We would be remiss if we neglected to mention here that the Oregon attorney general's office released a report yesterday clearing Diana Goldschmidt of any charges of illegal conduct arising from her Oct. 29, 2003 vote, as a member of the Oregon Investment Council, to invest OIC funds in Texas Pacific. The day after that vote, her husband, the now-disgraced former governor, Neil Goldschmidt, was offered a position as a key director of the Texas Pacific company that would attempt to buy Portland General Electric.
The report concludes, after an extensive investigation by the a.g.'s office (apparently with the help of University of Oregon law professor Ted McAniff), that no evidence exists that Mrs. G. knew even of the imminent Texas Pacific offer for PGE, much less her husband's role in it, when she cast her vote on the OIC board that fateful day. The Goldschmidts' story, which was corroborated by the investigation, is that Mr. G. first heard of the Texas Pacific bid later on the day of the OIC vote, and that he told his spouse about it at that time. Although people in the Oregon Treasury Department had known of the potential Texas Pacific bid since weeks earlier, and although Texas Pacific executives had been talking about making Mr. G. a partner in the PGE deal as early as September 4, the evidence shows that it was kept a secret from the Goldschmidts until later the same day that the OIC vote went down. They both said they were surprised.
At that point, Neil ran from the book depository into a movie theater, where he shot a police officer before being arrested. Two days later, he was murdered by Jack Ruby.... o.k., only kidding about that last part.
In any event, the state investigation is over, and the Goldschmidts are in the clear about the OIC vote. As you might expect, this was all over the front page of the O today. When people get cleared, they're right on it.
It's also interesting to me how the Oregon Department of Justice presented its findings on this case to the world. It wrote up a detailed, 13-page report, placed it on the internet, and made the story the lead headline on the departmental web page. That's certainly not what it does down there with most criminal investigations that come up with nothing. They're getting maximum mileage out of this particular exoneration.
The timing and handling of this development signals to me more than anything that the Texas Pacific deal is going to be approved by the PUC soon. I'm laying 2-to-1 odds now in its favor. Then I guess the City of Portland will join the power-to-the-people folks in filing some court appeals, and likely even try to condemn PGE, all of which is going to cost us Portland taxpayers more millions. (I'm sure we're already well over a million dollars in city funds spent on this adventure.) The thing will be tied up in court for years.
I don't know which is worse: if the city blows all that money and effort and loses to the robber barons... or if it wins.
Maybe that's the real crime.