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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

We've only just begun

From today's Willamette Week, one gets the impression that the Neil Goldschmidt statutory rape scandal may lead to an extended examination into the ethics of many transactions that took place in Goldschmidt's career. In a substantial sidebar to today's cover story, WW reports that while he was governor, Hizzoner personally intervened in official state regulatory proceedings to help the man who was allegedly acting as a go-between between Goldschmidt and the victim of his sex crimes. The result of Goldschmidt's alleged arm-twisting, according to the story, was for his helper in the sex matter to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a real estate deal involving riverfront land down by the east end of the Sellwood Bridge.

If you really want some dirt, though (and David Reinhard, I know you don't, so don't go there), head over to one of The Oregonian's chat areas ("Oregon Forum"), where a person calling herself "lolady" is talking quite freely about what she says she knew. Check her out in posts 6017.2, 6013., 6023.3, and 6043.4. (Enter "lolady" in the search box and you should get all four posts conveniently grouped together.) A Courtney Love connection, no less!

She also must have said something good in post 6053, but The O deleted that one before we could read it.

UPDATE, 5/16, 4:32 p.m.: Today's Oregonian lets the go-between (who denies that's what he was) tell his side of the story. According to this article, the land use help that Goldschmidt sought for his crony didn't come through.

Comments (21)

Tell me why I should care about Neil Goldschmidt thirty years ago. After the initial shock, there's not much more I want to know.

Nope. Not even development deals. If it's not a problem for Bush, apparently, to be unethical now, then it's not going to make any difference what deals were done this long ago.

This happens every day. Ride along with a Cop, even in chichi areas, and you can see it all firsthand. You won't want to read another story, no matter who's involved.

NG has been "getting deals done," as Commissioner Sten admiringly put it, right up until last week. Perhaps as the ripples move out from the 14-year-old, some more contemporary transactions will come to light that you might find interesting.

> If it's not a problem for Bush, apparently, to be unethical now

Yeah! And I saw a guy kick a pigeon the other day - that's Bush's fault too! And the Blazers - they really suck. That must be because Cheney and Halliburton want it that way. Don't ask me why. It's all about the oil, you know. Once Kerry is elected, the Blazers will rule, people won't kick pigeons, and mayors won't screw their 14-year-old babysitters.

Lolady basically gives the girl's last name, too.

She is named as "D-nh-m" in one post, and "Dun..." in another. Apparently "E. Dunham"?

I don't believe the Courtney Love bit, though, because the ages aren't right. At 37, I'm the same age that Cobain would have been, and I believe Courntey was younger than Kurt. The timeline of the event puts the age of woman at around 41 or 42 these days.

Allmusic.com reports Courtney's birthday as 7/9/1964, which makes her 40 (almost 41).

However, according to the dates I saw (the girl was 14 in 1975), she would be 2.5-3.5 years older than Courtney.

The posts from "Lolady" suggest what I barely dared remotely allude to the possibility of earlier: first, where & what type of people the parents were; second, the sexual precocity -- she almost says maturity -- of this individual. That and more. She sure roughs up the story. I would honestly expect something at least on that order of complexity and ambiguities.

Disclaimer: no connection to Neil Goldschmidt or Democratic Party. Never even voted for the man.

Just like my stories complete and my reactions tempered.

The girl's parents' culpability, if true, would be important, but it would do nothing -- nothing -- to in any way diminish what Goldschmidt did.

Nor would her precociousness. She was 14. He knew it. I don't care if she jumped him -- he can't have sex with her. Period. Even once, much less trysting at the Hilton.

The man deserves no "temperance."

I understand your feelings -- and your thoughts. I didn't say he deserved temperance; I did say my reactions did.

If I were on a jury, do you think you ever might have to worry about nullification? I would be very, very tempered (also) in going there.

I do find it odd that 14 is legal for adult criminal behavior, but illegal for sexual behavior. In all but a couple of states and a number of countries.

The age difference makes a huge difference. That, to me, makes a bigger difference than cold hard unbending law.

But -- last point (back to first point) -- I suspect only the tip of the family iceberg has been hinted at.

And that makes a huge difference too, at least insofar as the human story.

Now. My first questions were: why has Mr. Goldschmidt gotten near a pass on all the wheelings & dealings, and why is it so very hard for a lowly citizen to know what & who runs this town?

The history of Portland, pre-Goldschmidt, had always been very corrupt, and very complacent. But I think that's changing. And with a dozen bloggers jumping on every issue and watching things like hawks all day, the pace of beneficial change is going to step up. Power to the people!

The Oregonian ran an OP-ED defending Goldschmidt by Bob Burchaell who the Willamette Week exposes as a go-between for Goldschmidt and his victim.

But neither Burchaell nor the Oregonian disclose that relationship with Goldschmidt. Where's the due diligence from the Oregonian's editorial board? Oh wait, I forgot...it's the Oregonian after all...

"Power to the people!"

Power to the bloggers! Your tables are our new-found feasts.

A couple of comments on Willamette Week's coverage, having finished it. One: I suspect the The Oregonian won't be whizzing over any more 'confidential' memos. Two: I wonder if we have heard the end of the other side of one dimension of this story: the family who almost seems to have pimped their daughter out.

The 70s was a decade of often-wretched ambiguities and excesses. (But I'm starting to ramble now.)

"... The Oregonian won't be whizzing over any more 'confidential' memos..."

Um, huh?

Jack, you wrote, "The history of Portland, pre-Goldschmidt, had always been very corrupt, and very complacent."

The changeover from the Schrunk era to the Goldschmidt era merely resulted in the City doing business in public with a different group of people, but behind the scenes the loose network remained about the same.

"Um, huh?

Um .... huh! You made me take a second look. It was whizzed over, but by whom, exactly, "we" know not. Guess there's some internal disgruntlement going on at The Oregonian.

The "That's Incredible" sidebar in the report says, "This memo, which was sent to WW by more than one source, summarizes that meeting.



The changeover from the Schrunk era to the Goldschmidt era merely resulted in the City doing business in public with a different group of people, but behind the scenes the loose network remained about the same.

You said it, not me. But it sounds consistent with what I've witnessed.

To elaborate: Goldschmidt brought more citizens into the public process, so many more people felt that they had a part in the system under Goldschmidt than under Schrunk. And the mobilized citizens made a difference in a few visible areas, most notably killing the Portland portion of the Mount Hood Freeway. But the big stuff was still decided in conference and not so much in public.

(Historical note: the only bits of the Mount Hood Freeway actually built in Portland are the ramp stubs to nowhere on the east end of the Marquam Bridge. A portion of the Mount Hood Freeway *was* built east of Gresham (it's numbered as US 26 to Mount Hood) with the idea that it would continue west through Gresham and Portland, which is why US 26 has that odd swooping ramp on the embankment just southeast of Gresham, where it changes from a highway to a freeway.)

Guess there's some internal disgruntlement going on at The Oregonian.

I don't know of a 1,000-employee organization on the planet that doesn't have some "internal disgruntlement."

'Course, if they bust who did it, it'll probably be a 999-employee organization.

Well, justaguy, that's clever, but WW does claim "more than one source." And that is a high level of "disgruntlement" manifested in a remarkable! type of action.

"More than one." Like, two? Big deal. I'm sure if WW got it from, say, 10 sources, they would have taken much pleasure in saying so. It is indeed a remarkable type of action, one that may well end someone's employment. But it hardly means there's a "high level of disgruntlement."

I'll take the correction. It reads that way to me. I would be more careful to say "serious" level of disgruntlement. I wonder how untoward WW's publication of it was. That's not a publication I have much regard for, but I can say that for every media outlet in Portland that I know.

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