Earlier this month, the Oregonian broke the news that disgraced former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber “told his staff that new state energy policies should match those that special interests were paying his fiancée [Cylvia Hayes] to promote.” A public records investigation conducted by the paper revealed Kitzhaber sent an email from a private email address that stated,
“Cylvia needs to be advocating the same clean economy policy in her role as spokesperson/advocate for the Governor’s Office and her role as a Clean Economy fellow. There cannot be any daylight between them,” Kitzhaber wrote in August 2011. “This is another reason why she needs a role in developing the (state) policy itself.”
The memo directly contradicts claims made by Kitzhaber that his administration drew a line between Hayes’ outside paid work as a consultant for extreme “green” groups and her role as policy adviser and first lady.
Another memo reveals that Curtis Robinhold, Kitzhaber’s then chief-of-staff, warned his boss of the conflict of interest associated with Hayes’ work. Robinhold recommended that Hayes refrain from working on state energy policy while she was on contract with private clients with financial stakes in Oregon’s energy policy. For their part, Kitzhaber and Hayes both refused to recognize a conflict.
The Oregonian goes on to detail how Hayes championed the extreme green policies she was paid to promote in emails to Kitzhaber’s staff. The results worked in Hayes’ favor. The Oregonian,
“As her fellowship ended, Hayes entered into a $20,611 contract in February 2013 with another group opposing coal exports…
“In February 2014, Hayes emailed top staffers that her updated responsibilities for Kitzhaber included acting as his ‘surrogate and clean economy expert.’ That included coal.
Two months later, Kitzhaber surprised a crowd at an environmental group’s dinner with his firmest declaration yet about coal.
“‘It is time once and for all to say no to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest,’ he told the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.”
Hayes’ influence was not contained to Oregon. As Shift reported, Hayes attended four events with Washington state officials advocating for the use of a Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) (an alternative to gross domestic product that also takes into account a state’s social and environmental health). One of those meetings occurred in Inslee’s office. Hayes had a contract to advocate for the GPI during that time, accepting money from outside green groups while using her connections as Oregon’s first lady to set up meetings.
Wendy Korthuis-Smith, director of Inslee’s Results Washington program, denied knowledge that a contract existed. It is noteworthy that Inslee administration now uses both GPI and GDP as measurements of the state’s health.
That may be because someone very close to Inslee was rather taken with Hayes’ presentation of the benefits of the GPI. An email obtained by a recent public records request reveals that Trudi Inslee—wife of Jay Inslee—circulated an email to Inslee’s staff urging them to read a piece Hayes wrote advocating for a GPI. You can check out the email below:
The piece Trudi Inslee thinks is so “great” details a trip made by Hayes with Kitzhaber—presumably on Oregon taxpayers’ dime—to Bhutan. According to Hayes, Bhutan switched from using GDP to exclusively using a GPI. And, since she claims it worked there, she appears to believe that is enough evidence for the rest of the world to follow suit. Hayes wrote,
“This model should prove useful to the work we are doing in the U.S. to assist states in developing more effective measurements of progress and economic performance. So far four states—Oregon Maryland, Vermont and Utah—are moving forward with development of Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) initiatives.”
Shift has revealed evidence that links Hayes to Inslee’s administration in the past. You can check out those stories here and here.
Both Hayes and Kitzhaber are both under investigation by the FBI and IRS. According to lawyers interviewed by the Oregonian, the memos obtained via public records requests increase the likelihood of indictment.
One has to wonder if the Democrat/extreme environmental sleaze uncovered by reporters in Oregon will be oozing North anytime soon.
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