The Oregonian editorial board called for Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) to resign Wednesday, following revelations his associates created a paid position for his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, to influence Oregon's energy policy.
For a newspaper editorial board to call for a governor's resignation is rare and massive -- but that's especially so for this newspaper and this governor. The left-leaning Oregonian ed board endorsed Kitzhaber in all four of his gubernatorial elections — 1994, 1998, 2010, and 2014 — according to a Nexis search. Here's what they said about him on October 24, 2010, when he was facing Republican and former NBA player Chris Dudley.
"Oregonians are fortunate that two smart, charismatic moderates are running for governor. Republican Chris Dudley is an appealing candidate, but former two-term Gov. John Kitzhaber is a better choice to lead Oregon forward. Kitzhaber, a Democrat, has leadership experience and a record of effectiveness. Dudley does not."
In the paper's editorial Wednesday, titled "John Kitzenhaber must resign," they were far less kind.
"More ugliness may surface, but it should be clear by now to Kitzhaber that his credibility has evaporated to such a degree that he can no longer serve effectively as governor. If he wants to serve his constituents he should resign."
According to the Oregonian, Hayes earned at least $143,000 from jobs connected to Kitzhaber's associates. She also admitted last year that in 1997 she married an Ethiopian immigrant so he could stay in the U.S., doing so in exchange for $5,000. (She also didn't disclose the marriage to Kitzhaber.) That year she also purchased land with her then-boyfriend to grow marijuana. In a statement apologizing for the marriage, Hayes said that was a "difficult and unstable" time in her life and she was struggling financially.
Hayes calls herself Oregon's first lady, although she is not married to Kitzhaber. The couple announced their engagement in August.
Kitzhaber was asked at a press conference Friday if he was considering resigning, which he said he was not. But when you've lost The Oregonian...