Kotek’s wife under fire for lobbying

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Willamette Week reports that Oregon Governor Tina Kotek’s wife, Aimee Kotek Wilson, may have been crossing the line into lobbying (or appearance of special access-type lobbying) in her role as First Spouse.

Willamette Week states on the Tina Kotek/Aimee Kotek Wilson fiasco story, “On April 3, representatives of the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson met with the state’s director of behavioral health, Ebony Clarke. Emails WW first revealed last week show that the unusual meeting was brokered by Oregon first lady Aimee Kotek Wilson.In interviews with WW, six Salem pharmaceutical lobbyists expressed surprise that Johnson & Johnson reps could obtain a meeting with the governor’s wife and that she would then arrange a meeting for the drug manufacturer with the Oregon Health Authority’s top mental health official.Both steps in that sequence, lobbyists say, fall outside of Salem norms. … “It’s a little bit stunning that they [Johnson & Johnson] were able to get to the first lady,” the lobbyist says. “And it’s highly unusual to have the governor’s office emailing the OHA to meet with a pharmaceutical company.”    There is more to the story, read here.

Inappropriate lobbying-type activities is what got, then-Governor John Kitzhaber, in trouble with his partner.

Kitzhaber resigned over that scandal.

Will Governor Tina Kotek face resignation?

One person on the Reddit Portland page summed up the Kotek First Spouse problem very well, “Yeah, this kind of access is really, really abnormal. The gatekeepers and processes are in place to ensure fairness and transparency. The governor and her wife know better.”

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