Could we be witnessing a revival of moral standards in our politics? Not only does Anthony Weiner look certain to go down in ignominious defeat in New York’s mayoral election in a couple of weeks, but Multnomah County, Oregon, chair Jeff Cogen–or, if you prefer, Portland’s Weiner--who admitted to a two-year affair with a subordinate earlier this summer, announced his resignation Friday.
The Democrat, who used county money to pay for a hotel room for a tryst with the subordinate, among other misdeeds, will step down on . (His paramour Sonia Manhas, who worked in the county’s health department, was forced out shortly after news of the affair broke.) His resignation letter, to be sure, takes a strangely defensive tone.
“After the affair was revealed, media reports were filled with unfounded allegations suggesting that I had abused my position to advance Sonia Manhas's career and that I had misused county resources to carry out our affair,” Cogen writes. Allegations, perhaps, but not unfounded, as the state’s attorney general is investigating.
Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to see a politician–and particularly one from Oregon, where numerous officeholders have been embroiled in sordid sex scandals in recent years--take some modicum of responsibility for his actions.