The Oregonian, the state’s largest newspaper, called for Gov. John Kitzhaber’s (D) resignation in an editorial published Thursday.
The newspaper’s public declaration followed a report earlier this week on allegations that the governor’s associates had helped secure jobs for Kitzhaber’s fiance, Cylvia Hayes, at Oregon organizations and foundations that seek to influence state policy. According to the report, one job, arranged by a top Kitzhaber advisers, paid Hayes $118,000 by a clean energy group while she also served as an unpaid energy adviser to the governor. Another job paid Hayes $5,000 per month, the report said, while that group was simultaneously lobbying for Kitzhaber’s support for its legislation.
“More ugliness may surface, but it should be clear by now to Kitzhaber that his credibility has evaporated to such a degree that he can no longer serve effectively as governor,” The Oregonian’s editorial board wrote. “If he wants to serve his constituents he should resign.”
The newspaper noted that Hayes’s income had not been fully accounted for in tax filings or ethics reports.
“To recite every reported instance in which Hayes, ostensibly under Kitzhaber’s watchful eye, has used public resources, including public employee time and her ‘first lady’ title, in pursuit of professional gain would require far more space than we have here and, besides, repeat what most readers already know,” the editorial board wrote. “Suffice it to say there’s a pattern, and the person who bears the responsibility for allowing it to form and persist is Kitzhaber, who should know better.”
“He is now less a governor than a source of unending distraction. He can no longer lead Oregon effectively and should resign,” it concluded. “His constituents deserve better.”