But revelations in a story by Hillary Borrud with the EO Media Group/Pamplin Media Group Capital Bureau could cause a new question about Hayes: Did she tell the Internal Revenue Service everything about the money she was earning?
Borrud reports that Hayes was paid $118,000 by an environmental non-profit based in Washington, D.C., called the Clean Economy Development Center. That's money above and beyond the consulting contracts worth $85,000 she collected in 2013, as WW has reported earlier.
Here's a key passage in Borrud's story:
"In a response to emailed questions in December, Hayes wrote that the nonprofit paid her $30,000 in 2011 and $88,000 in 2012, and that her 'primary work was to implement communications strategies promoting clean economy development.' "
In her 2012 tax return, Hayes declared only $27,361 in income—well below the $88,000 she told Borrund the Clean Economy Development Center paid her that year.
Honesty on her tax returns is an issue that has dogged Hayes before.
In 1997, for example, she was paid $5,000 for participating in an illegal sham marriage to a teenager from Ethiopian in order to help the young man establish immigration status.
In a press conference in October, Hayes acknowledged that she never reported the $5,000 as income to the IRS.
Here are some key passages from Borrud's story:
"The Clean Economy Development Centerâs stated purpose is to help public officials launch renewable energy and efficiency projects that create jobs, but it also worked to shape public policy. In 2014, the group conducted polling and organized a coalition to push for an Oregon low-carbon fuel standard. That policy has the support of Kitzhaber and Democratic state lawmakers.
Experts on government ethics and the intersection of politics and nonprofits said Hayesâ job in particular raises questions, such as whether her compensation was reasonable given the amount of work she did and whether Hayesâ employer sought to use the connection to influence state policy. Hayes was on the Clean Economy Development Centerâs payroll from 2011 to 2012, at the same time she served as an unpaid adviser to the governor on energy and economic development policies. For example, the first lady was a named member of the governorâs policy team that produced a 10-year state energy action plan in December 2012. The plan lists the affiliations of other private sector advisers, but it does not mention Hayesâ connection with the Clean Economy Development Center."
Here's what Borrud adds to this issue:
"A spokeswoman for the governor also did not respond to questions about whether Hayes used the governorâs mansion for an event associated with the Clean Economy Development Center. On April 9, 2012, a 'Clean Economy dinner meeting' was scheduled at the governorâs mansion, according to public records."