($2,222) and rental car charges ($1,046). The trip was packed with ten campaign events – each logged on Brown’s official state calendar. Brown spent only four hours during the two-day period on Boulder’s campus.”

So far, taxpayers have paid Pair $91,000 under the contract, according to the governor’s press secretary. Where else do you think that $91,000 of hard-earned taxpayer dollars could be spent more efficiently?

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