The legal and political controversy surrounding the scandal enveloping Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes is dominating the news media's attention in Oregon.
But heat on the governor and his fiancee is starting to get attention around the country as well.
The issue of Hayes' use of Kitzhaber's office for her personal gain—and the governor's alleged failure to follow state ethics laws in regard to her activities—has been in the news since WW first reported in October on Hayes getting $85,000 in consulting contracts. The story got new life Jan. 27, when Hillary Borrud of the EO Media Group/Pamplin Media Group reported Hayes received an additional $118,000; WW and The Oregonian quickly noted Hayes apparently didn't report as much as $88,000 of that income on her tax returns. Kitzhaber's disastrous press conference on the issue Jan. 29 led to more scrutiny and The Oregonian's editorial board calling for the governor's resignation.
Now national media are weighing in.
More from that story:
It's not a question an elected official wants to hear at a widely broadcast news conference about his official conduct, but it was one of the gentler ones thrown at Oregon's embattled Gov. John Kitzhaber last week:"Have you been blinded by love?"His answer was almost beside the point, because on Wednesday, the largest newspaper in the Beaver State called on Kitzhaber to resign.Tawdry allegations about his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes â that she had falsified tax forms and been paid consulting fees to influence her future husband, among many other charges â have dogged Kitzhaber. Now the Democratic governor faces the heat of a political firestorm that only seemed to grow as he kicked off his fourth term at Oregon's helm.
"If Kitzhaber completes his current term, he would become the second-longest-serving governor in U.S. history. The Oregonianâs editorial staff, however, argues that he shouldnât be allowed to claim that record."
"Kitzhaber, who was re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term last year, has been dogged by revelations surrounding his fiancÃ©e since she admitted in October she wed an immigrant years ago in a "marriage of convenience."His announcement that Hayes would no longer have a role in his office came after media reports she earned $118,000 in previously undisclosed consulting fees in 2011 and 2012 from the Washington-based Clean Economy Development Center while advising the governor on energy policy."