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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Leonhardt: "Ted knew about Neil"

Portlander Fred Leonhardt has posted a story that alleges that he told Ted Kulongoski about Neil Goldschmidt's statutory rape problems as early as 1994. He also quotes the Gov. as follows:

[B]y 2001 when Ted was gearing up to run for governor, he told me that the hardest part of that job would be "keeping Neil at arms length because he asks me to do unethical things."
Leonhardt also says he told The Oregonian about Neil's misconduct five months before Willamette Week outed him, but the O sat on the story.

To read the whole thing, click here and scroll down past the money pitch.

UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: In response to some questions I asked him earlier today, Fred Leonhardt has written:

Bernie Giusto and I became friends when he was Neil's bodyguard (of course it was Neil's wife's body he was guarding, but I was too stupid to figure that out) and I was Neil's speechwriter. In late summer 1989, Bernie told me about Neil and the girl, the details of which he had learned from Margie. I convinced myself it wasn't true, especially when we found out about the affair. Although, the fact that a lieutenant in the state police was implicating the governor in a sex crime and nothing was done about it, should have been a red flag. But I was part of the team, a true believer.

In late 1991, I was freelance speechwriting and taking care of our new baby. Ted was a frequent visitor, keeping me company, watching ball games, going for walks, etc. (We lived on NE 18th, by the way, between Klickitat and Siskyou, a half block from Imeson.) When Ted told me he was going to run for attorney general, I knew that Neil would be involved, and that Ted should be aware of the rumor about Neil in case it came up during the campaign. So, in late 1991, in my living room, I told him what Bernie had told me in '89, which included the victim's name and age. Ted's response was that he himself had warned Neil in 1988 that Margie and Bernie were having an affair. Bernie was not only not fired or disciplined, he was promoted. Ted's conclusion? Bernie must have had something on Neil; maybe the child rape story was true.

In 1994, Ted and his wife, and I and my wife, were invited to a party at Margie Goldschmidt's, co-hosted by Giusto. Ted and Mary actually rode to the party with my wife and me. I asked Bernie about Neil and the girl. He told me that she was threatening a lawsuit; he told me the names of Neil's lawyers; and he told me that Diana Goldschmidt was heavily involved in the negotiations. He knew this because Neil had asked Margie for permission to open their sealed divorce papers to show [victim's name deleted]'s lawyers that his alimony and child support payments were so onerous he couldn't meet their demands.

I immediately found Ted, parked him on the floor behind a sofa for privacy, and told him everything Bernie had told me moments before. Ted and I talked about Neil's crime many times over the years. In January 2001, Ted gave me his copy of Neil's 2000 holiday letter which referred to vacations in Tuscany and Provence and the purchase of a vineyard. Ted and I talked about how a man who had raped a child was now a contented millionaire. Ted's explanation? "Sh*t floats."

When he appointed Neil to the state board of higher ed, I called my old friend, Jeff Mapes, at the Oregonian. I asked him to meet me for a confidential lunch at Sam's Hollywood Billiards, where for two hours I told him the whole story. This lunch was later described by the Oregonian's public editor as "an anonymous tip" and by their managing editor as an old, cold trail...nothing new.

For going on the record, I was attacked by Ted and his minions as "troubled, angry and disgruntled." They said I was angry because I was fired from a job on the campaign, and I was angry because I never got a job on the campaign. The truth is, more than anyone else I created a public image of Neil Goldschmidt as a child protector and advocate. And I have two daughters. The fact that my best friend, whom I had warned about Neil, would then bring him into state government, was and is appalling. He needs to tell the truth and apologize to the people of Oregon.

Ted once told me that Neil didn't know what to think of me "because you never kissed his a*s like the rest of us." I would like those words carved on my tombstone.

Comments (54)

Is there anything new in his op-ed? I can't seem to find it.

This is all a couple of years old, right?

(Full disclosure: I built tedforgov.com, but I speak only for myself.)

Yes. Ted said he never heard about the girl, when in fact it is alleged he was told about it by a trustworthy source in 1994. And now that source is coming forward and accusing him of lying. To me that sounds at least as newsworthy as Karen Minnis taking a campaign donation from Safeway.

Nope. That's two years old: "Leonhardt wasn't done talking. As The Oregonian reported in June of this year, Leonhardt says he told Ted Kulongoski about Goldschmidt's secret repeatedly during the early 1990s, including when Kulongoski was state attorney general."

At the very least, the comment about Neil asking Ted to do unethical things is interesting -- especially since Ted continued to let Neil and his lieutenants run things after Ted took over as governor.

I think it is new news that Ted Kulongoski thought that Neil Goldschmidt - who led his transition team and who he appointed to the State Board of Higher Education - was floating excrement.

I think it is new news that Ted Kulongoski's worried about Goldschmidt constantly asking him to do unethical things.

However it certainly isn't new news that Ted Kulongoski is not being held to the "Foley" standard. According to Leonhardt, Kulongoski didn't just knowingly harbor a pedophile - he basically put the pedophile in charge of his administration, even though he thought he was a piece of shit!

That is our "highly ethical" governor, according to the Oregonian. Of course the Oregonian's ethical compass is as confused as Kulongoski's, given that they also allowed the pedophile to run unexposed while he accumulated vast political power and wealth at the expense of Oregon taxpayers.

I'm waiting for Governor Kulongoski honestly answer the question: Why did you continue your political relationship with a man you knew was a rapist?

"Because I owed my career to him. And without him, I would be stuck on the Oregon Supreme Court, doing a job in which I had little real interest."

...because it was politically expedient. What other reason could he possibly have?

What do ethics have to do with it?

No wonder Teddy was so reticent to pass Jessica'a law.

Maybe Peter Courtney and Kate Brown knew about Goldy, too.

Was it fear of the man that motivated silence? Instead, fear for the damge to his shared political party? Loyalty to a comrade?
Who knows? The salient question for upcoming debates.
? - "Governor, it has been alleged by a reliable source that you were made aware of Mr. Goldshimdt"s sexual abuse of a minor months before the revelation surfaced in a progressive newspaper." "Why did you fail to report the information to the appropriate authorities?"

Governor, Sir, please answer this question, my vote (and I suspect many others) hangs in the balance. I will not support your opponent, but simply not vote in that race. Yesterday before revisiting this, you were my choice - today, there is a question mark.

Had you failed in your reporting duty today, you would have violated a state law which did not exist when you first gained knowledge of the crime. Regardless, moral-humanistic concern for the victim, and crime prevention should have offset any motive to cover up, no matter how well intentioned in your mind.

You may once again earn my vote by answering the simple question posed above. My ballot awaits your response.

Now I know really know why this blog's author is not voting D or R in the governor's race. I have already voted for the incumbent, but seriously feel a bit queasy about my vote after reading the Leonhardt piece.....

Oh, please Kari.

Kulongoski only agreed to sign Jessica's Law after he was being lit up in the national media, namely O'Reilly, for doing NOTHING to spring the bill out of committee in the Democrat controlled senate, and you know it.

He had all session long in 2005 to make a phone call to Kate Brown or Peter Courtney and tell them to get it on the floor, and he failed to do so.

When it was obvious that it would be on the ballot the same time he was running for re-election, he agreed to make the bill part of the special session package, because he knew how vulnerable he and the Senate D's would be if the issue was on the ballot right now, after they opposed it in the 2005 session.

(In my view this was a MAJOR tactical error by the Repblicans.)

But for Kulongoski to now take credit for signing the bill - well, that is cynical in the extreme.

And for you to act shocked that Chris would assert that "Teddy was reticent to pass Jessica's Law" simply strains credulity.

I'm not sure if you are stupid, or you think we are stupid. Which is it?

Easy there, Rob. Kari is just doing his job.

Ted Kulongoski caved to Bill O'Reilly. Sure. Let me know when you wake up from your happy little dream land.

Ah,I've been waiting for this. The Saxton supporters must be getting desperate. They are warming up old unfounded rumors. The only piece of sh*t floating here is the story itself. With such an imagination and vengeful spirit Fred L. should write TV dramas, or better yet for the Oregonian.

And Jack, I'll repeat myself: I speak only for myself, and not for Ted Kulongoski or his campaign.

What's Kari's job description again, Jack?

...and is this a paid position?

Let's get something straight: I've never met or talked to Ron Saxton or anyone from his campaign. I've never voted Republican in my life; this time I voted for Joe Keating.

And Rob, if I had the imagination you attribute to me I definitely would be writing TV dramas instead of speeches for politicians.

If Fred has now provided a specific time and place wherein he informed Ted of the alleged rape, then it sounds like news to me.

If that had been reported previously, I couldn't find it.

C'mon Kari, you don't actually think this story is less newsworthy than an abadoned farm shed on a property Saxton no longer owns?


Assume for a moment that it is true, that Ted did know about Neil's secret and brought him into his administration anyway, just as Leonhardt says.

Would that concern you?

Rob, assume for a moment that this is true: people bring up unprovable assertions to affect political elections at the last minute.

Of course people covering up would concern us all.

But that's been alleged years ago, and there's no proof of it at all.

Neil's been close with both Ron and Ted, but he's not on the ballot.

What's Kari's job description again, Jack? ...and is this a paid position?

It's not a "job". I'm a consultant. I have my own business, and over 50 clients. I'm just a guy that builds websites. I'm not a campaign spokesperson.

Rob, yes. Show me the proof.

Jese, the difference is that it was NOT long ago that Kulongoski appointed Goldschmidt to the State Board of Higher Education, and had him as a key element of his transition team.

"Proof" is different than "evidence." Is there any credible evidence that Kulongoski knew? By all means there is. Leonhardt has a very credible story to tell, and it is not as if he just started telling it now, a week before the election.

Voters do not need a court-of-law-standard of proof to judge these things. The court of public opinion is not a court of law.

Are you telling me that Leonhardt is not credible? Well, it is perfectly OK for you to have that opinion, but I can virtually assure you that the court of public opinion is going to differ with you.

Ya know Kari, you may be right; Ted might have been in favor of Jessica's Law from the beginning.

Funny how he was completely indolent when Courtney and Brown kept the bill from going to committee.

I assume he was taking one of his many daily naps.

Just another reason Ted is an ineffective leader.

Are you asking for the same standard of proof that you required for your eight day jihad on Saxtonville?

At the time Neil and his wife announced their divorce, I was a PSU student and my wife was a waitress at Ryan's Pub – a popular place for anyone who, at that time, was or hoped to be important. One night, my wife recounted a rumor she had heard at Ryan's: that Neil was bonking his baby sitter, and this was the reason for the divorce.

If the rumor was general known amongst the staff at Ryan’s, then it was also common knowledge to any politico or up-and-comer of that time.

Pick on Ted if you wish (I'm not a Democrat), but he’s no less guilty than the others. I’d be more concerned that our current Sheriff knew, did nothing, and probably used the knowledge to his advantage. I mean, he's the one with the gun.

Ted thought when he was told Neil was having an affair with a minor, that Neil was having an affair with a "coal miner." Ted was confused but didn't say anything. But he concluded that Neil went to Washington, D.C., as Transportation Secretary, so he could see his "coal miner lover" more often, who probably lived in West Virginia.

Ted figured Neil to be "down to earth" and later felt sorry for him and gave him the Higher Education post, thinking that Neil might be able to forget that way.

Ted is a nice man who tries very hard to keep everyone happy.

Two opinions of mine that come into play with the Ted and Neil theories above.

Ted Kulongoski is a very untalented and unoriginal politician. He copies and borrows others track records rather than champion anything substantial. (Crap, the guy literally stole a near quote of Jason Atkinson's stump speech in closing at one of the debates and by claiming Jessica's law shows how little of a real track record he has.)

Neil Goldscmidt is a very talented and creative politician who manages to see a wider picture of events and get things done because of it (regardless if you like his results or not).

My view is that Kulongoski needs access to people like Goldscmidt in order to function. With Goldsmidt compromised as a participant in his administration we see the results of a consistent record of failed attempts and inaction out of Kulongoski.

Just an observation of mine as I think about the subject.

Fred Leonhardt = sour grapes. Why didn't you say your piece last year when this originally broke. Coming out this close to the election smells like rotten cheese. It reminds of the hack job on Packwood, twenty years of indiscretions brought front and center just before election day.

The real stinker in this is Bernie Guisto. That guy should be locked up. From his affair with Margie, for doing nothing with his knowledge of Neil, and his current daliance with Jim Jeddeloh's wife and abusing his position of power: send Bernie to jail.

Fred told the truth a while back when the Neil story broke, and Ted painted him as a kook. This is payback, I suppose.

Bob Packwood's dalliances most certainly were not brought front and center just before election day. Read this from Wikipedia:

"Packwood's political demise began in November 1992, when the Washington Post outlined detailed allegations of sexual misconduct by Packwood. By threatening legal action, Packwood was able to delay publication of the story until after the election, where he defeated NOW-endorsed Les AuCoin by some 78,000 votes (winning 52.1% to AuCoin's 46.5%). NOW took up the cause of at least 29 women who eventually came forward to allege sexual abuse and assaults, dating back over the years. The sexual abuse side of Packwood's problems, played up in the public media, obscured charges that he encouraged offers of financial assistance from lobbyists and other persons who had a particular interest in legislation or issues that Senator Packwood could influence. As the situation developed, he was also charged with trying to obstruct the investigation. . . .

The Senate decided against public hearings. With pressure mounting against him, Packwood finally announced his resignation from the Senate on September 7, 1995, after the Senate Ethics Committee unanimously recommended that he be expelled from the Senate for ethical misconduct."

This isn't the first time that DarePDX has peddled the charge that Ted plagiarised a line from Jason Atkinson in the debate.

Dare, as I told you on your blog at NW Republican, that charge is BS.

Ted and Jason both said "our best days are ahead of us not behind us." You claim plagiarism, but it's a trite, cliche line.

Atkinson wasn't the first, and Kulongoski won't be the last one to use that line.

Some previous examples:

Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Detroit, July 2004
Congressman Jim Gibbons, Nevada, October 2005
Andrew D. Woodward, President, Bank of America Mortgage, October 30, 2000
Lyndon Helton for North Carolina Senate
Congressman Steve Largent, Oklahoma, July 2002

I have not seen any mention of something that bothers me significantly more than Ted as governor pushing this story aside. The same person we refer to as the governor also has served as this state's attorney general as well as on the state's highest court. A standard for serving in either of those capacities, as well as practicing law in the State of Oregon, is to abide by the consitution of this state as well as the laws of this state. Governors do a lot of crap. Supreme court justices are not supposed to stoop that low.

I have said "my piece" repeatedly and consistently since first going to the Oregonian in 2003. I said it through the dozens of hours spent with Oregonian reporters, who confirmed every aspect of my accusations for what one of them described as the most vetted story he had ever worked on. Over the years, I have said my piece to Steve Duin, Nigel Jaquiss, Mark Zussman, Phil Stanford, Sandy Rowe, Bob Caldwell, and Susan Nielsen. I said it to Harry Esteve last spring when he showed up at my door with the words, "I don't see how Kulongoski got away with it."

More importantly are those who have said their piece to me -- the heroes who counsel and heal child sex abuse victims. One ran a clinic for sexually abused adolescent girls in Ontario that Neil and I visited in 1988. She told me that "these people," meaning pedophiles, "are everywhere." They are often pillars of the community, and they are protected -- sheltered -- by those who ought to know better. Sound familiar?

Jeff Mapes acknowledges meeting with Leonhardt a long time ago, confirms the nature of the allegations, but called it an "anonymous tip". This isn't new, but it sure was swept under the rug.
Kari, Is Jeff Mapes a liar? Do you even care about the nature of the allegations, their truth, and what it says about Governor Kulongoski?

Jeff Mapes never called our meeting an "anonymous tip;" the Oregonian's public editor did.

My apology, I'm sorry and appreciate the correction. Thanks.

What I find interesting is that Kari's friends at BlueOregon went nuts about Speaker Hastert and his knowledge of Rep. Foley's nasty e-mails and IM's. Everyone wanted to know what he knew and when he knew it. There were demands for his resignation based on what former staffers were saying.

Now, a former associate of an incumbent Governor is claiming he had knowledge of the statuatory rape of a minor and failed to report it. Why isn't this being held with the same indignation as Hastert's failure to deal with Foley?

The crime involved with the Goldschmidt case is far more serious, and he was appointed to a high position by the Governor. Hastert did not appoint Foley he was elected.

I find the double standard pretty revealing and the public will get it also.

At the danger of sounding like a tremendous suck-up, a round of keyboard applause needs to go out to all the posts on this page...

Jack Bogdanski: Thanks for starting the ball rolling.

Fred Leonhardt: I hope your courage is recognized for what it is. I know your honesty is not politically motivated, and that this has nothing to do with some veiled self-interest. I share your stomach-turning disgust for child sex-offenders, and I myself have a white-hot hatred for those who enable it or cover it up.

Rob Kremer: Logic trumps rhetoric (assuming your audience is receptive), and you drill it home every time, buddy...

Kari Chisholm: "Kudos" for continuing to take it on the chin for your Governor. It can't be fun. Perhaps this is a little payback for all the outright lies you have posted about me and others over the years.

All Others: A superb and intellectual debate with just enough venom to keep in interesting.

Kari, or other Kulongoski defenders, the silence is deafening.

Tim Trickey wrote: Kari Chisholm: "Kudos" for continuing to take it on the chin for your Governor. It can't be fun. Perhaps this is a little payback for all the outright lies you have posted about me and others over the years.

So very true. Chisholm's BlueOregon and it's band of liberal henchman have done everything possible to pin great stuff on Saxton. This is definately a little payback. This all says that both Saxton and Kulongoski are sacks of trash. VOTE THIRD PARTY--STOP THE ENABLING OF THE "BIG BOX" CANDIDATES

...and if you must cast a third-party vote, I urge you to just say NO to Mary Starrett. Please, don't toss any credibility to the reconstituted OCA.

Wow...I come back from a week out of the country and get this...

Three things:

1- This reeks massively. What is 'this'? The quotes of what Kulo actually said when confronted. Sh#t floats? And Neil pressures me? Too specific to be made up lies. Kulo's reaction to Neil's actions are the same as Kari's defending Kulo.

2- Is anybody really surprised at Kari's response? He is a partisan Demo in a fight to the finish (death?) with his candidate on the ropes. Kulo's credibility is toast. Anybody with a daughter has to feel totally slimed and grossed out. The crime is the "Oh well" response when they shrug their shoulders and look away. I do feel sorry for Kari and the other appologists. Too slimey for most people to take.

3- Bernie is the greasiest dirt bag in Portland today. (Now that I think about it, maybe, as he reads my comment, he is laughingly thinking about what dirt he knows to be true about Potter.) Okay, so what I have heard about Bernie, he is the biggest slimeball....but I don't know about Potter.

I am really glad I don't live anyware near Portland anymore. This crap really stinks, as does eveybody who knew or at least heard rumors and did nothing.

"...and if you must cast a third-party vote, I urge you to just say NO to Mary Starrett. Please, don't toss any credibility to the reconstituted OCA."

How fitting that this was posted by "Crackpot." You're well named.

Where's the 'Made-for-TV' special? :D

Jay B wrote What I find interesting is that Kari's friends at BlueOregon went nuts about Speaker Hastert and his knowledge of Rep. Foley's nasty e-mails and IM's. Everyone wanted to know what he knew and when he knew it. There were demands for his resignation based on what former staffers were saying.

Got a source for that? Because I'm pretty sure we never once talked about Dennis Hastert and Mark Foley in a single post. (Maybe a few folks in the comments, but I don't control those.)

Sen. Bob Packwood's staff LIED and LIED and LIED to the Oregonian and the MSM when they called about the rumors.

These flacks and hacks have gone on to MAJOR positions of political power in Portland (Hello Google!) and no one in the MSM has ever asked "the girls" why they lied and lied and lied to coverup a "drunken rapist" who also happened to be known as "boss."


Here's your link to BlueOregon's coverage of the Mark Foley scandal ("Culture of Corruption")...Written by Jeff Alworth, no less.


You stand corrected.

Mister Tee, I always thought Kari Chisholm from SouthernCal is BlueOregon. He must have a short memory.


Fred: thank you for having the brass cojones to put your story into the public domain (again). I wonder how all of Neil's apologists would have reacted if he had been caught in flagrante delicto.

I have every reason to believe the story/investigation would have been bottled up tighter than a in-custody death of a transient.

I remember speaking to the spouse of a member of the PPS board after the story broke, who recalled "she really looked much older than 14 and I believe it was completely consensual..."

Mr. Tee, if your "Huh" was directed towards my post, I was complementing you on citing where BlueOregon posted about Foley. Kari Chisholm must have a very short memory since it was a recent post, and there were several other posts in addition concerning Hastert and Foley. Hipocracy.

OK, guys... you found an Alworth post where he made a brief reference to the controversy of the day - but you'll note that it was mostly about Oregon politicians in trouble. Whatever.

And for LW, I'm from Oregon. I just spent four years in exile in South Central LA.

The fact that Kulongoski easily won the election, and the fact that I voted for him before I read this, does not make this story any less significant.

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