The escalating national firestorm over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh today drew in an unexpected supporting player: former Oregon gubernatorial candidate Chris Dudley.
Kavanaugh's court confirmation has been upended by two allegations—made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez—that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them: Blasey Ford at a prep-school party, and Ramirez at Yale.
Alcohol played a significant role in both accounts. So media scrutiny on the eve of Senate hearings on Kavanaugh has increasingly focused on the judge's drinking habits in high school and in college. His yearbook page and reminiscences in speeches both suggest that he was a binge drinker.
One key question: Did Kavanaugh drink so heavily that he could not remember what he had done?
Today, BuzzFeed News talked to Dudley, a Yale graduate, Portland Trail Blazers player and the Republican candidate for Oregon governor who in 2010 nearly upset former Gov. John Kitzhaber. Dudley now lives in California.
He told BuzzFeed that Kavanaugh didn't get blackout drunk. And Dudley says he would know—because the two spent Friday nights drinking together.
Here's how BuzzFeed reports it:
Chris Dudley — a close friend of Kavanaugh's from Yale, and a former NBA player and Republican gubernatorial nominee in Oregon — strongly disputed that characterization to BuzzFeed News. "When he went out Friday nights, I was usually with him," Dudley said of Kavanaugh. "I never, ever saw him blacked out, never… Brett would drink, but he'd also be the guy who never missed a class. There's a reason he was top of his class."
BuzzFeed found a range of recollections regarding Kavanaugh's inebriation and behavior.
Dudley also told the Washington Post tonight that Kavanugh remains a friend and is being treated unfairly.
"I went out with him all the time," Dudley told the Post. "He never blacked out. Not even close. …Brett drank, and I drank. Did he get inebriated sometimes? Yes. Did I? Yes. Just like every other college kid in America."
Dudley's time at Yale was, as WW pointed out in a 2010 profile, centered on basketball. Here's what our story said about his college years:
A Yale teammate, Chad Ludington, recalls that although expectations for Dudley were low, he soon out-worked Ricky Ewing, a phenom whom Yale snatched away from Georgetown and other basketball powerhouses.
At Yale, Ludington says, Dudley, who majored in economics and political science, "was the tallest man on campus, but not a big man on campus."
Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships. So to help pay tuition, Dudley sold tickets at football games, operated the manual scoreboard at baseball games and delivered pizzas by bicycle.
“That was a lousy job,” Dudley says. “College kids don’t tip.”
Meanwhile, Oregon’s current governor, Kate Brown, participated in a walk-out today in support of Blasey Ford.
This post was updated at 10:55 pm with new quotes from the Washington Post.