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 September 16. (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.