Governor Kitzhaber Resigns

Andrew DeMonico, News Editor

On Friday Feb. 20 Oregon Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber announced his resignation after an ethics scandal involving his fiancee.
When asked what effect this resignation will have on Oregon, History teacher Neil Barker answered.
“Not much, we’ve got state legislation in Salem that is controlled exclusively by Democrats. It’s almost like it’s on autopilot. He loses his job but whoever takes the job will have the same socially progressive and economic policies in place.” said Barker.
Kitzhaber would only be the fifth governor to resign office in the state of Oregon and the first since 1952 when Douglas Mckay left office to join the Eisenhower administration.
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown succeeded Gov. Kitzhaber effective on Feb. 18.
How did we get here?
After a large amount of accusations and denials between the media and Gov. Kitzhaber on whether or not he actually had a hand in the ethics scandal, this resignation puts the nail in the coffin for Kitzhaber.
Gov. Kitzhaber’s fiancee Cylvia Hayes was found to have inappropriately benefitted from her relationship with Gov. Kitzhaber after it was found she received $118,000 in a position with a Washington D.C. clean energy group that compensated her for advising the governor on energy issues.
The report was issued by Federal Prosecutors who issued a three-page subpoena against Gov. Kitzhaber requesting state financial and communication records relating to Cylvia Hayes.
Willamette Weekly first broke the news with details on Hayes’ professional work, citing her desire to expand her “leverage” in the governor’s office. Emails in late 2013 stated that Hayes contacted Kitzhaber about expanding her work with an official state position as well as speaking appearances with book contracts.
According to the Willamette Weekly obtained emails, there was significant alarm in Kitzhaber’s staff about the role of Hayes. Staff members were so concerned about Hayes’ influence that Kitzhaber chief-of-staff Curtis Robinhold drafted conflict-of-interest forms for Hayes to sign.
In response to these forms, Hayes outlined her own proposal. In light of the fact that Kitzhaber’s staff clearly wanted Hayes displaced, she still took her ambitions further and asked for more power in the Governor’s office.
For a 48 hour period Gov. Kitzhaber denied all accusations against him and Hayes, accusing the media of “charging, trying and convicting him without due process.” Gov. Kitzhaber also was critical of his fellow Democrats in office, after a few raised their voices in support of him resigning office.