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Sunday, June 13, 2004

Did Ted know about Neil?

That's the question being screamed by a front-page article in today's O -- the first decent reporting that paper has done in the month-long Neil Goldschmidt scandal.

Bad for Ted. Very bad for Ted.

Comments (13)

Is it bad for Ted, though? It's a month later, and they (The O) can only find one guy with some obvious axes to grind???

It raised more questions than it answered for me, personally...

If the stories are true, the sitting state AG hears reliable allegations of past statutory rape by ex-governor, who earlier appointed him to state office; he later appoints said ex-guv to run state higher education system, with no questions asked about said allegations? That can't be good.

But with the rape being beyond prosecution, does it legally make a difference to Ted?

As for public opinion, bad feelings didn't seem to stop Vera & Co. The underwhelming response to Neil's actions seem to make those removed by one- and two-degrees safe from any real penalties.

I'm not saying it's right. I am saying that in the end - I don't think it's going to make a difference to Ted.

You guys! Can you imagine what the negative ads are going to look like when Ted runs for re-election? If this had come out two weeks before the last gubernatorial election, Kevin Mannix would be governor today!

I hadn't thought of it that way. Maybe Ted can run a counter-ad "Not quite as bad as everyone else in Oregon politics." Between Neil, Ted, and Linn, maybe the next election is the time for a real 'outsider' to join PDX politics.

Heck, I might run. Seriously.

The magic word is credibility. If, by extension, Ted lied here what else has he, or will he, lie about. The O also posted reminders of earlier Ted quotes denying of any knowledge. Ted became a lame duck, today. His political support base will be looking for safer alternative long-term alliances. Ted will have sleepless nights pondering the balance between his political goals against whether he remains the most effective advocate for those goals. His ability to focus on his goals has evaporated because it is now on him personally. No public relations firm can overcome this now. Who will fill the void and will Ted step aside early?

Who knew that Ted knew and what backroom deals did they make? The O has no choice but to lead the charge to save their own credibility.

I've read the article several times, and there's still so much more we don't know and can't tell yet if it's been investigated.

- How many more folks knew when he was mayor,
- How much did their silence cost,
- How/if it impacted his time at Nike or DOT,
- His aide and secretary must have had some interesting excuse why this girl got appointments while he was governor,
- His post-gubernatorial power-broker years (he impacted lots of state politicians and businessmen...how and why),
- Why her family didn't intervene when it was on-going,
- On and on and on...it just makes my head spin.

I'm hoping this article is a sign that they'll keep digging...there's so much smoke that there must a bunch more fire around (and let's hope the major papers aren't afraid of the story because they'd helped by being deliberately incurious). With as dirty as politics is, I'd have been more surprised if Ted achieved what he had without knowing...which of course makes me wonder what the previous governors, mayors, etc knew. Some secret this was.

The next governor's race might be a lot like our current presidential race...the hold-your-nose choice of which candidate and party will be less damaging. None of the above won't win.

Gordie: "Why her family didn't intervene when it was on-going"
You summed up the problem right there. Her family didn't care enough to stop it. So whatever happens after wil be due only to public citizens. Just like the Miranda-Gaddis/Ashley-Pond murders.

But - was it actually passed along as 'past statutory rape' - or as 'heh, heh, Neil's having an affair with a young girl this time.'

From what the article says, the conversations were happening years later, and Leonhardt himself wasn't even aware of the girl until she was in her mid-20s - he says himself that the conversations he had with the (now) Gov. were in the 90's, no?

Were the details discussed in such specificity at the time so that people knew it was a 14-year-old girl? When, exactly, it happened? That it was statutory rape? (As opposed to the 'affair' Goldschmidt himself characterized it as...)

That's the part that's unclear to me.

And don't get me started about the parents. Grrr....

Betsy - those are all good points. But I think the issue here is that Ted denied any knowledge of the incident, when he obviously had some knowledge. Hey, maybe he didn't know the girl was 14. But that's not what he said. At this point, it all just seems sketchy. FWIW, I sincerely doubt Ted's the only one who knew anything about this.

Get this one now:

Gov. Ted Kulongoski complained that he hasn't been able to concentrate on important matters because he's had to field allegations that he knew years ago that former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s.

Why does that sort of sudden whining make me even more suspicious that he knew something?

Methinks he protesteth too much. (Guv Ted). This is the classic old boy network, with some old girls and young girls in the mix. Like the parents who sent their kids to stay overnight with Jack-O, I wonder if the parents of the girl were so enamored with the glitz of Goldschmidt they decided to 'let it ride' and actually 'enjoy the ride'.

Scott-in-Japan: bad. Lex DeNovo: good.

Nobody really thinks K is in "legal" trouble for what he knew. (And come on: he knew.) What really matters is the political hot water he's in. This is a guy who promised no more "business as usual." Who was not a divider, but (really, our own local) unificator. If the electorate has any sense, it'll demand a full investigation. The whole "what-did-the-Governor-know-and-when-did-he-know-it?" D'as Leon Jaworski styyyyyyyle!



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