State Treasurer Ted Wheeler
earlier this week weighed in on Facebook about the recent reports that mayoral candidate Rep. Jefferson Smith was charged with a misdemeanor assault in 1993 for punching a woman at a college party.
In an interview today with WW
, Wheeler explained what prompted him to post his message.
Prior to his election as state treasurer, Wheeler said, he served as chair of
Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, where he oversaw county services for battered women and families
affected by domestic violence.
“There’s no question that the incident around Jefferson Smith has raised the profile of violence against women in our community,” Wheeler told WW
. “I have some very strong opinions about that. I stewed over it for a couple of nights and frankly it is not my intention to get involved in the Mayor’s race in the city of Portland but I was very concerned about what I was reading online, particularly from young men whom I know to be otherwise progressive in their values, that suggested to me that they believe that it is defensible to hit a woman and that it is defensible to blame the victim.
“As somebody who has spent a lot of time looking into the issue of violence against women, I believe neither is acceptable," Wheeler says. "It is unacceptable for a man to hit a woman. Period
. That was the message I was expecting to hear.”
Here's what Wheeler had to say (the man to Wheeler's right is Tom Cox, the Republican candidate for state treasurer):