Largest newspaper in Oregon calls on Dem governor to resign in green energy scandals
Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon is hanging tough in the face of a scandal that makes progressives look bad on multiple grounds. Kudos to the Oregonian newspaper for calling him out and demanding his resignation. So far, the national media are ignoring the story, because it’s the kind of thing that makes greenies’ faces turn red with embarrassment (at least among those capable of embarrassment).
Some background: the governor has a “fiancée” named Cylvia Hayes, who is acting as “first lady” without, as they used to say, benefit of clergy. And:
… thanks to the work of Nick Budnick and Laura Gunderson of The Oregonian/OregonLive. Two people involved in Kitzhaber's 2010 campaign helped Hayes find paid work with groups interested in Oregon policy, Budnick and Gunderson reported. Both have landed in Kitzhaber's administration.
The policy in which then groups are interested is, of course, green energy, the favorite scam of crony capitalists.
First, Hayes received a combined $118,000 in 2011 and 2012 through the Washington, D.C.-based Clean Economy Development Center even as she served as an unpaid energy adviser to Kitzhaber. This income is not fully accounted for on tax forms Hayes provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive. Neither has the governor fully accounted for the money in ethics filings.
A big chunk of Hayes' fellowship money, $75,000, came from the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation, a nonprofit that funds clean-energy initiatives such as the low carbon fuel standard. Implementing a low carbon fuel standard is a priority for both Kitzhaber and Democratic leaders in the Legislature. The session's first public hearing on a bill to that end happened on Monday.
Who knew following the trail of "clean energy" money could make you feel so dirty?
On this last question, the Oregonian’s editorial board reveals that they don’t get out beyond the liberal bubble very much. Solyndra, anyone? Nonetheless, their hearts are in the right place:
How did Hayes end up with a fellowship funded by an organization with an interest in clean-energy policy in Oregon? A Kitzhaber campaign adviser, Dan Carol, helped arrange the funding following Kitzhaber's election in 2010, Budnick and Gunderson reported. Carol subsequently landed a position within the Kitzhaber administration. That position,Willamette Week has reported, pays more than $165,000, making Carol Kitzhaber's highest-paid aide.
Get the governor’s squeeze on some cash, and cash in yourself. It’s one of the oldest games in dirty politics, just gussied up in the latest scam, green energy. A few decades ago, it could have been asphalt for highways. These days, call something “clean” and the money spigot opens wide.
Another campaign adviser, Greg Wolf, helped land Hayes a position with the Rural Development Initiatives. The nonprofit, Budnick and Gunderson reported, wanted Hayes to help raise money for a clean economy project - including tens of thousands for which Kitzhaber's support was needed. Wolf, like Carol, later secured a position in Kitzhaber's administration.
I suspect that the governor felt, with some justification, that the media would leave him alone because of the presumed virtue of anything called clean or green, or anything funded by nonprofits. It is to the newspaper’s credit that they didn’t buy into the distractions.
We’ll see if the national media continue to ignore the green scandal in one iof the greenest states in the union. If they do, then perhaps Kitzhaber can ride this out and stay in office.