The Oregonian, the biggest paper in the state, is calling for the resignation of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber as a result of shady dealings related to his longtime girlfriend and fiancée:
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.
To recite every reported instance in which Hayes, ostensibly under Kitzhaber's watchful eye, has used public resources, including public employee time and her "first lady" title, in pursuit of professional gain would require far more space than we have here and, besides, repeat what most readers already know. Suffice it to say there's a pattern, and the person who bears the responsibility for allowing it to form and persist is Kitzhaber, who should know better. After all, as he pointed out during Friday's press conference, he's been serving in public office on and off since the 1970s.
Kitzhaber is in the middle of his fourth term as governor, and aside from this latest scandal, the governor bailed out of an interview with a Portland television station last year when he was confronted with evidence his office was aware of corruption in the state's Obamacare exchange. He's also the architect of the state's financially disastrous state health plan, and last year I chronicled his influential role in liberal health care efforts in a feature last year. Suffice to say, WEEKLY STANDARD readers were given ample warning about Kitzhaber:
Representing rural Southern Oregon, Kitzhaber, with his sartorial fondness for cowboy boots and Jerry Garcia ties, was a walking metaphor for bridging the state’s pronounced cultural divides. It helped that Kitzhaber was also an emergency room doctor whose inviting but no-nonsense demeanor made him appear more pragmatic than his liberal Democratic colleagues. Kitzhaber’s role in the creation of the Oregon Health Plan eventually propelled him into the governor’s mansion, and though he’s hardly a national name, he’s arguably done more to advance liberal health care reform than any other politician until Barack Obama. His popularity is such that Kitzhaber was elected to his third (nonconsecutive) term as governor in 2010 and is poised to win a fourth term this year. This in spite of the fact that his signature legislative achievement has been a slow-motion train wreck for more than two decades.