So now will we get to read about Neil's "love child"?
With the Neil Goildschmidt rape scandal back in the headlines, our mind drifts back to another aspect of the political boss' sordid past. Remember when they confronted Governor Ted Kulongoski years ago and asked him, "Didn't you know about Neil having sex with that teenager?" Former Goldschmidt speechwriter Fred Leonhardt says he told Ted about it in the '90s, but Ted, who had a lot to lose when the scandal broke, denied that. Not too convincingly, but unequivocally.
When backed up against the wall, however, Ted did blurt out something fascinating:
In an interview, Kulongoski said neither Leonhardt nor anyone else had ever told him that Goldschmidt had had sex with a minor. But he said Leonhardt had mentioned a different rumor.It was not, by a long shot, the last time that that name has been bandied about. The identity of the reputed mother is a poorly kept secret -- every bit as poorly kept as the name of Goldschmidt's now-deceased statutory rape victim.
"The only thing (about) a child that he ever told me had to do with Neil having an illegitimate child," Kulongoski said. "That's what he's told me. He had a kid. Now, whether that's true or not, I don't know."...
Kulongoski said he did not recall when Leonhardt had told him about Goldschmidt allegedly fathering a child outside his marriage to Margie Goldschmidt before their divorce in 1990. The governor said he brought it up because it was the closest thing to a conversation he could recall with Leonhardt regarding Goldschmidt, sex and a child.
He said Leonhardt had identified the woman whom Goldschmidt had impregnated.
"I'm not going to get into this, because this is the type of thing that I think takes you down," Kulongoski said. "He actually told me who it was... it was an adult that he allegedly had a relationship with."
Will the local media write about it? Is it the public's business? And who among those involved in the illegitimate-child story needs protection?
Perhaps answers to those questions can be found by ruminating about today's identification of the abused teenaged babysitter. Whose interests were served by keeping the rape victim's name secret until just after her death? She seemed to have been eager to tell everyone -- including strangers in bars -- what had happened to her. And so it wasn't her confidentiality that called for protection, was it?
And if it was her parents who had some sort of privacy interest -- if I had a dollar for every time I've read an internet comment to the effect of "Where were her parents when this was going on?" I'd be rich -- they surely have lost it now.
So who's being protected by not touching the illegitimate-child allegation? By now, any such child is an adult and likely knows the story. His or her parents would presumably know. So why wouldn't the media pursue it?
Unlike statutory rape, of course, fathering an illegitimate child would not be a crime. But quietly supporting the child and covering up the truth could pose some real problems for, say, a mayor, a federal cabinet member, or a governor. Were favors done within the extensive Goldschmidt Network as payoffs for silence?
In short, there could be a legitimate public interest in knowing just who was involved. But the prospect that the local media, who have their self-righteous outfits on display today, will actually produce anything on this other story seems highly doubtful.