Willamette Week reporter Nigel Jaquiss claims that his story about Mayor Adams' indiscretions was somehow necessary because Portland deserves leaders with integrity.
Unfortunately for all of us, Jaquiss and WW have done more disservice to our wonderful city than any of Sam Adams' indiscretions could have ever done.
The fact that this reporter spent 16 months tracking down this story says more about his ambition than Adam's integrity. He's like the scientist who repeatedly pokes a caged chimpanzee in the eye, asking "how does it feel?" until he gets the results he's looking for. His so-called investigative reporting is the alternative media's version of water boarding.
I wanted to listen to this show. I missed most of it. I wonder why the podcast hasn't been uploaded.
It will! We're having some site issues. The MP3 will be up as soon as I'm able to fix some other site issues.
I'll take a horny openly gay Dem as mayor any day over a closeted self loathing phoney fundamentalist Republican.
The only thing Sam really screwed up in is doing this and then moving into politics. He had to have know that skeletons always come out of the closet when you step into the public'e eye.
Portland made a historic advance in the cause of equality when Adams got elected. As a former member of the Right to Privacy board -- and before that a member of the San Francisco Society for Individual Rights -- I too would much rather have an openly horny gay Dem as mayor! Unlike some of the vultures who are now circling the body, waiting for it to get cold, I am going to support the man what brung us to this dance and I very strongly suggest (have already suggested) that these vultures just stifle!
The other side is circulating petitions to unseat one of the brightest people ever to become mayor of Portland (and one who has been the city's constant administrative apparatchicks). It's up to the gay leadership to not only stifle but to combat these petitions. If it becomes so unfortunate that the bigot bunch and the whiner class among the gay community do manage to engineer an election, it is up to those of us who believe in equality as well as competent mayoralty to support Sam Adams.
People are missing the point. It is not what Sam did in his own privacy, it is that he lied, told someone else to lie
Lies from office holders about sex... well, most in this state thought Uncle Billy was ok even though he lied (if I remember correctly what the pollsters said), so what's the big deal, right? I mean as long as he has the respect due his office...
Of course, there's the issue of grooming a minor... even if nothing physically happened before majority, ask yourself: if it were a straight politician and a girl, what would you be saying about his behavior? Would you trust him around your children?
Who is he a role model for now?
Sorry, folks, guilty on both counts isn't what I appreciate; not my idea of a good leader...
Sam did admit to his sexual encounter. When I was 18 I deliberately sought out the companionship of older men, some 30-40 years my senior. Older men were wiser and more knowledgable than my peer group. I learned a lot from them. Is that a scandal? Is that anybody's business? Sam has broken no law, and he serves as an honorable and trustworthy City employee
Please, please discuss the "grooming" question on your program! Some of us square people in the suburbs are about this!
My first thoughts were what else has or will Adams lie about? Can we trust Adams to carry out his responsibilities with integrity? Recognizing that people make mistakes I would wait before politically tossing Adams under Max. Let's give Adams a chance to redeem himself if he's done nothing illegal. Let's review the results from an investigation and allow justice to work.
Sam did admit to his sexual encounter. When I was 18 I deliberately sought out the companionship of older men, some 30-40 years my senior. Older men were wiser and more knowledgable than my peer group. I learned a lot from them. Is that a scandal? Is that anybody's business? Sam has broken no law, and he serves as an honorable and trustworthy City employee.
DO NOT RESIGN
Mr. Adams is tacky, sleazy, cheesy and utterly average. One can say exactly the same things about Mr. Breedlove. Two losers and users having pathetic sex with each other. However much I despise this trite and boorish behaviour there is absolutely nothing wrong with it morally or otherwise! This is a matter of personal taste and style. Mr. Breedlove is clearly not an innocent now, nor was he an innocent at seventeen or eighteen.
ON LIES: Yes. Shock! It is perfectly acceptable to lie! Dishonest, reprehensible, and irrelevant questions don't require honest answers. There was absolutely no valid reason to ask the questions of Mr. Adams in the first place. The only reason they were asked, was an attempt to smear a reputation with irrelevant information. To attack someone on puritanical grounds, with a perceived reaction by a repressed and ignorant society (as we are seeing now).
If Mr. Adams ran on a conservative platform of moral authority, things would perhaps be different. He did not.
The press conference that Sam Adams held on Tuesday broke into the coverage of the celebratory parade for Barack Obama. I watched Adams, embarrassed and humiliated, admit to lying to the voters while a tiny box of marching bands and jubilant spectators played in the background. That could not have been a sadder juxtoposition.
I feel sad about the whole situation. I couldn?t help wondering if, while the press conference played out, I was missing the chance to see the marching band from Portland on national television. I couldn?t help reflect back on other Portland scandals?Tonya Harding, the ?Jail Blazers,? Neil Goldschmidt, and wonder if Portland wasn?t getting a reputation for shabby behavior by public figures in the way that Chicago and Detroit are getting ones for political corruption.
Before the election, a friend mentioned this relationship as a reason not to vote for Sam Adams and I was hot in his defense. Good God, I said, if you can?t give personal advice to younger co-workers, how is a young person supposed to learn anything? So, although I don?t know Sam Adams personally, and he certainly doesn?t know me, I do feel betrayed and pettily annoyed.
But, at the same time, I really don?t want Adams to resign. I didn?t vote for him because I thought his love life was pristine. I voted for him because he seemed to be a forward-looking person with an ambition to make Portland better. That hasn?t changed.
What bothers me is not the relationship, but the lie. Sam Adams made a full apology for that lie, and I?m inclined to accept it. Yes, Randy Leonard is right to ask for an investigation. That should happen and hopefully it will support Adams? statements.
This was not a criminal act. It was not malfeasance. It was a mistake.
Let?s move on.
When will we learn that people, especially when questioned in the public eye, will not be honest about their sex lives, politician or not? The original question, years ago to Sam, should have been 'did you have sex with a minor?' If his answer was no, then end of story.
When I was leaving the Peace Corps while taking the last medical exam I completed the medical form. The Doctor looked it over, and then said, oops I gave you the wrong form. I completed the 2nd form. The only difference was the addition of a question regarding 'homosexual tendancies'. I lied on that answer. I was 25 years old at the time. Am I disappointed that Sam 'lied'? Yes. As much as I am disappointed with myself in having felt like I had to lie.
Is Sam being crucified because he lied or because he had a relationship with a young man? I am inclined to think it is the latter, which is unfortunate. Sam did not break the law. He did lie but the lie was about his personal business. Its shameful that he felt like he had to lie because he would be judged for this relationship. If I was in a position where my personal life would be misunderstood or misconstrued in a way that would affect my career, I would have done the same thing. By the way, please stop calling the teen an 18-year-old boy. Legally he is a man who had a consenting relationship.
This whole affair raises significantly more questions than it answers. It is my firm belief that had the youth in question been a female the outcry would be high in volume, long in duration, and wide ranging in its pitch. Having faciliated sex abuse groups for non-offending parents to assist them in being able to better protect their children, a youth is groomed for sex by an older person long before actual sex takes place. We may never know the truth regarding the age of the youth when sexual intercourse took place, but what about other inappropriate and illegal behaviors between a child and adult. This was not sex between two equal partners in maturity, authority, or any other measure. What implications his has for Mr. Adams should be determined, I believe, by citizens on this basis.
I'm curious. Is it different in the case of sexual relationships with young woman? Are they not groomed in advance?
Also, is it always the case that a young person is groomed in advance by an older person who engages with sex with them... or is this referring specifically to cases of abuse?
There's no way to spin this as an appropriate relationship (and Adams hasn't even tried), but I've been eighteen, and it seemed like my peer group had its fair amount of sexual experiences, including those with older people without it being a negative thing.
And I have to disagree about the way this would be viewed if the younger person were female. I'm suddenly remembering that I knew at least three girls my age, two in high school and one in college who had relationships with their male teachers. I thought these relationships were inappropriate, but no one in authority seemed to care about them. The college girl ended up marrying her professor.
Typically, the adult has to gain the trust of the child to obtain the children's cooperation. Such trust is frequently gained in a step by step process. This includes trust obtained by the position and/or authority of the adult, such as a father, mother, step-parent, relative, minister, teacher, etc. It can also be gained by becoming a friend or mentor of a child, giving the child money and/or gifts, supporting the child in opposition to a parent or authority figure. Patting the child on the back or head and progressing to hugs, kiss on the cheek,as they evaluate the child's response and acceptance.
There is a double standard when it comes to the sexual abuse of female children and male children. News stories abound with men who sexually abuse girls sentenced to long prison terms and women who sexually abuse boys given very short prison sentences, if any, and/or probation. Movies portray sexually abused boys by older women as "rites of passage" or "lucky boys" while men who sexually abuse girls as the destruction of the girls innocence and an emotionally damaging experience regardless of how the girl may have experienced it.
The sexual abuse of any child by an adult (I believe the legal standard is anyone more than 3 years older than the minor) is inappropriate and such adults should be severely punished.
It is sexual abuse for an adult and especially a high school teacher to have a sexual relationship with a student whether or not authorities took action. Authorities had a responsibility to protect the high school students. Few colleges, if any, will tolerate sexual relationships between its students and faculty. A college student from another institution would even raise questions about the faculty memeber. I know of a college student who had a relationship with one of her professors in his late 50's. They left town. She also married her professor and they have children.
Thank you for the information.
I agree with you that there is a double standard. And it I certainly don't have any scientific data to back me up, but it seems like this sort of thing is considered the least serious when it's an older woman/young man. Do we just assume (as a society) that boys are going to enjoy sex and will be eager to engage in it, while girls won't and have to be coerced?
Or that boys are somehow more sexually and emotionally mature.... when we seem to think it's the other way around in all other aspects of child development?
I'm not trying to defend these relationships at all--nor am I saying that the absence of action by authorities meant they were okay--only that it didn't seem in any of those cases that there was a greater reaction because my friends were female.
Why are you discussing ?the trust of the child?? The relationship of concern was consensual sex between adults not children. Professors having sex with a student is questionable as it compromises the teacher-student relationship. It interrupts the business of teaching. However, at the University of Oregon professors routinely have sex with their students. I waited to have sex with a professor thirty years my senior until he retired.
I believe that those asking for Sam?s removal are over reacting showing their true homophobic beliefs. Rather than observe his on-the-job dedication you choose to observe his sex life. You are the same people that read the Enquirer in the super market check out line. You delight in the raw exposure of an individual?s personal life. You wrap yourselves in the narrow banner of the moral majority to the exclusion of diverse attitudes toward sex. I could go to any house in Portland and check out the bedroom toys and sex practices of the partners. Then I could publicize my findings. Does that sound good to you?
I agree with most of what you said, but don't turn this into an accusation of "showing their true homophobic beliefs." While I don't agree with most of the anti-Adams fervor, I don't think the opposition is primarily spurred by "homophobic beliefs." We have seen way too many slipshod cries of wolf, from other minority communities, and they do more harm then good.
For the record, I am neither "anti-adams" or "homophobic" Why is it so difficult to have an honest exchange of views, which is a good way to learn and grow, without personal attacks. Let's not discuss immigration lest we be labeled "anti-immigration" and/or "anti-Hispanic". Let's not discuss Afro-American least we be labelled "anti-Black" and/or "racist". Let's not discuss the Middle East least we be labelled "anti-Jewish" or anti-Palestinian" Good grief people. Nevertheless, "Thank You".
Old great and powerful defender of Mayor Adams an investigation is needed to determine whether sexual behaviors between Mr. Adams and the youth took place prior to the youth's 18th birthday. Mr. Adams's public position necessitates the investigation while a private citizen's would not given that the youth is now an adult. A child cannot give consent. I agree that perhaps those asking for the Mayor to resign maay be over reacting; but such demands are based on the fact that the Mayor lied several times and asked someone else to sustain the lie. As far as possible, I believe, all of the facts need to be established and the reasons why other facts could not be established before a decision on the Mayor should be made. Blind emotional support for the Mayor, as far as I am concerned is also premature.
I am far too interested and involved in remaining sexual active to have the time or be interested in the sex lives or toys of anyone else. Perhaps when I am significantly older I may develop an interest and actually buy or read an Enquirer, Playboy, Hustler, and/or visit "one of those stores" I drive past in Portland. But as a friend, I would be happy to proof your sex life story if you put it on line or check out your bedroom toys and practices. I have little doubt you have much to teach in this area.
A lot of people are very shocked and upset about Sam Adams recent scandal and I have to admit I'm shocked by people's reaction to it. People who, if held up to any scrutiny about their lifestyles usually with regards to their sex lives or their drug habits, could easily be prosecuted and sentenced to several years in prison. Sam is getting the brunt of a lot of people's judgment today and I feel like I'm the only person who thinks it's unfair.
I'm hearing several consistent contradictions in people's response to this scandal. First off there's the whole "I couldn't survive that kind of scrutiny so I would never run for public office" argument and "if someone wants to run for office they should be prepared to have every part of their life examined and live their life accordingly." Immediately following this comes, "I'm really scared that he's going to be kicked out of office for this, he's really our best hope for the city."
I'm really tired of people's sex lives turning into political fodder. Age of consent laws are antiquated and completely arbitrary as they are determined by individual states. If Sam and Beau were in one of the 31 states where the age of consent is 16 (including Washington State) there would be no legal argument to justify the money on finding a special prosecutor.
John Ball is not a crusader of truth in this case either. His motives for investigating and publicizing this affair can't be construed as anything less than politically motivated. He was digging for trouble and he found something. That something he found is a private matter between (in my mind) two consenting adults.
"BUT SAM LIED!" Yes he lied. He lied to the Oregonian and WW two ridiculous rags that had no business asking about Sam's sex life to begin with. He didn't lie under oath, this isn't Bill Clinton and Kenneth Starr dragging the American people through months of grueling investigations and televised dissertations. And he lied about something that most people I know who are openly criticizing him would prefer never to disclose to the general public either. I know I was having sex at the age of 17 with people older than 18. What about you?
Sam shouldn't have lied and he never should have asked Beau to lie, I don't condone lying, however, I see a bigger crime here. Politicizing anyone's CONSENUAL sex life is a witch hunt and NO ONE should ever be put through the humiliating process of being judged not to mention threatened with prosecution for CONSENSUAL sex. John Ball, WW, the Oregonian and the citizens of Oregon really have no right to make an issue of Sam's behavior unless every last one of them is willing to be pursued with the same intrusive investigative tactics.
Someone asked me what example Sam is setting. Well what example are we setting if we say that it's okay for people's CONSENSUAL sex lives to become fodder for political scrutiny?
Sam has admitted wrong doing, apologized and consented to an investigation. He's taking responsibility for the wrong doing he's done (and by wrong doing I mean the lying). You don't have to like it, but how would you want to be treated if you were subject to the same sort of intrusive and inappropriate questioning?
Inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor is more than sexual intercourse but covers a wide range of behaviors. The question is did any of these behaviors occur before the boy's 18th birthday. Mr. Adams was also in a position of authority at the time, given to him by the citizens of Portland, who now have a right to know whether or not Mr. Adams violated their trust. When people accept the public trust they dance to the tune prescribed by the public. This is true for all of us who must work for someone to earn a living. The tune may sometimes be irrational, unjust, troublemsome, and anger provoking. But as long as we choose to continue to dance, rather than leave, we and Mr. Adams must dance according to an ever changing tune. The bottomline is that the public wants to know the details regarding what specifically happened when and has a right to know.
You are assuming some sort of non-consentual or statuatory rape scenario. You do not know the situation regarding Sam and Beau's relationship. This is the kind of judgment that allowed Bush to bomb multiple countries into oblivion without any sort of punishment, but almost got Clinton, one of our best presidents in decades, fired. Your double-standards are dangerous to everyone.
According to a great former psychiatrist: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. An investigation is needed to establish the facts as far as such facts can be known. Like just about everyone else, including you, I know almost nothing regarding what took place and when between the Mayor and the youth. I have no basis for making any assumptions, and neither do you, except there is enough information to warrant a fair determination of the facts regarding this matter.
Just a point of clarification. The majority of the liberal West ironically sets age of consent of at 18 including Washington State. My count this morning was that there are 32 states + DC, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico where the age of consent is 17 or younger. http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm
Actually, the Washington state age of consent is 16.
I'm still behind Sam 100%!
For two reasons:
1) It really shouldn't matter what goes on in private between consenting adults.
2) No law was broken.
If your a rational person, the real question to ask is: "Do you feel that Sam Adams is the best person to do the job?"
If you're a conservative, moral person the question might be "Is my life free of sin that I have the obligation to cast the first stone?"
Our reaction to the Sam Scandal says a lot more about Portlanders than it does about our mayor. Why shouldn't We The People display the leadership qualities we expect in our elected officials, such qualities as tolerance, forgiveness and attention to the greater tasks that the city confronts. If "proper" sexual conduct were essential, there would have been no FDR, ML King, Gandhi, or even Queen Elizabeth 1 who had quite an appetite for young boys. Rather than call for Adams's head like some unreflective mob, let's put a moral ombudsman in City Hall to raise the level of behavior for everyone. Adams is a visionary and this reckoning will only make him humbler and stronger.
Last year I was involved in a neighborhood transporatation issue and contacted Sam Adams office for some information and support. I was sorely disappointed by his response-more over by his demeanor which felt self important,condescending, and full of himself. Therefore I was not surprised by what I consider his abuse of power in a relationship that was not equal. I am reminded of Elliot Spitzer-power corrupts. I did not vote for Sam for mayor!
You found an opening for a pot-shot
and couldn't pass it up.
As a member of the queer community, I'm really disappointed in Sam. We have worked a long time to show the validity of our consenting, adult relationships. Our merit for the same rights and privileges as heterosexuals is based on our implied agreement to respect the rules in sexual relationships around authority and age of consent that we expect heterosexuals to respect.
I think that the best thing to do now is to cooperate with an investigation, which Mr. Adams has said that he will do. He was elected to represent everyone in Portland, and that includes people who only tolerate his sexuality or are uncomfortable with it. We in the gay community can't put our desire for equality and respect ahead of the process in which the whole community investigates and decides what to do about the revelation.
It will be very disappointing if Mr. Adams loses his position over this, but it's better to deal now with the outrage of those who are not in favor of our equality than to leave it to simmer. It is through accepting that equal rights include both privileges and responsibilites will we ultimately achieve those rights. If this situation represents excessive scrutiny of one public homosexual, it is better to accept the scrutiny than to defend ourselves against it as if we have something to hide.
BJORN334 - Reply to:
The sexual life of consenting adults is no one's business but theirs. This extends, in my opinion,
I'm gay and proud of it. What is wrong with sex with someone who is 20 years younger than you? I'm 58 years old and have a relationship with someone 20 years younger than I. If asked about my personal sex life before the public I would respond that it is none of your goddamn business. Sam has served our community with distinction and dedication. How has his personal life affected his work? It doesn't. My relationships are neither immoral or indecent. Do I sense some internal homophobia on your part?
I think this is well-put. We in the queer community want to hold up the best of us for public scrutiny, and Adam's relationship with this young man may have been legal, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near a moral high-ground. We spend so much time explaining that being a gay man IS NOT being a pedophile; anything like this that blurs the difference takes us two steps back. And then some.
A female politician must appear tougher and stronger than the men that surround her. A black politician must seem warmer and fuzzier than the white faces that surround him. A gay politician must be purer than the driven snow. It is a double-standard, but that's how it is.
That being said, I'm inclined to forgive Mayor Adams his damnable humanness. This once.
As A gay man, I was extremely disheartened to hear about these events. I believe that the gay community held Sam up as a representation to the straight world that someone could be gay and act "normal" holding a position of responsibility and influence. Sam let us down, and has probably set back the acceptance of gays by mainstream society for years.
What is 'abnormal' about Mr. Adams behavior? Isn't it perfectly 'normal' and that is exactly the problem. The problem being Mr. Adams along with Mr. Breedlove are run-of-the-mill, average, common, mainstream---gay men? Aren't they just as average and normal as their straight counterparts? Isn't this the type of behavior we can and should expect from a male? We certainly didn't elect some sophisticated, intellectual, cutting-edge gay guy. We got Joe the Gay Man.
Let us remember too that even if it is found that there was a sexual relationship prior to Beau's 18th birthday the offense under Oregon Law is not statutory rape, but a misdemeanor of "contributing to the delinquency of a minor." It hardly seems worth calling for someone's resignation and assailing their character over an offense of this nature. I would bet that Sam did wait until Beau was 18 and he lied about it because 1. It really is no one's business and 2. Much like he said people, people would blow it out of proportion and in the court of public opinion he would be considered a child molester regardless of the facts.
The following is the text of a letter which I have sent to the mayor.
Dear Mr. Mayor,
I am writing as a concerned citizen of Portland to respectfully ask that you immediately resign your post as mayor.
Your capacity for leadership has been compromised beyond repair by the campaign of lies that you told to the public regarding a sexual relationship with a barely legal teenager. You apparently went to great lengths to cover the facts of your relationship with Mr. Breedlove and you persuaded him to lie on your behalf. This blatantly dishonest behavior is inappropriate and inexcusable.
Your attempt to ?come clean? in yesterday's (1/20/09) press conference is disingenuous on it's face. You told the truth only after the truth was told about you. This is not an issue of personal relationships in the political spectrum. This is an issue of honesty, integrity and leadership.
Let it be stated that I am not invoking a double standard because you are gay. I am also gay. If you had persuaded a young woman in the same manner and then lied about it, I would be equally disappointed and angered.
This situation, though not technically illegal, is offensive in the following ways:
1)You apparently cultivated a sexual relationship with a legislative intern, Mr. Breedlove, while he was underage though you state that the relationship was not consummated until after the young man's 18th birthday. Legal technicalities aside; this is an abuse of power.
2)I am a mentor to teenagers. I take these relationships seriously while always remembering that I am the adult and acting the part. You admit to mentoring Mr. Breedlove regarding his emerging and questioning sexuality. Mentors do not have sex with the sexually vulnerable mentored. Again, this is an abuse of power.
3)You orchestrated a public campaign of lies around this situation to protect yourself from scrutiny. You encouraged the young man, Mr. Breedlove, to lie to protect you even against his own better judgment. This is dishonest and an abuse of power.
Had you told the truth from the beginning I may have been able to conjure some measure of respect for you, but you did not. You lied. Lacking any measure of integrity, you also persuaded someone else to publicly lie for you.
You explained that you ?had to lie? to cover false rumors. This begs the question: what else would you be willing to lie to the public about? Furthermore, are you capable of laying down your own ego to protect the interests of the people of Portland and the state of Oregon? Would you tell the truth in an emergency or during a budget crisis? Would you massage the truth to advance a pet project? This is an issue of trust.
In these difficult times, the city of Portland needs a leader we can trust. You are not that person. The city of Portland needs an effective mayor that can get the job done. This situation greatly undermines, if not completely negates, your capacity to be that person.
I will be advocating for your recall as soon as is legally possible. In the meantime, I will advocate for your resignation.
Please Mr. Adams, do the honorable thing; for the city, the state, and yourself. Resign your post as mayor. I will personally thank you the next time I see you at the Cup and Saucer or The Fresh Pot.
Do not further humiliate our city (not to mention the gay community) by stubbornly refusing to resign. The world has enough Rod Blagojevich's. Portland is my hometown and I will work to protect it.
With all due respect,
In North Portland
For heavens sake what is wrong with having sex with someone who is twenty years younger than you? I have a relationship with someone who is twenty years younger than I. Is it immoral or indecent? No. He is of age and so am I. Why do you hold Sam up to a greater standard than the average male? Dare I suggest that it appears that you have internalized homophobia?
Are you kidding? You may suggest that I have internalized homophobia and you would be missing the point. I'm proud to be gay and have been since the age of 10. I've never been ashamed of my sexuality. And yes, I do hold public officials to a greater standard of TRUTH than the average male. If I wanted the average male as mayor I would have voted republican. The point is, this situation undermines Mr. Adam's ability to lead. And it proves that he is a LIAR. Most importantly, he coerced someone else to lie for him! Its not about the age differential. I've had sex with people much younger than myself (though of unquestionable legal age) and 20 years older as well. I would not trade these experiences for anything. Sam should have just said when asked about this 2 years ago, "its none of your business." Or better yet, "yes, we had a relationship, and lucky me!" But he lied to the public over and over. He hired a consulting firm to cover it up and he asked the young man to lie for him. He has embarrassed the gay community and those who don't see that are not seeing the bigger picture. I want a mayor with integrity. Portland deserves that much at least. He should resign.
I think you are right on all of your points. Mentors should never cross that line.
The question that is lost in all this outrage is this: What right is it for anyone to ask the question of Sam Adams in the first place? When are we going to get over this Puritan hangover, and understand that people's private lives are their own? It's very easy to imagine that as a gay man with aspirations to elected office, even here in lefty Portland, that Mr. Adams may fear a backlash against his actions, so his decision to lie was probably not a decision at all, but a knee-jerk reaction made out of fear of repression. It's an unfortunate situation, but Mr. Adams has dedicated his entire professional life to this city, and one unfortunate circumstance, caused by prurient and Puritanical fear-mongering should not bring this career of dedication to an end. As far as the lying is concerned.... lied to whom, exactly? Lied under oath? No. Was a crime committed? No. Yes, it sets a bad example, but where's the outrage if it truly was just a smear tactic? Personally, I'm more outraged that in this day and age, the public is still so interested in other people's sex lives. Mr. Adams, this will pass. I humbly request that you remain in office, and continue your quest to turn Portland into a showplace city. I'd vote for you again today.
I am so tired of politicians personal lives becoming such huge issues. It's no one's business who Sam or any other politician is sleeping with. Everyone lies about sex - he shouldn't have been asked about it in the first place.
Sam Adams has been wonderful for Portland and will be a wonderful Mayor. I really hope this whole scandal dies down quickly so that he can get back to work.
Interesting that your own website phrases it "had a sexual relationship with a teenager", rather than the more accurate "with an 18 year old". Did you think the issue wouldn't get enough attention without a little inflammatory phrasing? Or was your writer just "innocently" vague about the actual age? Agree with it or not, our laws say that at 18 years old a person is capable of (and legally responsible for) making their own decisions. This creates a very big distinction between a 12, 15 or even 17 year old and an 18 year old. Your failure to make that distinction on this web page is either sloppy writing or a deliberate attempt to "shape the conversation" yourselves.
I think it would be best for the council members to sit down with the intern and determine whether he felt pressured, as well as his maturity level. Some 18 year olds are very aware, stabile people, others are just children, seeking love and approval from the famous in their midst. What ever the case, Adams' lying is a major concern. If Adams used his position to exploit this guy, then he should be fired. There have got to be a few politicians out there who are not liars, and would do a good job, i would hope.
I am heartbroken about this scandal. Although a relationship between an eighteen year old and a forty year old is rarely especially impressive, that's not what is so upsetting about Mr. Adams' dishonesty. I honestly do not care about his personal life, and I think to speculate on whether the public reaction is greater or smaller because Adams is gay is to miss the point.
The issue for me personally is the loss of trust, the sheer disillusionment. It's the realization that Sam Adams is just like any other stereotypical politician- Elliot Spitzer, John Edwards, etc.- someone that will tell bald faced lies to advance his own political career, and will enlist others, including a teenager, in the coverup. I know I am very naive, but I honestly thought he was better than that, and this admission is akin to a slap in the face. I had a Sam Adams sign in my yard, the first and only time I have ever displayed a political sign, and now I feel that I have been hoodwinked in regards to his character and integrity.
So it's not the relationship that kills me- it's the elaborate lying. Adams has simply lost my faith, and the faith of Portland in general, and that cannot be easily regained.
I agree with most of the writers saying that it's not our business and, that anyone would lie to get out of the embarrassing question in the first place. I'm just relieved that there is no long-suffering, mortified wife having to "stand by her man" one more time.
A relationship between two consenting adults, check. And perhaps a cup of coffee had by an adult and a still-minor, check. Someone admitting wrongdoing, coming clean, and apologizing publicly and profusely, check.
I join the masses in being appalled... at the idea that Adams should resign over this. He is a solid leader, with a strong vision for Portland's future. His personal life and his political vision are separate entities; a past relationship does not change his ability to do great things for (and with) this city.
I strongly believe this would not be an issue if the individuals involved were of different genders; I join others commenting here in saying that the "outrage" is one driven by homophobia - not by moral objections. ("What questions do you think this story raises?" - why we are still so terrified of The Gays; I think that's the real issue here.)
He lied, he came clean, he apologized. Keep the man in office; let's not waste our time/energy/resources in a resign/recall-replace effort.
Mr. Adams must resign immediately! I am a young gay man and I was very, very proud that my great city elected an openly gay person to its highest office. Sam Adams has done many great things for Portland and the city owes him a debt of gratitude however he blatantly abused his power as a mentor and lied in the face of the public. Had he come clean without lies and deception and allowed the pieces to fall as they may I think the public may have been more forgiving. His dishonest, self centered deceptions has caused the public to loose trust in him and his ability to be an effective leader for our city. Another sex scandal will be smeared across the national press and all those who use issues like this to support suppressing gay rights will have another soundbite to rail against. We all make mistakes and now its time for Sam Adams to pay for his with his resignation.
Why hold Sam to a different standard than you do to a straight man? Would you admit to sex with anyone if asked in the public eye? You are young and stupid and have not gotten rid of your internalized homophobic baggage.
I keep seeing and hearing comments to this effect, that this sort of scandal sets gay rights back, and I find this to be an extremely problematic viewpoint. A central issue of fighting for equal rights for sexual minorities is that what we do in our own bedrooms is our own business, and shouldn't make us secondary citizens, or less deserving of respect, fairness and human dignity. The idea that Sam should uphold the most vanilla image of a gay man possible in order to pander to biggots does nothing to advance tolerance in our society.
I don't care what sort of private consensual sex activities Sam Adams takes part in, and, while I think it was wrong and unwise for him to lie to the public, it's understandable that he would do so, as the issue is irrelevant to his qualifications as mayor. Ideally, he should have said that it was none of our business, but a lie about something this irrelevant should not require his resignation.
I'm tired of being lied to by politicians, and I'm especially tired of being told that being lied to is acceptable. Let's get some personal responsibility and credibility back in the game.
Its not as if Breedlove was accusing him of misconduct. Most anyone being asked an inappropriate question would say "I did not" or "none of your business". If Sam answered the latter people would assume he had. What is not credible is the fact that our news media is taking the focus away from real problems facing the city.
You seem to have missed the point I was trying to make. Adams lied publicly when asked about the relationship, he orchestrated a nasty PR campaign against the gay man who made the accusation, he lied to his supporters. He did NOT say "None of your business, next question please." I don't give a hoot who he or anyone else sleeps with--it's not my business. But I'm fed up with a process that honors and protects people who will say/do anything to get elected, and then hide behind "You wouldn't have believed me if I'd told the truth!" as an excuse.
One has to seriously question Sam Adams' judgment here. I have zero interest in grubbing through the minutia of his personal life and I'm sure he's not the first 41 year old to have a relationship with a 17-slash-18 year old but he was a city commissioner with well-developed political aspirations. I think it's reasonable for the electorate to expect their elected officials to engage in somewhat age-appropriate dating practices and lets face it, this was borderline.
Many seem happy to accept that the sexual portion of the relationship did not begin until after the eighteenth birthday but given that he has already lied once and convinced Mr. Breedlove to do the same, this faith seems somewhat misplaced.
When i passed by the newspaper stand and read the Oregonians front page news i couldn't help but kick the metal stand in disgust. Why must we be so obsessed with the private lives of our governing officials? This affair has little, if nothing, to do with Adams' ability to lead. I recognize that he should have been truthful about the nature of his relationship, but i more strongly recognize that his personal business should remain just that, personal.
I'm not obsessed with our Mayor's private life. I just want a leader who can do the right thing. The same day we got a President who appears to have integrity, we learned that our new mayor:
came within a fortnight of pederasty;
lied about it;
went after those who didn't believe him;
hired a journalist who fell for it.
Sam Adams has made so many poor "personal" decisions that they are now interfering with his ability to serve. That's our business.
And what happens when we find out that President Obama is not Jesus Christ? That he has flaws and human weaknesses? That this man of integrity tells lies? How quickly will you nail him to the tree?
I supported Sam's campaign. I worked at one of the campaign volunteer events. I put out my yard sign and the bumper sticker and wore the "I'm with Sam" pin. I believed his ideas for the city were progressive and in step with the character of the city I was born in and am proud to call my home. I also admired Sam's position as a role model in Portland's vibrant gay community. I observed Sam to be sharp, smart, professional and passionate about the city's real problems. I admired his flawed family background and the fact that Sam seemed to recognize the the dirt under the city's glittery fingernails. But I'm so very angry about this situation. I believe we were all betrayed - and really the ideals that Sam stands (I think still stands for) have been betrayed. Look, whether or not the relationship had reached inappropriate status before or after the boy's 18th birthday - it was inherently wrong from the beginning and staffers knew it. Sam knew it was wrong. Yet, he delivered himself, the city and the gay community's reputation right into the hands of the promoters of gay stereotypes. I agree completely with the editorial board of The Oregonian. Sam must resign. Hopefully quietly and with the minimum of attention paid to this sad chapter in our city's history.
While I am certainly disappointed that Mr. Adams was not truthful when he first had the opportunity (and it does make me wonder why he felt he had to hide his actions if he was acting legally), I do not feel that this issue has any bearing on Mr. Adams's work as our mayor. He has already and will continue to do a lot of good for Portland. It would be one thing if Mr. Breedlove was pressing charges and/or indicating that he was a minor at the time of their relationship, but since he is not, I think we should leave this personal issue where it belongs--in Mr. Adams's personal life.
Sam Adams Immoral?
I don't think so. There is nothing wrong with having sex with someone that is 20 years younger than you. It is not illegal. Instead of lying he should have answered, "None of your goddamn business." What do you want him to do? Crawl around on the floor while the electorate whips him? His apology for lying is enough. At least he is not answering, "It depends on how you define is."
I find it hard to imagine that this so called scandal could make the list of the Top 53 Sex Scandals: http://www.politickernj.com/files/Top53SexScandals.pdf Leave the man alone.
This story makes me wonder why we think it is ok to ask anyone, especially our elected leaders, about their personal lives including their sexual interests. I was sexually active as a teenager and had boyfriends much older then myself. So what? It has no influence on how well I do my job. I want the man I voted for to have a happy home life so that he will be happy doing his job too. That's all. I say grow up and butt out of his personal business.
Bloodyhell, it depends on what you do for a living. One of the callers to today's show was a nurse named Mary, agreeing with you that we should "butt out" of his personal business. As a nurse, I'm sure she knows that there are certain professional standards governing whom you have sex with...even if it were legal, her professionalism would be called into question if she entered into an intimate relationship with patients the moment they left her care!
A powerful city commissioner has to be even more careful about choices in intimate relationships because of his position. It's not just a legal issue at stake here! Professional ethics and power relationships are also at play. Adams shows incredibly poor judgement.
I am confused by your use of the word "shows." The plural implies a pattern. Please point out the pattern. Based on what I know, the only pattern is to deny a single legal and consensual sexual relationship over and over. Are there examples of the Mayor not being truthful in the execution of his duties, rather than this side show about his personal life?
I am so angry at Sam Adams. I am angry that he just gave all the homophobic and hate filled people proof that they are right in their ignorant stereotyping: that all gays are predatory pedophiles. I am angry that he was so arrogant as to think he should run for mayor, that this would never come out. I am angry that he indulged himself in a relationship which was inappropriate not only for the age difference, but for the power imbalance. I am angry that on an unbearably hot day last summer, I spent 20 minutes sitting on a porch at a neighborhood meeting listening to him and believing in his ideas and his integrity. I am angry that he looked me inﾠthe eyes and shook my hand.
Is it the nature of politics that all politicians believe they are above the rules? Do they have to believe that in order to have the confidence to run for office?
Above all, I am angry that on the same day that Barack Obama stood before the entire country and told us things could change, one small selfish man made me doubt that they could.
I'm sorry, help me understand Mayor Adams being a pedophile? The man was 18. In 32 states plus at least three territories and the District of Columbia, even a 17 year old can choose to have a sexual relationship with anyone they choose.
I've had a lot of thoughts about this today, many of them conflicted, but what it boils down to is this:
Had I been in Sam Adams's place, I can't say I would not have done the same thing, even though I wish I could.
There are several things that led me this conclusion:
1. I think pretty much everyone has done something stupid or irresponsible with regards to sex and relationships. If you deny it, you're probably lying to me or to yourself. The only thing Sam Adams did differently than most of us is be a politician while he was doing it.
2. It is often said that the cover up is worse than the act, and I strongly agree. If he had admitted this last year, I suspect it would have blown over in a few days.
3. He did nothing illegal in having sex. Mind your own business, people.
4. Even in self-styled liberal Portland in 2009, we have tremendous hang-ups about sex, and about gay sex in particular. Adams's particular irresponsibility skirts close to the revolting stereotype of the pedophiliac gay man. (If you think this is not true, browse some of the various discussion news outlets' discussion boards and see what some people are saying.) That fact alone presents a tremendous pressure on him to keep it quiet. That is a pressure that simply would not exist for a straight man in his position, and we all know how many of them have lied about sex.
(As an aside, I think the distinction between an almost 18-year old and a barely 18 year old is a purely legal one, and not one that would be meaningful in any interpersonal relationship except the one under discussion. It most certainly is *not* pedophilia. A 17-year old is a grown man, not a child. Don't do a disservice to the real crime of pedophilia by bandying about such absurdities.)
Primarily for these reasons, I find it difficult to honestly say that, were I Sam Adams, I could have stood up last year when presented with the accusations, and told the truth. Even though I sincerely believe that is the best thing for everyone to do. (See #2.)
There have been several other objections to Adam's behavior, which I feel are worth addressing:
A. It's not about sex, it's about lying.
Yes, he lied. But he lied about something that should never have been asked in the first place. It is quite simply irrelevant to the execution of the office. As long as Mr. Breedlove was not working for Mr. Adams (and he wasn't), there's nothing there that affects his job performance. I'm reminded of the old adage "when someone says it's not about sex, it's about sex".
B. The power differential between the two parties calls into question the notion that the sex was consensual.
There is a kernel of truth here - power differentials are something that we should always be aware of, especially when one wields political power. However, we should also keep in mind that Mr. Breedlove did not work for Mr. Adams. That certainly does not obviate the questions of power, but it does raise the specter of the idea that this was, in fact, consensual sex. I don't believe we have enough information on this front, and must for the time being declare "no data". But so far, to my knowledge, there has been no serious argument that their behavior was not mutually consensual, except for those that think there's no such thing as consent between those with a power differential. Those people, I don't think are worth spending time arguing with.
C. Adams has set gay rights back twenty years.
I can only say this: welcome to the mainstream. This straight person, for one, is glad to have you along. With gay marriage (once we finally get it in Oregon) you get divorces, and with gay politicians you get sex scandals. If I have to choose between a society with a gay politician's sex scandal or one where openly gay people are not able to be elected, I'll take the former in a heart beat.
I didn't believe Sam 17 months ago. I don't believe him today. 17 months ago it was a gut feeling. Today it is based on Sam's own behavior. What reason do I have to trust him now?
When I heard the story on Monday my first thought was "why did it take so long to ferret this out?" 17 months ago I though Sam got a pass BECAUSE he was gay, that the papers gave him a break and didn't fully investigate the matter. I believed then, and still do, that the local papers did not want to appear in any way to be against a gay candidate.
Sam's defenders want to make this about sex. It's not. It's about a pattern of dishonesty and cover ups. The most troubling to me is the hiring of Amy Ruiz. I can't imagine any serious newspaper would ever hire her again. Even if it's just the perception, it looks like she took a job in exchange for keeping her story out of the papers. The 4th estate can not tolerate such a perception!
I have a 6 year old daughter who lies with some frequency. My wife and I struggle with this a great deal and it saddens as well as angers us both. I have reached a point where I can not tell what the truth is. We are seeing a professional to help us cope with this. It is disruptive to our family but we are seeking help. Sam should do the same but he should do it on his own time, not the City's.
The vehement response to ask Sam to step down is a reflection of the homophobia in our society. Is Obama going to be held up to higher standard than previous presidents because he is black? Are Puritanical values making a comeback? Are the moral beliefs of the Taliban now in vogue? I don't think so. Sam has done nothing illegal or immoral. He is like so many men in our culture who date or have sex with a younger person. If there is mutual consent between the two how can you now apply a different set of standards to Sam. Is Portland a backwash of homophobia and intolerance?
You bet your sweet @#* President Obama will be held to a higher standard because he is Black.
It's not about homophobia, it's about lying.
It's not about sex, it's about a cover up.
It' not about Sam being gay, it's about Sam being dishonest.
He is Mayor BECAUSE he lied.
It's easy to call me a homophone because I think he should resign. You, however, don't know me. I have long supported gay rights in Oregon. Perhaps the editors of Just Out are also Homophobes because, like me, they are demanding Sam's resignation.
Calling people names is not productive. Making this about sex is on you not me.
Organized goverments have long been riddled with scandal and corruption among their leaders. Look at the Bush administration. Now that was immoral, full of lies, deceit and unbridaled imperialism. And I bet that those seeking for Sam's removal voted for Bush four years ago despite the injustice of his first administration. Sam is neither corrupt or scandalous. He did not violate any laws and his personal life should not be used to judge his fine work with Portland.
Pete Colt here and I'm LMAO & ROTFL.
When I was 17+ I NEVER went out with anyone who wasn't at least 5, 10, 15, 20 years older than me.
I didn't want to waste my time ? or my charms ? on immature guys my age.
Now that I'm the "older man" I'm FINALLY part of the age group that I've found attractive most of my life. Whoo Hoo!
C?mon people, there will always be younger attracted to older just like there will be older attracted to younger.
Good for Breedlove and good for Adams.
They probably had wild monkey sex and isn't that what most people want when they monkey around?
I've yet to hear anyone say, "Man! It was the most boring sex I've ever had and I fell asleep in the middle of it and now I can't wait to see him again!"
Speaking of older with younger, and the pot calling the kettle, ?Queen,? there's multi-millionaire Bob Ball, who when last heard from had a live-in lover who was an 18 year old Starbucks barista.
Like Adams and Breedlove, I hope Coffee Boi and Ball are having a ball. Literally. And I hope they?re finally buying Stumptown or World Cup coffee.
A few more thoughts.
There's no drama like gay drama. It's, if you'll pardon the expression, "easy to get sucked into."
We write Hollywood. We write TV.
We develop the talent for hearsay, innuendo, and gossip when we hang out with our straight girl friends in Junior High and long after these girls become women and moms we gay men become "doggie daddies" and that means that we can hone our hearsay, innuendo, and gossip skills without fear of intelligent life calling us on our behavior ... or our sagging butts.
And my observation is that the more closely knit the gay community the more drama we breed. (see ... we DO breed after all) This happens in bars, in community centers, and in politics.
There?s a reason that there?s a sarcastic old gay expression. ?Love you like family. Mean it.?
The bottom line is that we gay men are just like you straight men AND you straight women. We?re a combo platter.
We have the same human failings, reach the same human heights, and, when backed into a corner and at risk of losing everything we?ve worked hard to build, we have the same propensity to protect what we built.
Hey. Don?t hate us cause we?re like you.
And Commissioner Amanda Fritz, my respect for your compassion, pragmatism, insight, and calm grows deeper every day.
In this situation, you have been the city council's voice of understanding, measure, and reason.
If in fact Mr. Breedlove was 18 at the time of their sexual relations, then we are talking about sex between two consenting adults. It's not like Mr Adams is married. Remember, banning gay marriage in the Oregon constitution?
Hang in there Sam!
When I heard this story, I was so disappointed. Not because I could care less about Sam Adam's sex life, but because I could guess how this would be played out in the media. Being gay myself, I know that sometimes people are harsher to judge gays, and it seems like 'one step forward, two steps back' sometimes. I voted for Sam Adams, and it had nothing to do with him being gay. Yes, he lied about the relationship, but how many of us wouldn't lie to hide details about our sex lives from being public? He is as human as the rest of us, and that doesn't take away from his being able to be a potentially effective mayor. I am disappointed in the Willamette for making this a 'scoop' for their magazine. I have read they are the source that outed Sam Adams in the first place....what a coup for them! They must be really proud for destroying someone's life and exposing that even public figures are human.
I don't think this is true for everyone but how much of this is downplayed homophobia? I wonder if this would as much as a scandal had an 18 year old girl been involved. I don't think there such a call for Clinton to resign after his scandal and subsequent lying and he was married. I'm not saying that the two are the same but it's worth thinking about.
If Sam had NOT lied during the campaign, he might have been cleared of any wrong doing before the actual election, but due to the nature of the allegation probably would not have been elected. I doubt any clear outcome could have been reached to everyones satisfaction before the election concluded. So what choices did he have? This is a GREAT subject for anyone in an ethics class right now. It doesn't matter whether the facts are as stated or not - he had to chose what was the best way to win the election. He's a politician. Is anyone really truely surprised he made the choice he did? Was it right? Is lieing EVER right? whew. I suggest that anyone could make a case in either direction on this one...especially if you consider the possiblility that he is really telling the truth about what happened, now. He certainly isn't the first person to make a poor decision when faced with a pretty, intelligent and very young love interest. If he is being truthful about ages, then his only 'crime' is lieing about the facts during the election campaign. I am afraid I can't make a clear case - for myself - either way. I can understand exactly why he made the choice he made without condoning it. I have never wanted to make the kind of difference you can make by taking on a public office...so can't really identify with his motivation. Can you?
Premise: You have a goal (a good one). You have done nothing wrong, but it could be percieved that you might have and if there is any controversy about it, you will loose your any chance at your goal. What do you do? Abandon your goal and the chance to do what you see as some real good in your world? Or lie and hope it all works out, since you really didn't do anything wrong in the first place? Like I said - a great one for the ethics classroom. Way sticky when you get it in real life.
I do not know whether it is good or bad that Sam Adams had consensual sex with an 18-year-old, but at age 18, the young man's consent is meaningful. He could vote. He could join the armed forces of the United States, possibly be hurt or killed on foreign soil. He could have legally married any woman of any age had he been a heterosexual man; it happens all the time. If my politician does not have sex with an underaged person or an un-consenting person -- and Sam Adams did not -- then I don't want to hear about my politician's sex life. As a citizen of Portland, I want Mayor Adams giving close attention to the many problems of Portland and rallying support for great ideas that will lead our city into the future with prosperity for all. Knowing what I now know about his sex life, I would still vote all over again for Sam Adams. But I will never vote for Pearl District developer Robert Ball. Mr. Ball's resume is stashed in my "when Hell freezes over" file, along with the resumes of Multnomah County's own "mean grrrrrls": Maria Rojo de Steffey, Serena Cruz, and Lisa Naito -- and for the same reason: they do not seem to know how to make a positive difference in my community, so they cannot be effective public servants. They confuse notoriety and celebrity with reknown; they participate in government only to amuse themselves and advance their names. They do not have the best interests of the citizens at heart, but only seek to "win" or "dominate the field" without any purpose for doing so. Will the next politician who is asked about his or her sex life PLEASE have the guts to say to the questioner: "My legitimate, consensual sex life is none of your business." ??? PLEASE!!!!
So a few questions...
What is it about politicians, power and their pants? Why is it that people are so weak? What ever happened to personal boundaries and judgment? Is it old fashioned to expect that an elected leader (or one who hopes to be one) have some restraint or a sense of what is right? Yes it's legal to be with an 18 year old, but do you really think they waited? Or is that just another fabrication? When you were 17, were you able to wait?
Ok, you can make the case that its a private matter... but its the lack of restraint, boundaries, or a sense of propriety that bugs me. Especially since he's thrown others under the bus for bringing up the issue. It's hard to stretch and trust his judgment in the future.
The real issue here should be why we are letting our news media take our attention away from the real problems in Portland. Economic hardships, homeless, lack of healthcare etc...
If Mr. Breedlove had accused Sam of wrongful behavior and he lied, that would be wrong. That is not the case, and Sam did what any person during a "job interview" of this type would do if asked a non-relevant question. The fact that so much attention is being given to this is (obviously) distressing to the two involved. Neither one of them asked for this to be public, and therefore everyone should stop.
Contrast this "scandal" against the fact that each of us ignores (does nothing to solve)the homelessness in our city. We are the morally bankrupt for devoting energy to this "controversy".
I'm angry at Willamette Week for printing a misleading letter, "Compared to Foxworth," claiming white liberal bias. The Foxworth case was much worse. First, he was her Commanding Officer (i.e. boss). Second, he was married and had another girlfriend, when he propositioned her. Third, he wrote lurid emails using public computers.
Adams was not Breedlove's boss, in fact, they did not even work together. Adams was and is single. And there is no proof.
As a lesbian, I have noticed that straight people get very nervous if I even hold hands with another woman. Sam made mistakes, but what is the crime?
In this new "Era of Responsibility", I would hope that Sam would resign now and allow Portland a chance to move on quickly. This media distraction will inhibit his efficacy as mayor and he knows that.
I can't help from being strangely puzzled by the similarities between Uncle Sam and Mayor Sam. First, he says "Don't Ask" to the press and anyone who had dared to inquire about this relationship, claiming a moral high-ground (privacy would have been something I could rally behind, but claiming victimization by smear tactics rings particularly hollow these days). Next, he says "Don't Tell" to Breedlove. All the while, just like the eager Armed Forces recruiters, he waits for Breedlove's 18th birthday to make his move. While age in terms of development is a somewhat arbitrary construct, his unique position of power and overly-excited capitalization of the "letter of the law" vs the "spirit of the law" raises questions, especially if we extrapolate to this as a reflection of his judgment as a public official. As we experienced so painfully with the last administration, interpreting laws only as they are written while ignoring their intent, can be a style of governance with significant consequences.
Personally, I could care less about the moral debate. Sam's private life should be his private life. That should have been the end of the conversation. Unfortunately, he chose to complicate the matter. He has now brought upon himself legitimate concerns about his character that will greatly hamper his tenure. This elephant in the room will only obstruct his ability to serve as mayor.
Portland has so many pressing issues that will require a timely and coordinated response in this year ahead. In more prosperous times, I might be inclined to have more leniency with fumbling his response to something that deserved a non-response. But his clumsy damage control around his private life and the botched cover-up attempts echo motivations that undermine public trust. If we are to welcome a new "age of transparency" on the national stage, one must ask: Why Sam waited to disclose this with Captain Jaquiss of the [i]WW Muckraker[/i], only after he was elected? It's in this broader context that one must question Sam's repeated emphasis on calculated timing in his actions when [i]he[/i] wants something. As a pattern, this warrants examination, because as a public official we must know whose interest he truly represents in his decisions.
We can't afford to watch this prematurely "self-lamed duck" mayor swim in egotistic circles as we drift towards treacherous waters on the horizon for our community. I call upon Sam to recognize the urgency of the moment: Now, more than ever, we need a mayor who can provide leadership and compassion in the difficult times that lie ahead. With a rich record of public service, he should salvage his remaining reputation by stating he will resign immediately. In doing so, he will allow Portland the opportunity to have once again the potential of an effective mayor, the one we thought we were electing, the one that Portland deserves.
Legally Beau's age makes all the difference in the world, but as a mom and someone who has worked a lot with troubled teens, Sam's more advanced years, power, authority, contacts, star appeal, and decades of experience as a strategist put him in a completely different league than a 17 OR 18 year-old. No matter how mature the young man may be.
(For heaven's sake, Sam is the MAYOR of the 30th largest city in the U.S. and Beau was a high school student!)
Unfortunately time and circumstances are such that a lot of people were looking to Sam to show the world that sexual behavior is almost incidental to the full identity of gayness. I'm deeply disappointed that Sam's poor judgment and exploitive behavior make the public story all about sex and recruiting young boys; fueling the common heterosexual misconception that pedophilia is somehow related to gayness.
Here's what I want to know: If there was nothing wrong going on, why not tell people you are "entitled to a private life" and be done with it. It's the lying, and the willingness to smear Mr. Ball, and conspiring with Beau to misrepresent what happened that makes me the most mistrustful.
It's how Mayor Adams has conducted himself, and the disrespect he has shown people. Not the least of which are the Citizens of Portland
I have lost faith in Sam.
Who cares about who Sam Adams slept with? This is a bunch of nonsense.
However. I do think it brings one to question Sam's general character regarding lying, and his unwillingnes to be honest and open in how he conducts his life. Sam does not display the character I would hope for in a public leader, but there didn't seem to be any other truly viable candidates to vote for.
I think we got exactly who we voted for, and nobody should claim suprise now. Like him or not he's our mayor. I hope this will die down and we can start looking at how Sam does his job. That is what really matters.
And I don't mean to imply that I think he will do it well, but let's at least let him try.
Sam Adams is a tool. That said, he should remain in office. There has been humiliation, remorse, and tears I'm sure. The man is a skilled administrator. It is costly and takes up valuable time to investigate, find a new mayor, and finally after all the trouble, get to work. Liars in politics are nothing new.I would rather have him watched closely and get my money's worth out of his hyde.
I could care less about what 2 consenting adults do in private.
The only issue here is that an elected office is a position of public trust and if you can't maintain that trust you have no business in that office. Every other moral question is irrelevant.
I don't know if Adams is sorry for lying or just sorry because he got caught, but the fact that he didn't come forward on his own compounds what he did.
In my view he has shown himself unfit and should resign.
We need to take better care of each other, and it starts with the governments we put in place to do so.
This is, as President Barack Obama has said, an extraordinary time of opportunity and healing ?largely because the of the shamefully neglectful behavior of institutions, industry and politicians over the last decade. The tears I shed on our President's inauguration day were not only for the wonderful progress in electing the best person, regardless of race, but for the sense of relief I felt?the hope that we can do better for each other, for the world, through this new administration.
We should expect no less, and perhaps even more, from our local government. We have had enough of dishonesty, dubious behavior and the resulting scandals. It is not only prudent for our leaders to model honorable behavior, but the caring thing to do . . . what a shame it would be to lose our newest mayor, with progressive ideas for Portland's future, due to questionable decisions and dishonesty.
I'd like to see this shadow dispelled, however that plays out. And i wish Mayor Adams and other players in this story well in the meantime . . . let's be fair and listen before judging.
I was at a meeting last night where this topic came up. The general feeling was that what Mr. Admams does in his private life...particular his bedroom...is his business, as long as it is legal. Moreover, trying to keep these matters private is not a crime. Shame on us for our over-fascination with sex and scandal. It's time to bring the focus back to his public record where he has demonstrated his dedication to and effectiveness at making Portland a better place for all of its citizens.
I was out at Silverado last night crying at the news of our losss to our community from this news. I am so sad, thena friend who worked closely to get SAm elected to his City COuncil seat came in. He mention that this is far bigger then Sam. He said the breeder who is Sam's bratty lil Chief of staff, Tom MIller, knew the whole thing and helped to strategize the best way with Mark Wiener to save Sam.
IF SAm goes, in all honesty all the Heteros who hid knowledge to get power MUST GO. I feel that based on what i heard last night Miller is almost more creepy for grabbing power on Sam's back but probaby blackmailing him. I also learned from my friend that Tom MIller had ZERO experience before this. Sounds like the inexperienced neophytes hiring equally unqualified government slackers in the Ruiz MIller scandal. Did MIller really feel she was qualified?
I hope a new leader in our community come to the surface, we need help fast!!!
Like some others, I am sharing an open letter that I both sent to Mayor Sam Adams and have posted on my blog:
I am the go-to person on local politics for Portland's open source tech community. I have lost track of how many times I have been asked today my thoughts on your current situation. Given all of the pressure that is being placed on you to resign, I want to offer my counter-argument that I have shared with everyone who has asked for my opinion.
It is clear that you expressed poor judgment in lying about about your relationship with Beau. And any time there is a sexual relationship between a mentor and a mentee, it raises appropriate concerns about the possible abuse of power. However, what happened between you and Beau was between two consenting adults it is really none of my business.
Instead, I hold the media responsible for creating unecessary sensationalism over an act of poor judgment. I normally appreciate Nigel Jaquiss' in-depth reporting and without question, he demonstrated his skills as a reporter when he was the member of the press who asked the best questions about FPD&R reform. That being said, I think both he and Willamette Week made the decision to sensationalize a relatively minor issue during a time of unprecendented change, both good (Obama's inaguration) and bad (the ecoomy). Nigel failed to make a case for his story to be broken with such great urgency. You have already been elected and sworn in and the only reason I can see for not waiting until after the inaguration is to maximize sensationalism. That doesn't even take into consideration the question of the numerous instances of unfounded speculation in his article.
The Oregonian further sensationalized the situation by placing your admission as the very first headline above the fold on inauguration day. I can see no justification for placing the admission of a lie that was not made under oath above the news of an absolutely historic moment in our country's racially checkered history. That is nothing but irresponsible journalism.
I suspected, and you have since confirmed, that your rationale for your deceit being concern that as an openly gay man, being honest about your relationship with Beau would bring an innapropriate amount of focus to your sexual orientation. I am saddened to have seen your concern come to pass. When listening to OPB yesterday afternoon, the story made several references to how little attention was given during the mayoral race to the fact that you are an out gay man and how proud we were that it was a non-issue to the voters. If that is the case, why did it need to be raised in this context at all? Frankly, your sexual orientation and the attention paid to it during your mayoral campaign is completely irrelevant to the situation at hand. I am confident that there would have been no mention of how the people in question were straight if the situation had involved a man and a woman.
Furthermore, the question being raised is not whether you expressed poor judgment and exacerbated the situation by lying about it. The question is whether or not you should remain mayor of Portland. In this particular situation we have a clear answer. You have been in City Hall as Vera's Chief of Staff, as a City Commissioner, and were elected as mayor by an majority of voters, securing your electionin the May primary. My response to cries of "how do we know we can trust him?" is simply that we know because of your long record of public service. Regardless of whether or not people agree with the political decisions you have made over the course of your career, the voters have repeatedly made it clear that your decisions are based on what is best for Portland.
Case in point is the work you and your staff have put into finding ways to help Portland through the current economic downturn. You didn't wait for the massive bank failures, the ongoing layoffs or the wringing of hands. You presented a draft proposal of 10 things that the City government could do to buoy small businesses in Portland in April, 2008, even before you were elected mayor. As a member of the SBAC, I have been witness to your ongoing and evolving efforts in this area, and that is what leads me to my final point.
We, as a city, cannot afford the time, effort and energy a new mayoral campaign would require. I suspect much of the work you have put in towards economic recovery will be put aside because of its association with you, and City Council will end up reinventing the wheel. We are in a time of crisis and we need to keep our focus if we are going to survive as the vibrant city that we know and love. Given the choice between forgiving you for two acts of poor judgment for which you have repeatedly publicly apologized versus creating a major disruption in City goverment in the midst of yet another challenging budget process during an unprecedented economic crisis, the answer is a no brainer.
That is why I am asking you not to step down from your position as mayor.
I have also posted this email publicly on my blog at http://catherder.wordpress.com.
Sex and power are strong lures. Sam used very poor judgement and committed (possibly) illegal actions. It is tempting to say Sam is only human, excuse his mistakes and let him stay in office and let's get down to taking care of Portland's business.
But Sam lied to a LOT of people. If he thought we wouldn't believe him then how much LESS are we likely to believe him now. HIs integrity has been compromised, to say noting of his ability to lead.
He needs to resign ASAP! Thanks to him, Portland will have to go through the emotional and monetary expense of yet another election. Better to do it NOW than to drag us through a nasty recall mess as well.
I think first and foremost the local media have been ignoring a major component of this problem: the context of the original question. Who asked Mayor Adams about his relationship with Breedlove and under what context? Did they have the right to ask such a personal question in the first place? No one is talking about why he might have lied.
Yes, Sam made a bad choice in lying. But he is a politician, and a lying politician is not a new concept. His falsehood doesn't eclipse his qualifications and skills to be one of the best mayors Portland has ever had, especially when we need it the most.
Sam's private life should be just that - private. It's not our duty to pick and choose who Sam has sex with and while some people are more fond of judging others than I am, let's judge Sam on the merits/accomplishments he's done as a politician and leader - not what he's accomplished in bed.
It's valid for the local media to want to explode this story into something more than it is - consentual sex between two adults - because they fatten their profits with stories like these. However, Portlanders should know better and choose to ignore the media when they pry into people's private lives.
Lastly, if we only elected angels or saints as our political leaders, we'd never have anyone governing - perfect people don't exist and Sam has displayed one of many imperfections that make him and us imperfect beings. Let's give him more than two weeks to do his job before judging his abilities.
I'm with Sam 100%.
Sam is a good leader. Because he's a human, he makes mistakes, and this one is a doozie. But let's put this in perspective - no one died, few people were involved, and when it comes to what Sam does for a living, it hasn't really effected his good works for the city. I think the first time he was asked about his boyfriend, it would have been better if he had said, "We won't be talking about that," like George W. Bush did when asked about his drug use. Sam was scared that he would be judged for his private life, not his work. Move on, people, nothing to see here.
While it's true that Sam lied, he did not lie under oath. In fact, he didn't do anything illegal. You can make an argument that he showed poor judgement, but you could also argue that he showed good judgement by waiting until the young man was an adult before having an affair.
Our society needs to get over this obsession with the sexual lives of politicians. From Monica & Bill (ok, he lied, but, aside from his wife, who
cares?) to Larry in the bathroom (soliciting free, consentual sex is not illegal. Call me when he's actually *engaged* in "public indecency"), we seek unnecessary public retribution for private acts.
Are we really willing to try to oust every CEO who had sex with his secretary? If not, please stop picking on effective politicians. JFK had affairs, and he wasn't the first or last President to do so (though arguably the best beloved). Larry was a good advocate for Idaho. Bill balanced the budget. Sam is going to fix our roads. Back off and let him do that.
You or I may not approve of their choice of sexual partners (or the pool from which they chose), but their sexual partners did, and as long as it was consentual it should stay out of our politics.
I'm sorry Sam Adams lied. Rather, I believe he could have said his sexual relationships are not a topic open to questions (this assumes Beau was 18 at the time). In other words, he lied only about a question he shouldn't have been asked in the first place. I hope Sam decides to fight and stay on as mayor.
The fact that Sam admitted to the lie shows he does have the integrity to admit to mistakes. we all have lied to save face at some point in our lives. I do not believe this diminishes your ability to govern. If that were the case we wouldn't have anyone in office, because you can't tell me that nobody has lied to us before.Read: George W. Bush. I didn't vote for Sam, but do not believe he should resign over something as unimportant as this. get over it people. We all have a life outside of our jobs and it's nobodies business but our own.
Sam Adams should not resign.
Yes, he had sex. Yes, he lied. Yes, he apologized.
Yes, he cares about this city. Yes he is positioned to take Portland forward.
Leave his sex life alone and stop the Puritan madness and obsession w/ sex; especially gay sex.
The true leader should show his leadership by deciding if he should be in this honorable position for poeple of Portland whom looking up to him.
I hope media treated this incident with great humanity. It is time now for us to treat each other with love/empathy as one. One of our family did something wrong. Something that is unsuitable for his position in our community. I believe we agree with that. I wish that we treated him and his big mistake clamly and politely. He knew that this is not right. Everyone knew it. Just treat each other with kindness as much as we can.
It doesn't need to be scandal..sex..lie and a gay man. It is about human's mistakes. Someone who was trying to keep his personal life and his mistakes to himself. I wish we treat other human gently for his bad judgement and wrong doing.
This guy used his public position (that's why the young person to him in the first place) to strike up a relationship that was, by his very definition, exploitative. Why the hell else would he mess with a kid 25 years his junior. This is not a gay issue. If he was straight and the kid was a girl, we'd be hollering for his scalp just as loud. He won the election based on a false pretense. The people of Portland, tolerant as they are, would NEVER, NEVER NEVER have voted him in, had they known the truth. As the facts play out, he may well find himself confined among a large community of potential sexual partners. That would, perhaps, represent justice.
Face it, bottom line, he lied to get elected. He broke faith with the voters and is, for that reason, unfit to lead. Stick a fork in him, he's done.
This behavior and the way it is being spun, I heard the intern referred to as a colleague on the radio this morning, is definitely a problem. Sam Adams as an adult in authority had to know that this relationship was wrong and an abuse of his position. Even going to Salem for the 17 years olds birthday party is weird.
Sam Adams has shown what kind of legal, moral, ethical decision maker he can be. Add to that his direct and aggressive lying to cover his own actions, even throwing a 'true colleague' Bob Ball under the proverbial bus with the smear smear campaign.
Sam Adams cannot be trusted. I would ask his supporters to examine how much of their support stems from Sam Adam's willingness to support their individual cause. I mean the guy was promising a lot to a lot of different groups including ones having nothing or little to do with the business of the city. Our highest self interest is protecting the office not one man who made mistakes.
No one is above the law. Really we have to make this be the standard, even if it doesn't play out that way on the national level we will lose big time if we accept that locally.
My only problem with ousting him is I don't know who would replace him.
I am so happy that President Obama and the 1st Lady Obama are an attractive couple; I don't think we, as a nation, are going to have to deal with any impropriety from our new president.
With that said, here in our fair city of Portland Oregon we have a sex scandal; it makes me think back to the 90's; it almost seems antiquated but none the less relevant.
Maybe it just plain grosses people out and maybe we just have a bunch of ignorant homophobes lurking around in this so called progressive city; lest we forget this city was built on timber.
I love this city, I am a native Washingtonian but I have been a Portlandiite for the past nine years. I have adopted the Oregon spirit that is so captured in the "I'm an Oregonian" OPB ad campaign.
While this seems a sad moment for Portland and the gay community in large I don't think that Mayor Adams resignation is in order; I think this is gay baiting.
Did Mayor Adams lie, yes; what was he supposed to do?
Because a lot of people are still living from the 50's and can't get past their discomfort with gay men they are looking for any chance to knock this man off the hill; but Sam should stay as King of the hill.
I think people are making too big a deal about this, and that for Sam to step down would be a mistake. Sex happens in vocations across the board. Breedlove was 18 and certainly knew what he was getting into. Who cares if Sam Adams lied?! It seems to me that the media was prying into his private life, in which he had not committed any crimes.
As a member of Portland's queer community, I am incredibly disappointed in Adams. My excitement over his election feels completely dashed. I believed that he was somehow a different and enigmatic person who would bring great energy and integrity to the mayor's office. Now he just seems very "same" to me. The same as so many other (male) politicians who were stupid and then lied about being so stupid. He joins the moronic scrap heap along with Clinton, Spitzer, Foley and the rest. Sad.
It's not the sex. It's the lie. Sam knew that this story would likely keep him from being elected mayor. So he lied and asked others to lie for him. He accepted the fervent support of the gay community and others who felt this story was a smear campaign to keep a gay man from holding the office of Mayor of Portland, all the while knowing it wasn't a smear campaign at all. Portland deserves a mayor with integrity. Sam's lies show his utter lack of integrity, and he should step aside.
I believe private lives should be private! A would be candidate was attempting to smear Sam's name I understand why he lied. I have compassion and forgiveness for Sam. I think Portland could loose a great leader. I think he deserves a second chance.
As with the case of Bill Clinton, the only isssue of genuine importance is being ignored. That Sam Adams had mutually agreed-upon sex with an 18 year old then lied about it is not a serious issue. That the person with whom he had sex was an intern whom he later pressured to lie about it, is. Meaningful sexual consent requires relative equality between the parties. Breedlove was effectively an employee who depended upon Adams for his income and professional advancement. The important issue here is not sex but abuse of power. That Adams failed to see that issue when he was in the relationship, and that he still appears to be oblivious to it, is a genuine concern.
I am weary of hearing "apologies" from politicans who are only sorry that they've been caught. I'd believe contrition if the individual called a press conference to declare a mea culpa when it looked as if they'd successfully gotten away with whatever moral or legal offense. When I teach high school students, I make a point of explaining that I don't want to hear "sorry" when they aren't sorry for more than being taken to task. Thanks!
It was no ones business then it is no ones business now. What happens between two consenting adults is between them,no one else.
So he had sex and wasn't 100% truthful about it, what person isn't?
People should worry about worry about what goes on in there own bedrooms.
Top reasons the Sam Adams lynch mob should disperse: One--The minimum age for enlisting in the United States Military is seventeen, and if a seventeen-year-old eagerly awaits his eighteenth birthday to have sex with a consenting adult, that sexual encounter doesn't qualify as child abuse and it's none of my business. Two--What is there to investigate? Is the department of Justice going to waterboard Sam Adams until he admits he didn't actually wait out those last few weeks? Three--Is Portland actually going to throw out a perfectly good mayor because the Willamette Week wanted to relive its Neil Goldschmidt glory days? Four--At a time of unprecedented economic crisis, are we going to erase an important leader because he lied about his sex life? Five--Ask yourself this question: If the Oregonian asked you for details about your sex life, is there anything you'd lie about? If so, does that mean you're unfit for the job you currently hold?
None involved are victims. Mr. Adams. Mr. Breedlove. Mr. Ball. The Willamette Week. Everyone was trying to get something out of the situation. All hands are bloody.
-Mr. Ball was trying to get ahead with irrelevant accusations.
-Mr. Adams wanted sex and didn't want his reputation affected by something unrelated to his career.
-Mr. Breedlove perhaps has a habit of persuing older men to get ahead.
-The Willamette Week wants to get more readers by uncovering impertinent stories, that a rotten culture will eat up.
I think Sam Adams has served the public admirably and devotedly in his career. I'm disappointed in his lie, but I also know that many many leaders have made poor personal decisions yet done great things for many people in their career. As long as this was about Sam's personal life, and not a legal or work related incident, I hope we can move on and let Sam serve as our mayor. I think he can do it better than anyone else. I hope he doesn't resign, and that we can let the investigation proceed. I would like to have a place to publicly voice support over the calls of the Oregonian, Police Ass'n, and Just Out; I don't think they speak for everybody, they are just able to get their voices out more effectively.
To be fair, if there was no illegal act, whether or not he loses his job should be decided by the other commissioners based on City policies for termination of City employees. It should be part of the investigation of whether or not City resources were used inappropriately, or what is inappropriate as far as public interface. Sam should not resign.
I sincerely hope that this conversation---on TOL and in the larger community---is not focussed around "sex" or "lying", although these may be components of the situation. What we need to ask ourselves is what do we expect of our leading(or any)public servant. I hope the response is that we expect a number of things: first among them INTEGRITY. This means being aware of what is important and the discipline to live according to one's values. JUDGEMENT is a major component of integrity. A public servant needs to demonstrate judgement and integrity in order to have the TRUST of the citizens she serves. No, we should not accept lying to cover behavior one knows to be questionable IN A PUBLIC SERVANT.
Sam obviously knew the behavior would be "questionable", at least in terms of judgement, which is why he felt the need to lie. It is his overall behavior regarding the choices he made, starting with the liason and leading to the denials which hurts the gay community by crying "Wolf" and shaming those who might 'slander' him because of being gay.
Guess who else lied during their campaign? EVERY political candidate! Look at Sam Adams track record, not his personal life. He's done great things for this city and will continue to do so. This relationship is absolutely irrelevant to his role as mayor. It was no one's business and the issue should never have been pressed.
I don't see why this is any of our business. The press is looking for scandal, and forced the issue. Lying is never good, and I wish he had just put it out of the way then, but it wasn't my decision to make, and people do crazy things to win an election, or not to lose one. If Sam didn't break the law, then let him get to work. If he broke the law, prosecute. Sheesh. Yellow journalists.
As a gay man, I am tremendously disappointed in Sam and his decision to lie about this relationship for so long. Sam should have realized the impact that his decision to lie would have not only on his own future political career but also on the gay community as a whole. Regardless of whether the sex was legal or not, it will surely reinforce the stereotype in some circles that gay men are pedophiles who prey on the young and helpless. This is a very sad day for the gay community - a community that has struggled for so long to gain recognition and respect.
Are people saying Sam should resign just because he lied, or because he lied about sex? Because if truthfulness is your litmus test for any public official, then i'd like to hear more criticism regarding Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner who lied about his taxes.
I also want to know if all these folks who are calling for his resignation also called for the resignation of Bill Clinton and Gavin Newsom. Monica was a direct report - Beau was not. Gavin went for a woman who was an employee and who's husband was also an employee.
The Willamette Week writer says it isn't about sex and it it no different then a property transaction. He couldn't be more wrong. A property transaction doesn't carry emotions. Sex does.
"The Truth Will Out" is a quote from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. The lie Sam Adams made and later covered up speaks volumes about the distrust Sam Adams had of the voting populace to make up their own minds about whether or not he was a worthy candidate for mayor given all the facts about his life, his service, his qualifications. By his actions, he negated what we are trying to teach all our kids....if you lie, you will be caught. The truth will come out, now or later. If we can't trust our elected officials who are responsible for mentoring the youth of today by their example, then who can we trust? We look to our government to lead by example and I am totally disappointed in Sam Adams, and feel betrayed by his poor choices./
This isn't just about having consensual sex. It's about JUDGMENT. Having this relationship with a TEENAGER, lying about it to your staff and to the public--making the public and reporters feel guilty for suggesting this was the case--this all shows VERY POOR JUDGMENT. You had a nice run at politics Sam. Time to get a real job...you're done.
I feel that this is far more reflective of our society than it is of Mr. Adams himself. It is possible that Mr. Adams was reluctant to be forthcoming due to the possible public outcry from the nature of the relationship. Whats more, it is not the business of the public who our politicians have sex with. If it is legal, leave it alone. This was a legal, sexual relationship so it should be left alone.
We don't know if it was legal. Are we to believe Sam on this? And without the legal issue there is still the issue that this was an 18 year old BOY, MANY years younger than Sam and in a very inferior position to Sam. This is wrong on many levels--legal or not. At the least it shows poor judgment. At worst it is a sign of grooming and abuse. Sam not only needs to resign--he needs to enter therapy.
Mr. Adams has admitted lying once. Why should we believe his assertions that he waited till the young man was 18? Why should we believe him when he says he didn't break a law? Is he going to be entangled in criminal investigations for having sex with a minor? I think Mr. Adams should resign immediately.
Sam Adams should not resign.
* He has decades of solid, relevant experience that have prepared him to be a good mayor. Portland needs his service.
* His private life is private. Granted, he should have addressed this issue differently when originally raised. And the press should be more careful when dealing with issues of private life. Granted, the accusation that his relationship was with a minor made it worth researching, though not suitable for publication without substantiated information.
* Lying in response to unfair questions about one's private life should not be held to the same standard as lying about elements of one's public life and work.
* No law was broken.
Say it ain't so, Sam.
If Adams now admits that he previously lied about whether or not he had a sexual relationship with this person, then why should we be expected to take Adams at his word regarding whether or not the sexual relationship took place before or after a certain date? He no longer has any credibility on this issue.
Adams lied, and induced Breedlove to lie, because he suspected that if the truth were known, he would not be elected to the office of Mayor. Now that the truth is out, a very strong argument could be made that Adams attained the office through falsehood, and thus does not deserve the office, and should be removed.
Furthermore, I think that this revelation is a major setback to the cause of the gay community, by associating homosexual relationships with deception in the eyes of the public. Whether or not Breedlove was 18 yet, you have to admit this is bad publicity.
Did the Willamette Week reporter vote for Sam?
Does anyone else think this is just an excuse to talk about the sex life of a gay man? To me, a straight woman, this looks like the sudden vehement protests against Will & Grace when they finally had a scene of romantic affection between two men there were protests and masses of press coverage. To much of the American Public, gay men are fine - unless they actually have sex.
The idea that Portland will damage the potential of a talented politician because he lied in response to inappropriate questions about his sex life. It's not like we have a plethora of talent and can therefore waste this one.
Beau Breedlove, is that actually his name? Nomen est omen ...
Who Sam Adams is in bed with - I don't care. Really. Who he lies to - a different story. But hey, don't make a lot of people make bad choices, every day? Aren't there millions of Americans watching porn at this moment? Don't we have better things to focus on than this distraction of real topics? And lastly, could it be possible, that this 'scandal' is just a vehicle for a reporter to advance his personal agenda?
It seems to me that this is more about homosexuality rather than dishonesty and law breaking. If this was a 18yr old girl that Sam was seeing, it wouldn't have been persued at all. It's ok if an older guy pursues a younger woman, but scandalous if he pursues a younger man. That's the double standard society needs to recognize and remedy.
The claim "we don't know he didn't break the law" does not follow the spirit of "innocent until proven guilty" that keeps our justice system fair and reliable.
I for one would be equally (and possibly more) upset if this were an 18 year old girl. As a queer I don't care about that particular fact of this story. It's about the AGE, the inferior position (an INTERN and a CITY COUNCIL MEMBER), and the lying that is the issue. Sam has shown extraordinarily BAD JUDGMENT. Are we becoming so accustomed to this in our politicians that we aren't willing to stand up to it? Have you had sex with a TEEN who was in a position of submission to you--a student of yours, someone you coached on a team? Would you think it was okay for YOU to do?
I'd like to know the answers to several questions before I decide whether or not Sam should resign.
First, I'd like to know what's behind this revelation. Who gains from it? Why now? Is it the Willamette Week trying to increase sales with sensationalism? Does someone, a political entity or business interest, have an ax to grind because of an agenda Sam has recently impeded? Or, did Ball recede from public view only to vow revenge? My life experience tells me this is about power, not sex.
Second, I'd like to know more about his integrity and decision making process. Why did he ignore the advice of his staff and proceed to pursue the relationship? Why did he think that waiting til Breedlove was 18, would be a sufficient leg to stand on? How did he think the claim could be substantiated or refuted if the matter became public? Why did he ignore the political risk given how strongly most people feel about sexual relations with minors, even 17 year olds? What bothers me the most is that he ignored the consul of his staff and put his office in jeopardy. Further, the lengths he went to refute the claim are troublesome. Is this an indication of how he conducts himself in other city business?
If someone is out to get him for political gain, then I think his resignation isn't necessary. But, if an investigation reveals misconduct related to business dealings behind the allegation, then he should resign. The people behind the allegations should be discredited as well. The fact that they sought this form of redress implies wrongdoing on their part as well. If the only issue is that he made an exception and told a white lie to protect his political aspirations, his public humiliation is punishment enough.
The question about Beau Breedlove should have only been asked concerning a sexual relationship with a minor! That is the only illegal part. No other part is our business. KEEP IT TO THAT TOPIC ONLY. Nigel, stop asking him about any other part. Your FIRST question that you asked Sam is NOT your business. Only the second question should be investigated. This is just ridiculous. Sam Adams should absolutely NOT resign. He will be a great mayor LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB!
Yes this is disappointing. But you know what, people are sexual beings. Now, let's get back to taking care of Portland and let the AG's office decide if any laws were broken.
Of course he lied, it's not the first time someone lied about a sexual affair. Enough with the outrage and media frenzy, I'm sick of it already. Please Sam DO NOT RESIGN
To the Willamette Week:
Mr. Breedlove should decide whether a crime was committed and whether he wants to pursue prosecution---not the Willamette Week. You don't have a victim. You are not doing a public service. You are doing this for business, for sales, for your careers. This is not a quest for truth or a public service!
Nigel Jaquiss should step down. It sounds like he's convinced himself that Sam Adams is guilty of a crime. He's not. There's going to be a useless investigation that will determine that. Remember, innocent until proven guilty.
Assuming that no law was broken in the original affair, the important question is: who did Adams lie to? If he did not lie in court or another official context then it is simply not a legal matter. That Nigel and others in the press may have had their feelings hurt is wholly immaterial.
Of course he should resign. He effectively broke his trust with the public, admitted it, and can no longer be trusted.
The underlying question about whether he engaged in predatory grooming behavior with a minor is also pertinent. This would be more egregious under other sexual orientation questions. What if it was a young woman intern? THis is not a position to build a civic administration.
Time to go
sam should have never had to answer a question about his activity once the guy turned 18. asking if he broke the law by having sex when the guy was 17 was one thing, but asking the follow up 'did you ever have sex with him' was not a fair question. i don't blame sam for lying about having sex with an adult, he should have never been asked the question.
Sorry Sam, you have violated employment policy and you are history.
End of story... That is what would happen to a straight guy/gal, especially in leadership positions, regardless of age / orientation / legal aspects.
Don't waste your time, his reign / influence is over. Beau's parents (and the City of Portland should pursue the legal means to lock Sam up, so he will not violate anyone else (trust or intimacy). Sam should 'break-rocks; on the chain gang for many years, and be left in a vulnerable position himself.
He is such a wimp to strategically choose such a convenient time to disclose. This guy is not leadership material. Its over, and it is good it came so soon. Bye Sam, we really don't need to hear more.
It seems that Nigel will ONLY be satisfied when there is an admission of guilt by Mr. Adams, of that night when he and Mr. Breedlove went to dinner after an event in the office. We probably will never know if he and Mr. Breedlove had sex (that evening, when he was 17), but as evidenced by both their abilities to keep this private, it appears they both are comfortable with their interactions, platonic or not, when they were together in 2005.
Let's have a little perspective, people. We are about to have a US Dept. of the Treasury who didn't pay his taxes and we are up in arms about Sam covering up an inappropriate relationship (which he has admitted and apologized for)? Are all the people who are so outraged at Sam willing to come clean about their intimate lives? Sam is a good man that has done much for the people of this city and wants to continue serving the public.Let it go.
Last night my husband was just sobbing, thinking of how sad this is for the city of Portland. All humans have sex, in all kinds of ways, but not everyone can be the great Mayor of Portland that Sam Adams has the potential of being. He has pursued this office with all of his heart, he is an activist, bicycle rider, energy innovator, and he is THE person to lead us into the future. Sam Adams should not have lied, he said that explicitly, he knows that the lying was wrong, and maybe with this tragic exposure we can all learn something about being radically honest with each other. I want to thank Sam Adams for his passionate service, and encourage him to stay in office, and help us all learn something together through this experience.
If Mayor Adams resigns, never again will I pick up a copy of the Willamette Week.
I just moved to Portland from San Francisco where our mayor was involved in numerous 'scandals': he had an affair with his best friend's wife, he went into rehab... and so forth. Gavin Newsom (SF Mayor) did not step down nor was there any real discussion that he should. Sam Adams should absolutely not step down- he has much to offer this city. The real scandal here is that we are taking a simple misstep and thinking it belies something about the mayoral office or the gay community. We should all move on and let Sam Adams do his job.
For one, Willamette Week is utterly tasteless for releasing this news on inauguration day. What was a wonderful day for the nation was tainted for Oregon by something that really doesn't matter in the greater scheme of things...
The most important point I'd like to make is that we need to cut the mayor some slack. Everyone keeps bantering on about how it doesn't matter that Adams had sex with an 18 year old, but that he LIED about it. As a gay man in my late 30s, I know what it means to grow up having to lie about my sexuality...everything in our generation's life has been weighed on being straight or gay and if we are gay, is our sexuality appropriately executed so that it offends the fewest. Younger generations of gays and lesbians are enjoying a greater sense of sexual freedom because of the efforts of role-models such as Sam Adams. I'm sure it was a very difficult situation for Adams to deal with when WWeek started prying into his personal life and he thought it best in that situation just to lie about it rather than explain it. It's come out now and he's having to deal with lying about his personal life, but just like Clinton, it doesn't affect his ability to lead and we should let it go. I trust he won't fool around with any more interns after this!
The Willamette Week clearly tried to get Sam to tell the truth long before Inauguration day. It was Sam who finally decided to tell the truth then...conveniently...he is ever the politician. And as a 37 year old queer I too know what it means to not be truthful about my sexuality. However, I have NEVER had sex with a TEEN while I was in my 30's and certainly not with a TEEN who was in a position of submission to me. Sam lied because he KNEW what he did was wrong.
Show me ONE person who has never lied about details of his or her sex life. I really don't understand why seemingly all of Portland has their panties in a bundle about this. Sam didn't do anything illegal--why on this once-green Earth should he resign?!
It?s not as simple as lies and manipulations it?s more complicated. Many great leaders and community activist, MLK included, lied about their sexual relationships to maintain their ability to continue their work. I wish no one felt like they had to lie about their sexual behavior.
I would like to start a dialog around the complexity of sexual relationships and societies stunted cultural norms. Given that context, I think I might understand how and why the lies and manipulation might have been set into motion.
How can we use this opportunity to learn and evolve our cultural norms around sexuality?
I think your comment is profound; and the only one I feel inspired to respond to.
I agree with what you said and only want to add that the choices we make in light of sexual bias, sexual uptightness, etc., need to be looked at, but only as a sign of awareness and judgement given the prevailing atmosphere.
No. We should not be concerned with any consensual sexual behavior
and if we want to be an activist for that change through our own choices, then we need to be prepared to say: "none of your business" or "so what?"
Sam isn't giving an example that says, "you can lie about anything and not be disciplined". If you use him as an example, he's saying, "you can lie about your sex life and not be disciplined." Which is totally right in my mind. It's not my employer's business what I do in my personal and sex life, and I don't have to confess to anything when asked. I do my job and do it well.
Sam Adams did a great job while he was lying. He's told the truth. Nothing's changed in his ability to do his job.
The police are in no position to speak with moral authority. Domestic violence is almost four times more likely to occur in police families, according to the National Center for Women and Policing.
The Police should do their jobs and not get involved in spreading their morals. I hope Mr. Westermen was not paid for his time.
This police rep is exactly why Sam could not win either way - because if he had told the truth he would have been taken to the cleaner by guys like him who say he "pursued" Breedlove or because Breedlove was young and attach their personal judgement.
As for Nigel, it's ridulous to suggest that ANY lie translates into such a blemish that one should resign. He's a reporter just looking for his bread and butter story.
Even if a crime has not been committed, the trust between Sam Adams and the citizens has been broken. Sam has admitted to more than one lie, how can we possibly trust him in the future?
This issue is not trivial. To me it is akin to a Treasury Secretary who has just been confirmed who can't even be honest with his own money. If Sam is going to lie like Geitner did, how can we expect him to be any more forthright in other dealings as mayor?
Also, he did groom this young man. It was all legal, but I agree with the police officer that Sam Adams did groom a minor for a relationship that occurred after the man was of adult age. Gay of straight that is manipulative and and misuse of power.
I really think we have much more pressing concerns than Sam Adams' sex life. There is no evidence he broke a law. If Adams is an intelligent and energetic leader, as the reporter stated, then he should stay in office. Let's move on. I don't care about his sex life. It is the concern of his partner.
I would think that Westerman would want Adams to stay in office - that would bolster the case for the Police union's opposition to an oversight board.
His assertion that nobody could be disciplined is absurd. So what's the real story here? Why does the police union have an axe to grind with the Mayor?
This issue is being looked into in a completely illogical direction. Whether Adams had a relationship with this man is irrelevant. His lying about it was poor judgment, but not grounds for resignation. That said, what about the case of Amy Ruiz? I don't consider myself too "in the know" concerning internal city politics, but I've heard nefarious rumors of her hiring for weeks now. Thehttp://action.publicbroadcasting.net/opb/posts/list/2117055.page# hiring of a city official, one without the credentials for the job, is in my mind criminal. It puts a person in the role of making major policy choices for all Portlander's not because of their ideas, but due to the leverage that person holds over their boss. That is the issue that breaks down the public trust. And that is the major issue in this scandal.
Clearly Scott of the police has an agenda. Adams didn't break any laws. Why are the police involved? Why are they saying there's no proof a crime has been commited? Are we innocent until proven guilty?
The Portland police scare me.
Sam Adams sex life is his own business. He should not resign.
DO NOT RESIGN!
This is not pay-for-play. This is not lying under oath. This is not making up false intelligence. Guess what, men and women lie about sex every single day. Lies to boost image and lies to cover up what others do not need to know. Willamette Week asked an inappropriate question to which then Councilman Adams should have responded, "It is none of your business." Instead, as most of us would do when being put on the spot, he lied. Having sex with an intern was poor judgement. This act of poor judgement and the associated lie, however, do not form a pattern of lies and deceit that deteriorates his ability to lead and execute the duties of his office. Let the Attorney General perform his review before casting judgement.
I'm disappointed but not surprised that he lied and I am not impressed with the magic dividing line of the young man's actual birthday, and I don't care who he has sex with.
I worry now about his judgment in getting into this kind of relationship at all if he wanted to have a career in politics. It shouldn't matter, but it does and he knows it does or he wouldn't have lied.
I am UPSET that he smeared his opponent with the issue. That is smarmy.
I think that this whole "scandal" is another great example of America's increasing squeamishness about sex. People really need to stop being so uptight, and stop worrying about what other people are doing behind closed doors.
Weather it is gay sex, hiring a prostitute, propositioning someone in a bathroom, etc. Consensual crimes have no place in a supposedly free society.
This just sounds like another witch-hunt. Sam and Breedlove have answered the questions involved. I agree that this continued media interest in politician's sex lives is so counter-productive. It just puts Sam in a double-bind. We have so many other issues that need attention. Grow up!
The disagreements on this board bolster my view that Sam Adams should absolutely not resign. Let those who want him out of office mount a recall effort and let the voters decide whether they still want him to represent them. End of story. The newspaper editorials and wags don't get to decide; that's up to the citizens of Portland.
Yup, he lied. Did this lie lead, in any way, to ANY negative consequence? Was a contract improperly awarded, a person unjustly hired or fired, a war begun, because Sam Adams was untruthful about his sex life?
If there were evidence that he'd done something illegal, that would be one thing. But this? Move on.
Logic is always underrepresented. We don't like it! It has no mystery to it.
Lying is not trivial. He was in a position of power over this person and much older. It is sad that this happened.
I think we would all like to have people in political positions who are trustworthy.
Yes, we all make mistakes, but this mistake is too big. We need trust in our elected officials.
I don't live in Portland, but I don't find the mayor to be an inspiring leader. Lying is not inspiring. Only telling the truth AFTER you've been elected is not inspiring. Taking advantage of a young man in this way is not inspiring, it's shameful.
We need people in office who inspire others to hold the virtues of honesty and morality.
Even if Sam did have sex with someone who would turn 18 in a few weeks, are we really so concerned that we should go through a public investigation and force him to resign? The law that he is accused of breaking is a minor misdemeanor offense. If a politician lied about smoking marijuana, would we call for their resignation?
The reason this whole thing is seen as a big deal is that our society cannot deal with sex, and especially homosexual sex. And most importantly, there is absolutely no evidence that any "crime" has been committed.
Many people in Portland support Sam, and think he shouldn't resign. See the facebook group "Support Sam Adams" : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=46090272767
Has anyone considered that his actions may end up being legal,and it can be a bit embarrassing to admit even to oneself let alone the public about whether you had sex with someone. I don't see it as lie I see it more as unbelievably uncomfortable, and humiliating. I find it not only an invasion of Sam's privacy but an invasion of my mental privacy having to think about any person especially, those in the public eye having sex! It has been revealed that one of our greatest leaders Martin Luther KIng was known to have had many affairs during his lifetime,did it lessen his power or preformance in his work because of the issues he had in his private life, I don't think so...If this was a legal situation i don't want to hear about it until it is proven illegal, it is disturbing that we feel we have so much ownership over every aspect of our political figures lives. On that note if Obama does an amazing job annnd smokes, so be it!
I aoplogize already for my spelling...)
Ridiculous, let the man govern. I can't believe the WW continued to press this "story." One's sex life is there own, it has nothing to do with Sam's ability to be a fantastic mayor. Stay strong Sam!
I feel like Sam Adams is getting a much harsher critique because he is gay. Just Out is asking for his resignation, I think, because he's not a model gay mayor anymore. They must feel that he now reflects badly on gay people so they are distancing themselves from him.
I would feel differently about this "scandal" if the Mr. Breedlove came out as a victim. Sam Adams may have shown poor judgment and been a bit sleazy, but if he did not victimize this man it doesn't matter to me.
He should not have lied, but I can understand why he did. It would have been a scandal whenever it came out, whether he broke a law or not.
Sam did not, and does not, owe Willamette Week or anyone else details of his private life, be it the name of his date to that party 4 years ago, or the identities of any of his other adult partners, The question is inappropriate and not news worthy.
We have all gone to coffee or out to dinner with people we were not sexually involved with, the fact that then Commissioner Adams took meetings and meals with yet another constituent is not relevant and not newsworthy. The inability to fathom that it is possible for people to be in the same table with each other without ripping their clothes off and having sex is sick and reflects very badly on those leading this witch hunt, but has no baring on our Mayor
None of these allegations are relevant or newsworthy.
Mayor Adams should resign! He lied about his actions to get elected. Of course if the voters had known of this behavior the election outcome may have been different.
Also, as a African American staright male, if i had a sexual relationship or pursued a realtionship with a female intern, then lied and had the intern to lie, I am certian I would be forced to resign asap!
Why is it always different when it is about sex?
And how does someone from the Portland Police Bureau union get off on lecturing about being honest? The union defends the actions of officers who violate their oath of office.
Did he have an affair? Yes.
Was it consensual? Yes.
Was it questionable judgment? Yes.
Was it illegal? Until we have proof, no.
How many times has anyone had a relationship and covered it up?
Why should a public employee be dismissed for having an affair, but its OK if you work for a private company? How is that even related to job performance?
Fer cryin' out loud, I'd lie about an affair too. Almost everybody I know and love has had an affair.
As for the sex scandal of Mayor Adams I'm SO MAD and DISGUSTED I could scream!
I'm mad at the media for publicising and talking about the story Tuesday on the most wonderful, historic, joyous of all political days. I'm mad at Willamette week for doing a multiple page spread on it today - just one day after we have all been filled with such hope and promise and I'm totally grossed out - not because I now get to picture him having sex although it's an image which doesn't exactly make me think of one's professional accomplishments - but I'm furious with him because now I get to picture him having sex with someone that has the same age span as Charlee and I do. He's old enough to be that guy's father! I don't care what gender he bends towards - I voted for him and felt proud to help elect the first openly gay mayor - but I'd like to throw rotten tomatoes at him now.
It's so wrong for so many reasons and it seems that all the paper cares about is "did it happen a month/week/day before he turned 18 or after his 18th birthday party?
I think the two principal issues have nothing to do with sexual orientation or criminality.
1) Councilman Adams demonstrated that he is unable to resist short-term gratification at the cost of long-term success. Bad quality in a public official.
2) Mayoral candidate Adams, when confronted with a poor decision, denied it and played "the gay card" in an attempt to unfairly characterise his critics as a bigots. Also a bad quality in a public official.
Sex and the law are, frankly, not relevant to the discussion of Mayor Adam's character and decision-making process. And I think he should resign.
Barak Obama is the first visible politician in many years that does not seem to have a skeleton in the closet for anyone to discover - I hope none is found - but if someone asked me who I had sex with and I knew it would be published in the newspaper, I admit I probably would not be entirely truthful either. To blow this up into an attack on our mayor's character seems more than a little overboard to me. I trust Portlanders to think beyond the tabloid sensation of this and weigh the potential loss of a dedicated leader against the thirst for tabloid blood. We would do ourselves a great disservice to discard a positive leader in a time of crisis on a "charge" that has nothing to do with his ability - and I would venture - very little to do with his character.
I wonder how we allow Dick Cheney to flout the Constitution and get away without even being accused, yet we cannot wait to get on a bandwagon to eliminate someone on this kind of obviously politically-motivated "charge." Even if we concede that a lie about his personal life was some sort of "crime," I fail to see how the public good is served by tossing him out of office for it. He has served us for many years and this is the first negative thing I have ever heard about him - save from those who oppose him politically.
I hope the people of Portland are able to avoid being led into a bad decision because a (gasp!) scandal has occurred.
What I can't understand is why people in politics seem to forget the high rate of scandals in their profession. Why did Sam even go there? Even at 18, this is highly explosive issue -- getting involved with someone who's an intern, so much younger. It can't really be worth the crushing effect to his career. I'm tired of career politicians not being able to think through their personal decisions while in office. It does make you question their ability to make good decisions. Reminds me of a former president...
I agree he showed (forgivable) poor judgment by opting to lie about about it and asking Beau to lie about it, about something that occurred well before he became our mayor.
Yet, how does this affect his ability to make Portland all the more stellar of a city to live in? His agenda is right in line with the planet needs it badly progressive agendas of both Obama and particularly Schwarzenegger.
Most importantly, I was a very good looking, (horny some of the time), gay teenager once upon a time and had sexual relations with an older man, (at age 14), and would have had sex with more of them if I had the chance. Beau is about as tempting as they get. He seems the sort who for, better or worse, goes for it with older guys. Frankly I'm a bit envious of Sam and Beau, rather than judging either of them for having had a fling. This is not so say that Sam didn't showed poor judgment, (in my mind), in how he has reacted to being inappropriately asked about it. However, it's his personal life which doesn't affect his ability to be a stellar mayor. The age of consent ought to be 16 like it is in Washington, not 18. At 14 I was very much in control of 'grooming' a 28 year old man.
Here is a chance for Portland to grow beyond it limiting, (gay and straight), puritanical idealism. I fortunately did years ago.
Lying about one's personal sex life is not quite the same as lying about city affairs! Reminds me of Rick Warren's assertion that gay marriage can be put in the same category as any other sort of far fetched hypothetical marriage scenario.
This hard learned lesson will only make Sam a more humble, mature, sensible and most of all, more likely to be a super honest mayor.
In response the the Police Union Rep (Scott). Police have killed unarmed men and women and kept their job. The mayor lying about sex deserves the same leniency as them.
It's complicated. When a 40-something man dates an 18-year old girl, people just shrug and say it won't last/it's a mid-life crisis/whatever, but they don't call it a scandal.
I don't care who our politicians sleep with, as long as both are consenting adults. On one hand, he should not have lied. But on the other, I feel like it's not something he should have been asked about to begin with. I'd rather hear him talk about his political position than former love interests.
Also--I was reading a post on Willamette Week's website yesterday (you can read it here: http://wweek.com/wwire/?p=19857) and noticed this paragraph: "All this comes two days after Mayor Sam Adams confessed to having lied about having sex with a teenager." A TEENAGER?!?! He was 18. Last time I checked, 18 was a legal ADULT. Just because you say "-teen" when you say 18, doesn't mean that the word "teenager" isn't entirely misleading and unfair.
(Full disclosure: I am a former Willamette Week intern.)
I have some questions for the WW reporter:
1. Who in Sam's office expressed concern?
2. Did they express this concern to you, i.e. the press>?
3. Who do YOU, personally have sex with?
4. Who were YOU, personally, having sex with in 2005?
5. I'm really hot, and I look older than I am. Will you have sex with me?
6. I'm really, really hot, and I'm totally in love with you. I am so attractive to you, personally, as to be irresistible, and I'm throwing myself at you. Now will you have sex with me? I'm really good! I promise I won't tell anyone! Please?
I'm not thinking this isn't a serious issue that should have serious consequences but Mr. Westman seems to be saying is that we can only have perfect people in positions of any kind of power.
Let's not miss the point here. The young man was a legislative intern at the time that Sam was a city Commissioner. How is this not abuse of power? Also, let's raise the question of the private consulting firm hired by Sam to cover this story and coach Mr. Breedlove to lie.
The question is whether he lied about sex with a minor. If he did, he should resign. If not, and when and if all parties swear under oath that he did not, he should fight it. If everyone agrees UNDER OATH, with no contradiction, the issue becomes one of trusting an admitted liar, and he should fight through the recall process. We get to choose.
About lies:How many homosexuals, when they were young, lied to stay in the closet and still do? The guy was 18 when Sam had sex with him: Elvis waited to have sex with Pricilla, even though she was 14 when he started chasing her, and we made him KING.
To say you should only ask a politician about "legality" issues is ridiculous. In my opinion, they should also be asked about issues of judgment, since they are hired by us to make judgments on our behalf every day. Whether legal or not, his relationship with Beau Breedlove as well as his lying about it shows very poor judgment, questionable character and maturity, and it sours my confidence in him as our mayor.
Mary put her finger on it. We have so many other important things to do.
I think this brings up the issue that journalists have the obligation to prioritize what they make public based on what is best for our great city. This an unneccesary distraction from the work we have ahead of us.
Honesty is the most needed moral quality of a good leader. Sadly, we haven't seeing it in Sam Adams. Despite the fact that he is highly energetic, loves the city and wants to lead it through challenging times, he has lost the trust of many. It will be difficult for him to lead without the trust of the people. This is very sad for him and for all of us.
We know Sam lied, but what about the punishment fitting the crime? I would ask Scott Westerman: if a police officer lied about having an affair outside his marriage, would he/she be asked to resign? This is a matter of trust, not a matter of malfeasance.
I TAKE OFFENSE WITH THE CALLERS NOTION THAT THEIR IS A "FINE LINE" BETWEEN "SELF PRESERVATION AND LYING".
A FINE LINE?
THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM OF OUR SOCIETY.....
WE HAVE NO STANDARD OF RIGHT AND WRONG AND WILL SUFFER AS A RESULT....
There is a fine line. If I lie not to have my family killed in the Rwandan genocide, it is an appropriate and morally sound lie. Of course Mr. Adams situation is not commensurate, but the concept is the same. Lies are not evil or even necessarily wrong.
I have no problem with Adams having concentual sex with an adult.
The problem is that he lied about it. It makes me wonder what
else he lied about or will lie about. He says that Breedlove
was 18 years old at the time. Is that a lie too?
It was irresponsible of him to take the position of mayor, a
position that demands a high degree of public trust, then
to shatter that trust. Without trust, he becomes ineffective.
He should resign. We should be allowed to choose a new mayor,
one who isn't suspected of dishonesty.
I am with the current caller - what's with the whole 'grooming' thing??? If it was an 18 year old female would she be being 'groomed' to be...what? a woman? Geeze. Talk about homophobia... 18 is old enough to vote and certainly old enough to know what you want to do and try, even if you don't settle on it for the rest of your life. Bottom line folk, EVERYONE lies about sex. What does this have to do with politics?
I find this whole discussion a bit unseemly, not to mention riddled with hypocrisy. We can court a 17-year-old for recruitment to the military, we can try a 17-year-old as an adult, saying a 17-year-old is not mature enough to contemplate a relationship is the equivalent of using the arbitrarily drawn definition of "adult" when it serves our convenience. A mentor has dinner with a mentee .... So what? I wonder if a homosexual male mentor took a mentee to dinner if we would have questioned the reasons for having dinner?
As a homosexual mentor I can say that no one would question me taking my mentee to dinner. The questionable behavior has to do with the fact that this mentor had sex with the mentee. And then used city funds to hire a consulting firm to cover the behavior and the subsequent lies.
The reporter is lying when he says this is not about sex. Would this be a story if the mayor had lied about not smoking, but secretly snuck a cigarette sometimes? Or even if he had problems with impotency, but lied about it?
There may be a judgement issue here for the mayor - but the issue is all about the sex. We need to question this reporter on his judgement, lying about the real issue.
When Adams first denied the whole thing & he said it was the worst kind of attack because it reinforces stereotypes of gay men as predators. At the time I thought Ball was the worst kind of queer, willing to throw members of his own community under the bus to promote his own career. Now, of course, we know it was Adams doing the throwing. He showed his true colors in his initial response to these accusations. For his own political gain (the mayoral race) he accused a fellow member of the queer community of trying to scare people by playing on fears & stereotypes held by some people. I expected more from Adams. Especially with things of this nature. He should know better. He DOES know better, as shown by his initial response! I think when one chooses a career as a public official, that you sacrifice some things, it comes with the job. I don't think elected officials should be "just like the rest of us" they have control & access to public funds & public policy, I need the person in charge of that to hold themselves to higher standards.
--With great power comes great responsibility--
I do not think the comparisons to Goldschmidt are fair. I think it takes away from the crime that Goldschmidt committed & puts it on the level of a consensual relationship that happened between two adults. What Goldschmidt did was NOT consensual. I myself have dated people many years my senior, but dating them did nothing for my career, I did not stand to make any gains from it, nor did they hold any sort of real or assumed power/influence over me. The fact that Breedlove worked with Adams, calls into Adams own awareness or abuse of the power/influence he might have over Breedlove. The fact that he though it was a good decision to peruse a relationship with an 18 yr old while running for office, is just short sited & stupid on Adam?s part. I?m not judging him for dating someone younger than himself, I am judging him for not recognizing his own privilege & ultimately having such a big ego that even though he KNEW the potential stereotypes that were out there, that he knew the potential damage it could cause to not only his career, to his reputation, not to mention Beau?s life. All of this & he couldn?t make the decision to just walk away from the situation. He could not resist the temptation. And for THAT, I think Adams might not have the perspective, the self control, the temperance, and the judgment to be the mayor of Portland.
If Adams believes there is/was nothing wrong with a person over 40 sleeping with an 18 year old, he should have come out & said so when the charges were originally made. This might have cost him the election, but I kind of doubt it. Considering the other options we had, I think he still would have had a great shot (didn?t he win like 58 % to 33%???). Instead he chose to lie to the public his friends & family & throw his fellow gay candidate under the bus. It also deserves to be said that this is not a story we haven?t heard before. Straight or gay it seems white men with power have a lot in common. All that being said, I don?t think Adams should resign. I think we should give him the 6 mo until a recall could happen as a trial period. If he could accomplish things & show that his office will operate in an open & transparent way, then maybe Portland won?t recall him. But ultimately, he showed poor judgment & was irresponsible & will have to face the consequences.
As fascinating as this discussion is (and, it really is) I find it moot. Sam Adams's future as mayor is over. Frankly I'm surprised he hasn't resigned yet--he'll be out in 48 hours. Credibility is lost.
I personally think he should resign but even if I had strong feelings that he is the victim it doesn't matter--he has no ability to do his job anymore.
Anyone seeking public office cannot expect to maintain a discreet sex life. So while I do believe in general that what goes on between consenting adults is nobody's business, I don't think that exclusion goes for someone in public office. Moreover, I think it's entirely unlikely that Sam Adams would've been elected mayor had he been openly involved in a gay sexual relationship with an 18 year old so now tha his cover's been blown, I think his resignation is entirely called for
I think the thing that makes me the most disappointed is that Mayor Adams is a gay man in public life and this scandal gives fuel to homophobics. It reinforces gay stereotypes and makes it harder for other gay politicians in the future.
Like others, I absolutely agree that Sam Adams should not have lied. The bigger questions is why he was asked the question in the first place. It is no one's business who he chooses to sleep with. And while lying may not have been the right decision, I think given what the city and the country is up against, this is not relevant.
I think about the inaugural address given by Obama on Tuesday, where he said that it will take all of us, that we need to put down childish issues, and frankly grow up in order to solve the crisis that is before us. Now is the time for us to heed his words and heal from this distraction and then all work together to solve the real, true problems of this city and country.
The police officer said that he was "grooming" a relationship with a 17 year old. Where is it that courtship or dating turns into "grooming"? Isn't that the appropriate process for creating and establishing an appropriate relationship given the circumstances. It's amazing to me that resignation is on the table. So Sam "lied," he then came clean on a major public level. We want example setting. What a great example. Ok so a fib is made, isn't coming clean the healthiest choice that can be made? And the best example to set. Staring straight in the face of the public and say "I'd like to correct myself"
Also, if this would have taken place in the state of Washington there would be no case.
Further, has there been any thought by the reporters investigating this case about Bo's well being. His privacy has been totally exploited and no longer can lead a private life.
I agree with most listeners that NPR which was inline with BBC for facts and real news is turning in sensationalist news bureau in last couple years. When america is at cross roads and we are asked to redefine hitory, we are wasting airwaves and precious time discussing someones sex scandal. Dotn we get these news on other channels anyways. Nobody can be completely trutcful about sex life in general. We should move on to other things. I bet every one on the panel and the audience have had sex or before 18 in one way or the other. That doesn't makes every one a bad person. Lets fix nation and quick harping sex news.
I think it was the Soviet Beria who said something like "you show me the person you want to be the criminal and I'll find you the crime".
Let's get government out of peoples bedrooms. And lets get journalists out also.
Let's leave people private lives alone and judge politicians on their work for the public.
Oh, and I am against Sen. Larry Craig's politics but I don't think he was treated at all fairly and justly by both the law and his Republican Party. His sex life ought to be his own business and not that of the Government. Craig was a very good Republican and his Party lost a lot by attacking him.
And President Clinton should not have been asked about his private sex life, that was just a sleazy Big Government Big Brother Conservative tactic to attack him.
Forty five minutes ago I was leaning toward thinking that Sam Adams should step down. After hearing comments from Mr. Jacquiss and Mr. Westerman, I have changed my mind.
Sam Adams was asked unethical, and what sound like agenda-driven, questions. Scandal or not (no crime has been found), Sam Adams has the potential to be one of the best, most innovative mayors this city has seen....he has a tremendous amount of work to do to regain our trust.
And on discipline -- every day parents must enforce rules that they, themselves have broken. It is reality.
Regarding Sam Adams, the point is trust, truth-telling and leadership. A life partner (male) of my sister behaved in a similar way to Mr Adams. This ex-family member "groomed" a teenager at a high school (the ex-family member was a teacher-on-call) over time until she was 18, then the ex-family member began a sexual relationship with the young woman. When the lies, denials and the cover-up came to light, my sister and our family were devastated. The lies, denials and prompts to lead a teenager to lie are inexcusable. Mr Adams has demonstrated poor leadership qualities and can't be trusted as mayor.
To the parent concerned about setting examples about lying:
Do you want the example set for your daughter to be that you will get punished for apologizing?
Yes, parents (and everyone) want people to "come clean" after a lie, and yes, parents will punish infractions even after an admission, but there has to be some recognition that confessing partially redeems the lie. Trust is regained after the apology. That's the point. Otherwise the lesson for everyone is continue to "dodge" at all costs.
We look to our media outlets to explore the truth of our world, the question leads to whether a law was broken.
The problem I see is the response of Sam and his Staff to the question. The lie of course reeks of coverup. The hiring of a consultant and couch to aid in that coverup is in excusiable. They turned this from a simple question which should have had a simple answer into a question of what are the appropriate means and methods of our public officials. Can we move forward with an administration who are willing to do what ever needs to be done to protect their interest at the exspense of the publics interest. This is what we are moving away from on the national level, let's move away from it in oregon. Lets have a transparent, open, truthfull Government.
A question for clarification: Has Mr. Adams actually used city money - to pay for a consultant, public relations, or to hire a reporter to a city position - for the purpose of cover up? Use of public funds to promote a lie seems like a good reason for resigning or being impeached, regardless of whether criminal behavior occurred.
Nancy Westrell, Portland
I agree and can not believe this point was not brought to the fore in the discussion. I want to know more about this very important component of the story. If city funds were used to orchestrate a cover up, that alone is enough for me to ask Sam to resign.
I'm a little disappointed OPB and other news networks are spending so much time covering this issue. I don't care who he had sex with, beyond the interest in 'gossip' that I think everyone has. It isn't newsworthy beyond the initial announcement and apology. It's not important! Is the next Talk Out Loud going to be about Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston's 'feud' over Brad Pitt? Give me a break!
People are being bombed with phosphorous in Palestine, hate crimes are perpetrated daily in this country, gay marriage is illegal and people are trying to make abortion illegal too. There are SO MANY more important things to talk about.
Of course he lied about this relationship. You would have too. Maybe you wouldn't have pursued this relationship, but that doesn't give you the right to judge him. Let's move on and get back to the real issues in this city.
Here is the line of questioning I would like to hear on air:
It's too reductive to zoom in on whether a lie was told, if we don't also ask what questions the lie was responding to.
In particular, this analysis explodes one of the reporter's arguments. The mayor can still fire employees for lying *if* they are lying about on-the-job performance matters. He should not fire them for lying about their personal lives. There is no moral problem here. (There *is* some muckraking.)
Yep, this is just "Yellow Journalism".
Not ten years have passed since we allowed a populist, progressive, and successful President to be dragged down in a storm of sanctimony over lies about a sexual liaison. The reactionary regime that replaced him embroiled us in war and recession that will be with us for a long time to come. Surely, the city of Portland can learn from our nation's mistakes.
Indite Sam for one month of "grooming behavior"? Are we inditing people for thought crimes now?
I do not like liars....I don't really care what the lie is about. It shows a character flaw which I find repugnant and loathsome. Sam has admitted he is a liar.
Just a vote in support of the mayor ...
This discussion makes me angry. What consenting adults do in privacy is not our business. Ask any of these vociferous accusers potentially embarrassing questions in public and they will lie too. A person is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty in our system, yet we continue to lynch in the press and the media with discussions like these. If there was a crime committed, I will be the first to call for his resignation. But lets keep these sickening gossip sessions to ourselves until such a thing has been proved.
We are so incredibly hypocritical about sexual behavior in this country. We allow marketers to shamelessly use it in their promotions. We subject our children to innapropriate sexual images daily. We look the other way when music stars cavort with minors ( or marry them like Elvis who still remains exaulted) Semi nude shots of 15 year old teen stars are considered art ( Mylie Cyrus).
I am disappointed in Think Out Loud
It is not about sex --- it is about lying under pressure to protect himself --- who can trust a person who has done that and only admitted the lie under intense pressure? Would you accept that in a relationship?
Don't lie to me about sex in a sexual relationship.
Don't lie to me about politics in a political relationship.
I'm still happy with my political relationship with our Mayor. Sam will do good things for Portland if we can just scold, forgive, and get over this.
It is not that he had sex with a 'questionable' partner --- we pretty much have all done that --- it is that he lied about it in such a blatant fashion -- what else might he lie about in order to protect himself in a moment of intense pressure? An dconvince others to lie as well?
This sounds like a fundamentalist witch hunt. It is too bad the mayor didn't put up appropriate boundaries around his personal life when the intrusive question was posed to him. Diana Sanger
I have 3 points:
1) Response to police representative: Sam is NOT asking us to not discipline him. He clearly said he expects to be punished for this for quite a while and he has a long journey of reconciliation ahead.
2) A recall or resignation will cost the city A LOT more than forgiving this "inappropriate" relationship and moving on. A new election, new staff, training all around. Let's get over this. Sam has been punished and humiliated enough - having to apologize during the most important inauguration of our lifetime, enduring years and months of interrogation over a petty matter.
3) I am confident that Nigel Jaquiss would not have pursued this story as deeply if this were about a different subject matter. Not only in his writing and his reporting does he sound intrigued by Beau Breedlove but sounds like he is clearly excited by the juiciness of the matter and aware of how much notoriety it would get him from the WW. Kenneth Starr comes to mind.
Former US Attorney General Ed Meese was under investigation for a variety of improprieties and ethical lapses while serving under Ronald Reagan. After being "exonerated", he proclaimed proudly that he was subject to "NO Indictable Offenses".
Assuming that Adams did nothing illegal (an open question), is that the standard that we want for a mayor? If we liberals hated it for Meese, why would we endorse it for Adams?
This idea of "grooming" is silly. Isn't this exactly what we would want to tell our children to do? If you want a sexual relationship, you need to wait until both parties are 18 years old. It is certainly what I will tell my children.
Sam Adam's behavior is indicative of the way his governs. He devoted a tremendous amount of time to pursuing and covering this relationship. His staff knew about this relationship, Beau and Sam left City Hall together, he helped Breedlove get a job, his staff hired an unqualified reporter to head its sustainability effort (the cornerstone of his new administration) and he paid advisers to coach Beau. WWeek did a great job pursuing this story. Sam Adam's hubris blinded his integrity and robbed him of his ability to lead.
Kudos to WWEEK
Sam Adams was indignant when he was originally asked about his relationship with Beau Breedlove. That self righteousness and indignation is unforgivable particularly in the face of both his 2007 and very recent denials. It is a sad story. He abused his position and has eroded the trust of the community.
My concern extends beyond the appropriateness of the relationship; I'm worried about what his orchestrated cover-up (and his attack on Robert Ball) reflects about how he governs.
One of the issues raised by the Willamette Week story is whether Sam Adams' office hired Amy Ruiz, then a Mercury reporter, for a position as a sustainability policy analyst (for which she is unqualified, in a town with many experts on sustainability) -- either as a reward for not pursuing the story or to prevent her from pursuing it in the future. Adams has denied this motive, and in fact denied even knowing his office was hiring Ruiz until she showed up there.
It seems like a fairly implausible claim on Adams' part in any case; knowing now how he has schemed and lied in the past, I have no reason to believe this claim. I can only imagine how this will affect the governance of Portland in the long term, when neither the residents of the city, nor other elected officials, nor Sam Adam's own staff, nor members of the press can distinguished when our mayor is telling the truth and when he is lying, viciously and selfishly.
I was proud to have America's first openly gay mayor. But this is not about Sam's sexuality. It's about his desire to deceive and manipulate, qualities that have nothing to do with sexual orientation but have a lot to do with the ability to serve the city.
Nigel at the Willamette Week was pursuing a big story. To that end I feel that he asked the wrong question early on in this whole scandal and waited for largest impact. It is none of our business who/what Mr Breedlove and Sam Adams chose to do with as long as it is not illegal. I trust him still. I gave up the Willamette Week a long time ago.
I had a question to Sam. It is unfortunate I will not get to ask it. I am a 42 year old gay man with a son and a husband living in Portland, Oregon. Sam was supposed to be in Washington DC Tuesday speaking Truth to the Power of the likes of Rev. Warren that gay men ARE NOT pedophiles. Yes, I know you say the relationship did not start until he was 18, but the attraction started at 17, and you lied. Even though I did not vote for you, I had the expectation that I could show to my son that gay men can speak truth to power.
What would you say to my son, Sam?
Nigel Jaquiss lied when he said the issue is not about sex.
He should resign.
Perhaps the Seattle P-I would take him on?
This is not an issue on whether or not he has good/bad judgement, but rather, a personal preference in the public eye.
Sam likes younger men.
thats it, and unless either he or his lovers decide to confess some legal issue, we are pressing this topic into peoples head that his sexual preferences are strong political character flaws.... which they arent.
we wouldn't ask if he likes whips and chains in bed, just as much as we wouldnt ask if likes younger men.
Sam should go back to work. If he's not effective and can't lead, we'll know soon enough -- and certainly in enough time to recall him. There are many threads to this story -- Did WW overstep in its reporting? Is Sam being held to a different standard because he's gay? Is his lie about sex indicative of his ability to be honest and forthright in his job as mayor? All of these are interesting, but the most important question cannot be answered by jawboning. The answer lies in what happens after he goes back to work.
1. Credibility -- He lied about the over 18 relationship. His credibility pre-18 is seriously suspect.
2. Were this a heterosexual incident and it was a 40 something and an 18 year old young woman, he would have been hounded out of town by now.
The real issue is that he lied to get elected. It throws the election into doubt. Would he have won the election if he had told the truth?
Sam Adams, as an elected official, is expected to live up to a certain standard of conduct.
I don't care if Beau Breedlove was 15, 17, 18, or 21. He's less than half Sam's age, and not capable of the level of maturity or decision making as that of a 42 year old man. What do you really think that Sam's motivation was in establishing a relationship with this young man?
Sam is a sexual predator and, as far as I'm concerned, a pedophile. Personally, I don't care if Sam is straight or gay.
Sam also serves to perpetuate the theory that homosexuality is a deviant behaviour, and that all gays are out there looking to molest our children. This is a huge dis-service to the rest of the gays and lesbians out there who choose to live in monogamous relationships.
The idea that we need to move on because "technically this is not a crime" is ridiculous and is merely an effort to rationalize the behaviour.
Sam needs to go, and he needs to go now, out of respect for our community, straights and gays alike.
It's unfair to present the argument of 'if someone lies about his private, legal life, that he would lie about the city's business.' I, too, have a shadow of doubt about Sam, but I am willing to let go of it and give a second chance to a politician I've supported in the past. We have to remember that the more time and attention we spend on this issue, the less time we have to concentrate on fixing potholes, schools, improving public transit, local economy, etc...
This city has more important things to concentrate on than who its mayor has sex with. Perhaps Sam should reiterate his agenda for this city and ask us, the citizens, to give him the leeway to get started on it. We could all take this opportunity to reflect on our past errors in judgment and just let go of this "story."
As a side note: Sexual orientation isn't the issue. When Clinton lied about his improprieties, the response was very similar.
Sam is a grownup -- he can make his own decisions about his private life, but as a grownup he should also know that [i]lying is never the right approach[/i]. As I tell my elementary-school aged kids (who, by the way, look up to Sam very much), lying will always get you into more trouble than you would be in if you just tell the truth.
Now, I don't think Sam needed to go into great detail about his legal relationship with Breedlove. We don't need those kinds of admissions--we just don't need that information. But he certainly should have said, "Not an issue...moving on."
The unfortunate result of Sam's lies is that this "scandal" is hitting us just at a moment of great hope in our country. At the very moment -- literally! -- when Portlanders were watching our new president take the reins of our country, here come Sam and Willamette Week to destroy that hope.
The fact that he felt pressured into making a false statement about his relationship, and that he lied in that statement, shows that he is short on wisdom and maybe lacking good judgment. And what Portland needs most is someone we can trust to act in the best interests of the City and in the best interests of himself.
Further, the fact that he and his staff decided to hold his press conference on Tuesday, January 20, at 1:30pm -- at the very moment when President Obama and the First Lady bravely and joyfully stepped out of their armored limousine to wave to the crowd in the Inauguration Parade -- shows bad judgment in itself. Bad timing. Please, wait until a day or two after the inauguration. Don't hold a press conference that humiliates the entire city of Portland right during this moment of great progress for the country.
Two steps forward for the country, one giant step backward for our city. Thanks, Sam.
At first hearing about the scandal on inauguration day, I thought it was WW out to get Sam.
But upon reading WW yesterday, it was a carefully crafted story about lying and discrediting someone who tried to bring out the truth. I was so proud of Portland, electing an openly gay man and an environmental activist. The fact he lied is the issue for me, not the sex or anything regarding his personal life. But he brought it into the public himself, and lied over and over again.
I am struggling though about where I stand. What is best for our city? I remember President Clinton lying about Monica and he kept his job. I hated him for it and have a much lower opinion of him now.
My teenage kids say all politicians lie, why should we put Sam up to a different standard.
My intolerance for lying is firm, but I do believe in forgiveness. Yesterday I wanted him to resign, but after talking to my kids, I am searching more. Have I ever lied? Yes. Am I sorry, yes. Should I have lost my job, no. When the lying is directly related to your job, it is an absolute for me. I know most people do not share that view.
When is lying o.k.? I am trying to teach my kids not to lie, but when a mayor, a former governor and a former president lie and suffer embarrassment, but not to lose their job, how do we explain when it is o.k. to lie.
More research on my part. I will try to follow Amanda's lead and hold my judgement.
Wow, this is a tough one.
I appreciate your struggle to find your moral ground here. I think it's important to keep this in perspective. At least two people have brought up the issue of teaching children not to lie. When you kids lie, do you pull them out of school?, permanently suspend their allowance?, talk about it for days and days and days?
No. Caller Pete said it best: the mayor isn't your child and your child isn't the mayor. In talking to your children, perhaps the parents' angle should be "It was wrong for Sam Adams to lie, but it was also wrong to be asked about his private life. Now DO your homework!"
Sam needs to step down. The issue is solely about integrity and the ability of the mayor to be up front with the citizens of this city in all decision making involving his office.
I do not care a whit about Sam Adams' sexuality -- I'm gay myself -- but I do care that he lied and compounded the lie by asking others to lie on his behalf. This is not about sexuality, either, regardless of the genders or ages involved at the time the alleged incident(s) took place. It completely matters that the issue means that Sam Adams denied a toxic event(s) in his life in order to gain the City of Portland's most powerful public office, which suggests an immature ruthlessness of character. That the mayor claims he's shamed and embarrassed at this point is not enough.
He has cost this city money it doesn't have available and the investigation will further cost the state, county and city more money and precious time that should be used for programs in a terrible fiscal period.
Yes, Sam should voluntarily step down, immediately.
~Kevin Bunker, North Portland
I've been a chief steward of a large public employees union. The police union official is exhibiting false, screaming hysteria. There is NO connection between Adams lying and the city being able to discipline an employee. NONE.
Plus, when has the police union EVER let ANY attempted discipline stand against ANY officer, no matter how flagrant the violation of public trust - up to and including needless, senseless deaths? EVERY time the police union appeals and EVERY time they win.
It's ridiculous to hear this guy crying his crocodile tears.
I suspect that the woman caller who said she was sick of the press making stories out of politicians' sex lives echoed a wide-spread sentiment. I would have hoped that, particularly after the Clinton/Lewinsky story we would have learned something about both the triviality and the hypocracy of alleged politician sex-life stories. The bigger story here should be one of journalistic ethics. Many of Nigel's comments sound like the worn-out battle cry of Clinton's accusers ("He lied"). Most of us don't care if someone lies about their sex life, primarily because we believe that the questions are inappropriate to begin with. Perhaps this will be the sex scandal where the spotligh finally turns and focuses, not on the accused, but the accuser.
I am not looking at a transcript of his words, but it appears that the police union prez, as a police officer, is obliged to know about our legal system well enough that he NOT presume to punish anyone for anything without a conviction.
A person who cannot thus abide by our constitution does not belong in such a position of public trust.
This was the "have you stopped beating your wife" type of questioning, particularly sleazy on the part of the journalist.
Willammete Week has done it again: Portland's very own "perpetrator of sleeze" is chest beating (or grovelling) in their holy medium?creating scandal. To borrow on a pop-phrase lobbied against sex offenders, THIS (for profit) publication, and THIS reporter are the genuine PREDATORS here- jacking up the public's outrage, citing their wanna-be noble motivation with that uphemism about "telling the truth."
Well "guys" (WW) how to you justify your "moral outrage" about unconventional sex/public official with all of your call-for-phone-sex ads in the back of your paper (which arguably encourage people to focus on sex...)
As to Sam Adams and the RESULT of this
This story is not about lying and integrity. It's unlikely that Sam's lie was the single, solitary lie told during the mayoral campaign. Sam's biggest mistake was getting caught.
The core of the issue is that even supposedly left, liberal Portlanders adhere to the same conservative ideals regarding personal and sexual relationships they claim to repudiate. Sam knew this, and that's why he lied.
I am deeply disappointed in Portland for not standing behind the man we elected, who will be an outstanding mayor.
This issue and the amount of attention it is getting speaks more to our warped society than it does to anything else. For most of my life, I have been blasted with images of anorexic young girls and teen-aged boys that are used to try and sell everything from cars to toothpaste. Shades of Clinton - Sam Adams goofed. It is bad judgement for an adult to get involved with an 18-year old. He will have to figure that out - Im sure this has been a lesson for him. When this comes up we feel obligated to say "We are shocked! Shocked I tell you!"
Give me a break. No one has broken a law. He has been publicly embarassed and I think we can be confident that he will be on his toes - and that is a far higher standard than most of us will ever reach.
Hang in there Mayor Adams. We live in a city of reason and reasonable people will move past this.
This ridiculous! How can an Ethic Professor hem and haw about whether it is right to lie? The whole idea behind ethics is to say of things are right or if they are wrong. I find it hard to believe that relative ethics is so prevalent that even a specialist on ethics is bowing to the pressure and not taking a stand to say that lying is wrong. Our whole civilization is based on honesty, we cannot function without it and when we fail to value speaking truth, we will see it continue to decay all around us.
I feel most people lie about their sex lives. Whether it is about who they have sex with or the frequency. Our society passes judgement all too often when it comes to other people's sex lives, and as a result, has made it difficult to be honest about sex.
There is no reason Adams should lose his job for trying to protect his and his (of-age) sexual partner's privacy.
We have been through 8 years of true lies, war crimes, and utter incompetence from Bush and his co-conspirators. He kept his job while telling far more serious lies. Thousands have lost their lives because he chose to lie over and over again.
There were no consequences (not yet anyway) for Bush, Cheney & Company. Why are we wasting our time passing our elementary judgments on Adam's bedroom behavior, when we have way more serious issues to deal with in Portland and beyond?
I voted for Sam Adams.
His lying is understandable, considering the circumstances, as it was for Bill Clinton. The problem, for me, is why he lied. He knew he had done something horribly wrong. As a father of a teenager and a high school teacher, I find his decision making regarding relations with an 18 year old that is in a formal internship relationship with him appalling. How would the population feel if one of their teenager's teachers were to have sex with them soon after their 18th birthday? I would feel outraged. I would imagine that teacher would also lose their job. I think you would have a very difficult time finding anybody that would disagree with that.
Why should we hold our mayor to lower ethical standards that we hold thousands of school teachers? I generally see sexual relationships between authority figures and young people under their charge as an abuse of power. When that authority figure bides their time, waiting for a magical date to arrive at which point their act will be legal, I find it downright creepy. It is not illegal, but had I know this about Sam Adams I would not have voted for him.
Step down, Sam.
I was looking forward to this program. But I'm sad that the majority of the hour seemed to get wasted on past issues instead of moving forward.
Many of us are shocked at the media for pushing this issue in the first place to sell papers. Now we are even more upset that the many of the media is within a day or two of the story publicly telling Sam to Resign.
I don't think Sam should be treated like a criminal yet. And there shouldn't be a burning at the stake so fast. I'm sorry the Police Union feels so strongly that Sam is not apt to be in charge over covering up a personal story that he feared would ruin his reputation as a public leader. It's true lies tend to resurface. Can we forgive Sam for poor judgment on not telling the truth. In current times I don't think it is easy being openly gay as a Politician, there are many people who do wish Sam, would be at the back of the bus or not even on the bus. I don't like lying in politics, or cover ups that involve other people, but I don't think its enough to show Sam as having bad character, especially after 20 years of service and it's too bad, that many people are jumping on the bandwagon to bring him down.
I agree that Amanda Fritz is doing a good job being the level head here. And so far as I've read or heard not publicly scrutinizing Sam Adams as other commissioners are. The commissioners need to stand together in support, or it won't work.
As an independent artist in the city I have trust in Sam to be my Mayor.
THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES:
In a utopia it would probably always be wrong to lie. Planet earth, and yes, even Portland---isn't a utopia. I lied for much of my youth, because I was in a repressive family, who could and would not accept who I was. This was not wrong. I lied about sexuality. I lied about belief or disbelief in god. Lies like this make logical, ethical and moral sense. The lie is a sacred (often misunderstood) cow!
DO NOT RESIGN!!
These are two consenting adult men. What is the issue? Many of our 18 year old men have gone to Afganastan and Iraq to die. Are we saying we can trust him with a gun to kill and be killed but we don't trust him to make personal decision on his sexual behavior?
Who cares if Sam Adams was not truthful with regard to his personal relationships? Do we ask every politician, "who have you had sex with?" What next do we ask "When?"; "How many times?", "Was it good for you?"; "Was it good for them?"; "What positions do you like best?"?
If he was lying about his resume, or if he was arrested for a crime then I would agree that he should resign. However these are only personal attacks.
The speaker from the law enforcement union really served the public an injustice. I imagine public employees especially law enforcement professioanls are angry, but his comments really were proposed to incite rather than clarify the situation.
I reject the addition of the comment about "grooming" behavior and the reference to teachers' conduct in this discussion. Flirtation or conversation unless deemed to be harassment is not prosecuted. Professionals observe a code of conduct with specific legal desriptors, harassment, coersion, inapproriate physical or sexual contact, etc. In my understanding grooming is a psychological term. All kinds of behaviors could be interpreted as grooming but are not illegal. In this discussion it only serves to confuse the public in a situation where no crime has been proven.
The speaker was very simplistic in their view that Sam could not lead or judge city employees who are being disciplined for lying. A city employee who lies about a professional matter should face consequences in that regard. Lies about their personal lives within the law are outside of the juridstiction of the mayor and the rest of us who are not involved.
A lie about a politician's personal life is unfortunate but does not always reflect their reliability in their professional life. It is unfortunate that they are subject to such inapproriate questions from the press. An appropriate question would have been regarding the age of his sexual partner, nothing else. Sam's inaccurate answer to an innappropriate question has jeopardized his career and the opportunity for sound leadership for our city. Is there accountability for the journalists who ask inappropriate questions? Are their careers or reputations jeopardized? Sex sells, so is any question fair game? What is the code of conduct for jounalists?
I hope Sam weathers this scandal. Our city will benefit from his leadership.
Sam did nothing illegal? He smeared a rival with his lie. That is illegal and immoral.
And he did it to obtain a powerful public office. That is scary.
The second point is he asked someone else to lie for him.
Third is he said (I can't find the quote) that to do what he was accused of would be poor judgment, and you can be sure he didn't do it because his judgment couldn't be that bad.
It isn't a question of do I think its poor judgment, HE thinks its poor judgment for him in his position to have sex with an 18 year old.
Fourth is that he was exceedingly vigorous over a period of years in promoting the lie.
It took a lot of work, a lot of time. It was the BIG lie that says: I must be telling the truth because no one would be this vigorous in defending a lie.
Fifth he was steadfast in maintaining the lie until it became untenable. It wasn't an attack of conscience that caused him to confess.
A politician had a sexual relationship with an 18 year old. If it had been with an 18 year old woman, would it be wrong? If the politician were a woman, and the 18 year old a man, would there be a crime? If the issue is that the sex was with an 18 year old "teenager" and that is offensive, then work to change the law of consent to an older age rather than judge the person using our own personal morals. Is equality practiced in Portland?
Are we guilty of being offensive by asking consenting adults if they have sex together? More or less guilty than the consenting adult who lies in answer to the question? Do politicians fall into a special class of people who must answer questions we would never ask of the general public? Where is accountability and who should make apologies? The politician who lies in response to the inappropriate question, or the public who asks the inappropriate question? Equality?
Sam Adams is imperfect. He?s also a dedicated, knowledgeable, proven civil servant with obvious love of and vision for Portland. Unless he had sex with a minor, his worst offense was to panic and lie about a relationship -- which is ironic, considering how honest he's been about himself in the past.
Now he?s had a painful and valuable lesson at the beginning of his term. We should forgive him and move on.
The City Commissioners know him well and are probably in the best position to evaluate whether or not this will truly hurt their effectiveness together. I would be willing to let them decide whether he stay or goes.
But I personally vote for accepting his apology and getting back to work. Like Barack says, "what works?" We'd be foolish to throw out a (im)perfectly good mayor over something like this.
Our culture is so confused about sex. This is none of anyone's business. The relationship didn't become sexual until the age of 18 so there is no legal issue here. Adams knowing how sex, especially gay male sex with partners spanning a large age gap, is so stigmatized by our culture, had no choice but to lie. I would have done the same thing and I think this in no way jeopardizes his ability and integrity as Mayor. Leave it alone. Support him and urge him not to resign over this at the rally tomorrow. It saddens me that our culture is even cares about others sex lives. There has been no wrong doing here.
Plenty of us have had relationships we regret. It is unfortunate that he lied about it. Don't we have more important issues to discuss than this? Leave him be!
The most important issue here is the position of Mayor of Portland. We want a highly qualified candidate in office who can lead our beautiful city into the future. In light of recent events, is Sam Adams that leader?
This scandal is ripe with so many tangents, it's crucial to focus on the central issue. We could easily digress into conversations revolving around the ethics involved. For example an elected official romantically involved with a high school intern. But we need to stay focused on the real issue: Does Sam Adams possess the qualities we want as the mayor of Portland?
The answer is no. Recent events practically scream poor decision making. Very clearly there was an obvious, prudent and wise decision to make, and Sam Adams failed.
In our democratic society, our leaders reflect their people. This is most obvious with former President Bush. He was very unpopular worldwide and even though many of us vehemently disagreed with his policies, he was still our representative. To the majority of the world, Bush WAS the United States. The same applies to Mayor Sam Adams. Hopefully Portlanders can make the right decision where he could not. Hopefully we can show the rest of the nation that we the people are not poor decision makers.
Comments are now closed.