Today, the Oregon Senate paid tribute to the Oregon blues musician Curtis Salgado, who toured with acts such as Santana and Bonnie Raitt and was reportedly an inspiration for the Blues Brothers movie.
That honor is curious, because there are few topics that inspire lawmakers' ire and willingness to get tough on crime than adults who have sex with minors.
That's what Salgado pleaded guilty to in 1996.
His conviction came to light in an editor's note The Oregonian in 2006, shortly after the paper published a profile of Salgado, who was then battling serious health problems.
Here's the editor's note that ran Oct. 29, 2006:
TO OUR READERS:Senate Republican spokesman Michael Gay says Winters was unaware of the conviction.
On Oct. 8, The Sunday Oregonian carried extensive coverage of prominent Portland musician Curtis Salgado . In the article, reporter Tom Hallman Jr. and photographer Ross William Hamilton chronicled Salgado's quest for a lifesaving liver transplant.
Salgado had been the subject of numerous articles in The Oregonian, but none included a fact that might be relevant to readers deciding whether to contribute to fundraisers on his behalf. In 1996, Salgado, then 42, was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor, a girl authorities said was 16 when he had sex with her a year or two earlier.
Salgado, who says he deeply regrets what he did, pleaded guilty and received probation. The conviction was a matter of public record, which the newspaper should have reviewed for such extensive coverage.