From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
A Chance to Un-Do One of 2014’s Worst Incumbent Victories
Remember John Kitzhaber, the terrible governor of Oregon, whose fiancée was running a “consulting business” with groups that wanted to influence state policy? With even more examples of conflicts of interest coming to light, Kitzhaber now faces an effort to have him recalled — which has to wait until he’s served six months in this term:
It’s the second recall effort filed this week, yet potentially the more viable. Richardson has a vast email database that could help achieve the 220,000 signatures necessary to get a recall on the ballot.
Does the recall get him first, or the criminal investigation?
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said her office is looking into whether to launch an investigation of first lady Cylvia Hayes’ private consulting business and Gov. John Kitzhaber’s possible involvement in securing some of those contracts.
“Recent allegations relating to Governor Kitzhaber and Ms. Hayes are very serious — and troubling,” Rosenblum said in a statement emailed to the EO Media Group/Pamplin Media Group Capital Bureau Friday morning. “My office is considering all of our legal options to ensure that we are best serving the state.”
This is bad:
Willamette Week first reported in October that Hayes was paid at least $85,000 for work that overlapped with policies on which she was an official, although unpaid, advisor to the governor. The EO Media Group/Pamplin Media Group Capital Bureau reported Jan. 27 that Hayes was paid an additional $118,000 by a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit called the Clean Economy Development Center that worked in 2014 to organize a coalition in support of a permanent Oregon low-carbon fuels standard.
When an additional job that paid Hayes $25,000 in 2011 is factored in, Hayes’ contracting work during Kitzhaber’s third term appears to have brought in more than $200,000.
Willamette Week has also reported Hayes does not appear to have reported some of her income during this period to the IRS.
For what it’s worth, John McLaughlin of The McLaughlin Group predicts Kitzhaber will be gone by Easter.