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Saturday, May 8, 2004

Statutory rape? No biggie.

Some people just don't get it. I can't believe my eyes when I read this kind of stuff in the paper:

The Parks Blocks project, which took shape four years ago, marked Goldschmidt's re-emergence from a decade of largely private work. He joined developer Tom Moyer to try to link downtown's north and south Parks Blocks and serves on a foundation to raise money for the ambitious effort.

Park Blocks Foundation president Jim Westwood said Friday he had not spoken with Goldschmidt about his future on the board, but hoped Goldschmidt would stay on despite his personal turmoil.

"He has tremendous institutional memory," Westwood said. "He has a passion for this city. None of that has changed."

And then there's Gov. Ted, who's acting like he doesn't know what he would do without Neil directing his every move.

Ted, maybe you ought to step down too. Maybe it really is time for a clean sweep of Oregon government, at all levels. Get rid of all the Goldschmidt lieutenants, of which there are dozens.

If you can't tell the difference between a leader and a rapist, you belong in the Mafia, not in government. And stay away from my kids.

UPDATE, 5/9, 1:10 a.m.: Our fearless county DA, who is charged with enforcing the rape laws and in whose jurisdiction Mr. Goldschmidt committed his felonies, is pretty casual about this, too:

Michael Schrunk, a longtime friend and Multnomah County district attorney, said Goldschmidt's political accomplishments will endure, and outrage over the affair will fade with time.

"I think he still has something to offer," Schrunk said.

It's really unbelievable. Yes, let's keep him as a prominent figure in our public life. How about grand marshal of the Rose Festival Parade? Just not the Junior Division, eh?

UPDATE, 3:08 a.m.: And of course, this gentleman rarely misses an opportunity to prove himself even more of an idiot than the people he works for -- which is a sort of wayward accomplishment.

Comments (23)


Governor Ted was down this way yesterday and the local TV folks asked him what he thought of the situation. He actually it well...with the appropriate disgust and disappointment.

When they asked him what his reaction was to Jackson County having only a 28 percent approval rating of the job he's doing as governor, he said he thought it was related to the weak economy. Both the content and delivery were weak. Jackson County is about a 50/50 county...I was impressed at how unimpressed our neighbors were. And Medford's big enough that it doesn't count as Rural.

Sometimes I think Reinfart doesn't really believe what he writes, but is just trying to get a rise out of eveybody---like someone posting bait to an internet message board-- but he does it so consistently and well, that I know that can't be the case. He must really believe what he writes.

What was so bad about Reinhardt's column? No cheap shots, no easy outs, no quick answers. I find it a worthy contribution to the discussion.

All due respect (and there is plenty), shots like "How about grand marshal of the Rose Festival Parade? Just not the Junior Division, eh?" are too easy & cheap for me.

"He's just a private citizen now -- to raise this now is sewer journalism."

What a load. The only reason NG got away with this for 30 years is that he was a political big shot. He used his political office to escape prosecution, just as for the last decade or so he has used that same office to sell influence and make himself a multi-millionaire. Can you imagine what the victim's parents thought? "We could call the cops. Who do you think they'd believe, 'Susan' or Neil? Do you think Neil's cronies in the DA's office would prosecute him?"

He should have gone to jail. Indeed, if he committed these acts today, the statute of limitations would stay open until they were reported, and he would go to jail, even decades after the fact.

He deserves this. Every cheap kiddie-diddler joke you can come up with. All that and more. And I hope there's more.

"I predict he'll be back," says Vera Katz. Not if I can help it. And thank God, honey, after all you've done to screw up this city, your rocking chair is waiting for you.

I think that the reaction people have to the Goldschmidt sex scandal is largely colored by their pre-existing opinion of the man.

Those who admired his wheeling and dealing, and think he did a lot for the City/State think we should forget about his past and private indescretions. While those who were not fond of his fealty to big business, think this is another hideous example of his arrogance and indecency.

I think it is strange that people want to (figuratively) string the guy up for a crime that took place 30 years ago. There is no evidence that he ever repeat offended, so what we're talking about here is guy who commited sex offense. Not the type of guy we want leading us, I agree. Not the type of guy we admire, or would necessarily trust with out kids, I'll grant you.

But Goldie is hardly the first policitican or public official with a past. Gov. Schwarzenegger was elected after admiting to group sex with non-consensual "partners" while high. And oh yeah, a bunch of women said he sexually assaulted them. But that was a long time ago.

Our own Prezzo has never fully come clean about his drug history, and was arrested (don't think he was convicted though) of DUII. Goldie wasn't even arrested for anything.

Believe me, I'm not supporting the guy. I didn't particularly like him before the came out and I think we are better off without him. But it is weird how people are leaping all over this. I wonder if he had been convicted and sentenced, thus "paying his debt to society", would everyone still judge him?

I don't think we should be so eager to write off his entire existence because he admittedly broke the law.

"Can you imagine what the victim's parents thought?

I cannot imagine where they were. That is a big missing link in this picture as painted thus far.

I'm more interested, though, in what (you think) he has done to screw up this city. (I lived in Medford, my hometown, not Portland, when he was Mayor.)

I wonder if he had been convicted and sentenced, thus "paying his debt to society", would everyone still judge him?

Maybe not. But that never happened, probably because he was the most powerful guy in the city, and then in the state. And now it never will.

Has he undergone sex offender counselling? Has he been evaluated to see if he's still a threat to children?

So far, all we know is that he says he's suffered. Believe me, not nearly as much as he would have suffered in prison. Ask people who've done time, and they'll tell you, child molesters "don't do well" in the joint.

And of course, if this were revealed when it happened, he wouldn't have had the career and obscene wealth he has enjoyed, and far fewer people would even know who he was.

Comparing this to Schwarzenegger and Clinton reveals that you fail to understand the situation. This is not an adult orgy. This is not using pot. This is not dating a stripper. This is not pinching a secretary's behind. This is statutory rape. By the sitting mayor of Portland.

What has Neil done to screw up the city? Actually, I was referring to Vera, but there's no difference. He says, "Jump," she says, "How high?"

We have spent enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars on toys, while the basic services that a city is supposed to provide have deteriorated badly. The toys, it turns out, are all the ones that NG's clients want. Pearl District? Streetcars? $70 million in public improvements for the South Waterfront highrises? OHSU aerial tram? All those folks have paid NG good money to be their "strategic consultant," which means to use the enormous influence he had left over from his days in elective office to get them what they want. And does he ever get it.

The next one is the Park Blocks. Have the city spend tons and tons of scarce dollars buying property from NG's clients. "It will be like the Ramblas in Barcelona." Yes, and their bank accounts will be like Franco's.

His performance in the PUD election last year really says it all. Posing as a civic-minded former leader, personally cashing in behind the scenes.

I guess he thought no one was noticing. I guess that's what he always thought.

I talked to mom in Virginia today and she'd heard of the Child Rapist Board of Education Guy, so obviously they think it's news out there too. So sorry, Reinhard, but it is important, regardless of when it happened.

What gets me is the repeated use of the term "affair" in the reporting of this. That's offensive. The correct term is "rape." Plain and simple. A 30-something man doesn't have an "affair" with a 14-year-old kid, and the passge of time does nothing to remove the original intent.

"We have spent enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars on toys, while the basic services that a city is supposed to provide have deteriorated badly. The toys, it turns out, are all the ones that NG's clients want. Pearl District? Streetcars? $70 million in public improvements for the South Waterfront highrises? OHSU aerial tram?"

Yikes! He done that??!! Now that gets my blood boiling and contempt pitched on high like the sex scandal (or call it what you like) does yours. Those of us who've tried to rely on The Oregonian for news have little way, in my opinion, to know these things. Seen them. Threw up (and up our hands) at them, but hard to know who was running the town except it does not seem accessible -- nor information about it.

Fairly, I understand he did do some things I would regard as in the public interest as mayor.

I seriously doubt that the recent 'news' will break much of this other out, but perhaps beyond The Oregonian it might.

To Sally on your first comment:

Is this some sort of troll, or are you serious? To me, this Reinhard column is a revelation. I stopped reading the Oregonian a long time ago. Still, I did hear every once in a while a good word about some of his columns. I knew him to be the token conservative on the Oregonian. Apparently he is no conservative, but plays one at times at the Oregonian. The whitewash job that Democrats and their minions are trying to pull here is pathetic, and to my mind evil. An affair, give me a break! The excuse of such behavior "for the cause" disgusts me. I am not religious, and I have always been registered as an independent. I hope that I am looking at the demise of the Democrat party, and I hope that they eventually rise from the pyre like a phoenix with a semblance of sanity.

To Nader:

I disagree that reaction to this sad and horrible story is closely tied to what people thought of NG before the story broke. I've talked to several people in the past few days who were public allies and supporters of his and who are sickened by this. Reinhard is wrong (as usual). Steve Duin was much closer to the mark.

When I first started reading Reinhard's column yesterday I thought it was a parody, and that the punchline would come later. To my surprise and horror, he was serious.

As for Goldschmidt, I happen to think he's done a lot of great things for Portland. I like all of the projects our blogmaster has slammed except for the ridiculous "connect the Park Blocks" proposal. Look at a map: if you marched the north blocks straight south and the south blocks straight north they would be off a block! So much for Barcelona.

But Goldschmidt has been proven to be a complete slimeball. He needs to slink and skulk away into a hole someplace for the rest of his life. Either that or join a monkish order in Saskatchewan, or move permanently to Calcutta to work in Mother Theresa's place. That's the only way he could earn an inkling of respect back for what he has done.

To Sally on your first comment:

Is this some sort of troll, or are you serious?

I guess if David Reinhard is a liberal Democrat, then yes, I might be a troll.

(You use the word "evil" way too easily in my book. I am not a Democrat either, and this is not a "Democratic" issue. I do wonder, among other things, how much of a libertine family one it might at least in part have been.)

There's no way this is a red/blue issue. This is a right/wrong issue, and we know who's wrong. Reinhard's column is as fatuous as it is disingenuous. It does start to explain something for me, though: If the Oregonian's editors don't think the Goldschmidt thing is 'newsworthy', that explains a lot of the crap in that paper, which they presumably think is newsworthy.

According to the Oregonian, Earl Blumenauer and Ginny Burdick worked with Neil to mount his gubernatorial campaign.... my question is:


We wouldn't be having any "political opportunism" going on, would we?

My problem with Blumenauer came when I met him last year, and his concern was what to name the Eastside Esplanade while mine was the sorry-ass employment and business clime in the city & state.

A discussion on Bleumenauer is a little off thread, nevertheless I'll offer my opinion.

Bleum is a Congressman, whose job it seems is to get as much money from the federal government as possible for N. Portland. Which is something he does well.

I'd rather have him working on connecting the east side street car to MLK than how to fund our schools. School funding is much more of local responsibility.

Jack - to be clear, I didn't actually compare this to Clinton, the "prezzo" with the shady drug history, and the DUII convictions is GW. I don't know if Clinton has ever been convicted of a crime, though I know he has at least been accused of perjuring himself.

My point is not at all to defend Goldschmidt. Personally I think that justice would have been served if he had been arrested, charged, and convicted of statutory rape - I'm on board with you there.

My point what we are looking at here is someone who has committed a crime, and at some point society needs to say that we will no longer judge you for it. If we cannot accept people back into society who have made bad decisions in the past, yes even criminally bad decisions, then not only is that a society that I don't want to live in, but it is one that doomed to fail.

Has Goldschmidt gotten to the point that we should forgive his criminal mistakes? Nope, not in my book. But he doesn't seem to be asking for that either. He has apologized, and that's about all I would expect from anyone in his shoes. I hope it's sincere, but I will never know for sure. I hope his victim thinks is is sincere, and that she has found some measure of relief (monetary or not) for the pain she's gone through, but again I'll never know the answer.

My point is that I think those people who want to pile on, would have been waiting to pounce no matter what. And again, I suggest that if Goldschmidt had been charged and sentenced, and served time, those people would still be piling on even though it was 30 years ago.

Nader, I disagree that if Goldschmidt had owned up and done his time, people would still be piling on. That's kind of the point right now: he didn't admit it and take the consequences back then, he was driven to the public admission because a reporter has a story to break. The victim has apparently suffered long-term consequences of his rape of her, including drug abuse and dropping out of school, and has recently had trouble getting her life together (hence the monetary settlement, which included a confidentiality clause!), while he has seemingly escaped unscathed until now, although he tries to blame his health problems on the "stress" of concealing his crime.

I can only respond that we'd all be better off if he'd spared himself the stress of concealment and revealed his crime, pled guilty, and served a sentence years ago. Then I would be glad to consider that he'd paid his debt to society and could be lauded for his post-confinement accomplishments.

I would suggest that Goldschmidt read "Gregorius, the Good Sinner" by Hartmann von Aue (written in the middle ages). That's if he wants to do REAL penance.

The guy f***ed a 14 year old girl, that is wrong, esp when you are 35, a lawyer, and the freakin Mayor.


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