The Oregon State Government is a freak show.
Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned, giving in to mounting pressure to abandon his office amid suspicions that his “fiancée” and the state’s First Lady Cylvia Hayes used her relationship with him to land contracts for her green-energy consulting business. Kitzhaber is the state’s longest-serving governor.
Two weeks ago, Hayes admitted that while she was Kitzhaber’s clean energy policy adviser, she had collected $118,000 in previously undisclosed payments from an out-of-state clean energy group, Clean Economy Development Center. (See DCG’s “Oregon’s First Lady Cylvia Hayes discloses another $118,000 for consulting fees“)
Kitzhaber is now under criminal investigation. In a lengthy statement, he insisted he broke no laws: “Nonetheless, I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life.”
Kitzhaber said his resignation would be effective Wednesday, Feb. 18.
Teresa Blackman reports for Portland’s KGW-TV that since Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor, Democrat Kate Brown who has served as Oregon’s Secretary of State since 2008, will succeed Kitzhaber as Oregon’s 38th governor.
Brown, 54, who lives in Portland with her husband Dan, is openly bisexual and was the first statewide officeholder in the nation to come out with this “identity.” Her sexuality has never been a prominent issue in Oregon, where Portland recently had an openly gay mayor in Sam Adams and where the current speaker of the House, Tina Kotek, is a lesbian.
In an essay for an online national survey, Brown wrote, “I believe it was during my early 30s that I figured out who, or what, I am. But it wasn’t until it was written in the Oregonian newspaper that I was bisexual that I had to face the inevitable and let those around me know.”
Before starting her career in public service, Brown practiced family and juvenile law and taught at Portland State University. She earned her law degree at Lewis and Clark Law School. Brown, 54, became involved in Oregon politics starting in the 1990s. She was appointed to the state House of Representatives in 1991 and served 3 terms. Then she was elected to the Oregon Senate and chosen as Senate Democratic leader in 1998. In 2004 she became the first woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader.
Brown’s online bio explains that one of her main goals during her two terms in office as Oregon’s secretary of state is the removal of “barriers to voter registration” by instituting motor registration, whereby one is automatically registered to vote along with getting a driver’s license.
The Washington Times reports that on Feb. 12, state elections officials testified to Congress that Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections because the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole.
While stressing that it remains illegal for noncitizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said anyone registering to vote attests that he or she is a citizen, but mass registration drives often aren’t able to give due attention to that part, and so illegal immigrants will still get through.
For his part, Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach said even some motor vehicle bureau workers automatically ask customers if they want to register to vote, which some noncitizens in the past have cited as their reason for breaking the law to register. “It’s a guarantee it will happen,” Mr. Kobach said.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.