On his blog, The Oregon Oracle, Bruce McCain connects some dots between a longtime Oregon Congressional staffer named Joan Mooney, the Veterans' Adminstration mess and a current Oregon legislative candidate, Paul Evans.
Most Americans, including most Oregonians, likely have never heard of Joan Mooney, since the veteran political staffer has worked behind the scenes for most of her 20-year political career. For 12 years Mooney served as chief of staff for Democrat Darlene Hooley, who represented Oregon’s 5th Congressional District from 1997 through 2008. When Hooley announced she would not seek reelection in 2008, Mooney needed a new job and she found one in Washington D.C. At the time, Mooney was known as Joan Evans, as she had married Paul Evans in February 2005 after meeting him in late summer 2004 when Evans was in the process of ending his first marriage. In 2007 Paul Evans was tapped to serve as Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s senior policy advisor for military and veterans affairs. As the governor’s point man on veterans care in Oregon, Evans served as Chairman of the Governor’s Veterans Services Task Force. While Paul Evans may have been Oregon’s top policy person on veterans’ affairs, his wife soon upstaged him at the national level.As McCain notes, the marriage between Mooney and Evans didn't last and her powerful position inside the Beltway evaporated after a recent tumultuous congressional hearing over the Veterans' Administration fiasco.