| STATE REP. DERRICK KITTS |
IMAGE: STEPHEN VOSS
Something else was making the Nose out of sorts. First he thought it was the half-and-half mixture of Clamato and Hamm's he'd been drinking all weekend.
Then he thought it might be that his onion dip smelled suspiciously like dog breath.
Then it came to him. It was the fact that the Nose is a man. And in Oregon this past week, that has not been a proud gender.
Think not? Consider the case of Dan Doyle, the Republican state rep who resigned last week after allegedly "repurposing" $80,000 from his own campaign fund.
The Nose doesn't exactly look to the Legislature for his role models. (When a disturbed man invaded the Senate and threatened to stab himself last week, he was in a certain sense speaking for all Oregonians.)
But the Doyle affair reeked of a certain malodorous maleness. Speaker Karen Minnis may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer; it is hard to imagine her, however, playing fast and loose with expenditures that must be reported to the state, for god's sake.
That kind of hubris requires a Y chromosome.
Take another one of Salem's craven nut-hooks, Rep. Derrick Kitts. In the wake of the Doyle scandal, the Legislature wants campaign-finance rules rewritten. The task falls to a committee chaired by Kitts, an amiable Hillsboro Republican who, as revealed in a nice piece last week by The Oregonian, also likes to dip into his campaign trough.
Kitts hasn't done what Doyle allegedly did: actively lie about how he spent money. He doesn't blush, though, when it comes to spending 600 donated dollars on a limo ride, or tapping the war chest to buy gas and then reimbursing himself for the same mileage.
Kitts—whom WW endorsed for office in November—pleads poverty. Dude. If state Sen. Kate Brown were a half-step from debtors' prison, could you imagine her lummoxing around Salem, splitting hairs about whether a $400 rent bill was a legit campaign expense?
But the male malefactor who put the Nose over the top has got to be Derry Jackson. The Portland School Board member landed in Washington County jail last week. Jackson got popped for allegedly violating his estranged wife's restraining order.
Jackson has a history. In '98, Portland cops arrested him for assaulting said wife after she wouldn't dance with him at the New Copper Penny. Last fall, she got a restraining order after telling a judge that ol' Derry informed her she might, just possibly, end up at the bottom of the Willamette. That's on top of Jackson's other problems, like an ethics probe, those comments about Jews, and…you get the picture.
If all that weren't bad enough, Jackson released a highly defensive, intermittently coherent statement after he made bail. He says he might run for another term.
Talk about testosterone.
With all the smart, talented women in the world, why are we afflicted with the likes of Doyle, Kitts and Jackson? As the Nose joined his brethren in watching the Pats manhandle the Eagles on Sunday, he decided the problem might be cultural as much as hormonal. He flicked off the boob tube and fired up Cheaptickets.com. Destination: Sweden.