There may be no person in Oregon who has followed Neil Goldschmidt's career more closely than than the former governor's speechwriter, Fred Leonhardt.
If Goldschmidt or a member of his vast network ever said or did anything, there's a good chance Leonhardt can provide a citation or a couple of sources who can confirm what happened. In the wake of Elizabeth Dunham's January death, Leonhardt provided this past Sunday's (Eugene) Register Guard with his perspective on Goldschmidt's sexual abuse of Dunham in the mid-1970s, beginning when she was 13 years old. Leonhardt's account contains details that may make some powerful Oregonians spit out their morning coffee and others reluctant to answer their phones.
Leonhardt's point is that many people knew about Goldschmidt's abuse of Dunham yet did nothing.
"For the privilege of being in on "The Deal;" for the money made from corporate takeovers, condo developments and light rail extensions; for the cushy executive position with all the perks; for the high political office; for the entry to the Arlington Club; for the skids greased and the backs scratched; for nothing more than an occasional pat on the head from the Great Man himself; for a young girl's life — the best and the brightest looked the other way," Leonhardt writes.
"There was no conspiracy of silence. People talked. People knew. Instead, there was a conspiracy of indifference — which is far worse."