Portland Mayoral Scandal

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

January 21, 2009


Categories: The Balancing Act

I am disheartened as I read today’s Oregonian.  The editorial board met for a whole hour last night to decide their unanimous opinion that Portland’s New Mayor, Sam Adams, should resign.

I have a lot of thoughts regarding this issue, but none of them are that he should resign.  What I’m getting angry about is the knee jerk reactions the editorial page, the news, and the letters to the editor all shout.  It reminds me of a little known biblical passage where the crowd shouts, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”

Now, Adams, clearly, is no J.C. But are we? I think not.  How does that other passage go? Who amongst you has not been blemished by sin that they can cast the first stone? Are we so Puritanical in our ideals (yes) that we cannot summon up any understanding?

Adam’s potential for Portland, what he could do to help move us towards a greener future far out weigh this scandal.  The reaction that is brewing, it would take a heartless person to not understand why Adam’s wanted this to be swept under the rug. Adam’s companion in this whole thing isn’t even casting any stones. So why should we?  There is no proof that the young man was under age while the relationship took place.  There is only proof by what the parties have said that a relationship took place.  In our Puritanical society (even Liberal Portland), can’t people simply just love?

I am not condoning his behavior.  I believe honesty is the best policy.  But, I also believe in forgiveness.  Let’s forgive, and keep forgiving, and move on and think what is truly for the greater good? A greener Portland is for the greater good, and Adams can honestly lead us down that path.


  1. Beth

    I would agree with you, but there is one thing that pisses me off about the whole thing and it has nothing to do with sex. What the WWeek is hypothesizing (and also talked about on CNN) is that he hired a reporter who was breathing down his neck about the sex scandal as his sustainability advisor in order to keep her quiet.

    There are two reasons why this upsets me. 1) The woman hired was previously a reported who admitted she had no sustainability or planning experience (I would also say indepth knowledge). 2) By hiring this woman, it speaks to the fact that Sam Adams is more concerned about his career and not with the city of Portland. If sustainability is supposed to be Portland’s claim to fame, then his advisor should have at the very least some knowledge and experience. Better yet – they should have a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience.

  2. Laura

    I hadn’t heard about the sustainability advisor issue. Still…it seems like everyone’s making a big deal out of nothing.

  3. Michelle

    The Sustainability bit is still speculation, hypotheses as you said Beth. It’s just a matter, like this sex-scandal, of he-said (he-said?) she-said. There is no concrete proof one way or the other, only fishiness and speculation.

    Why is it the only place we reserve “innocent until proven guilty” is the court systems, but everything else is war? Shouldn’t our integrity cross all borders?

    Why does this very private matter have to become so public? So, like you said Laura.

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