You can add blatant nepotism to the sketchy behavior of disgraced former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. The last batch of emails released by the state reveals that, on July 8, 2014, Kitzhaber sent his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, an email advocating she become “intimately involved” in writing Oregon’s state budget. Via the Oregonian,
“‘Because you would be a value add,’ he wrote about the expanded role for his first lady, before making clear that the budget work could help Hayes, too.
“‘It would be an invaluable experience for you,’ he continued, ‘if you decide to run for office in Oregon.’”
The emails released last week, which had been requested through the public records process over a year ago, reveal the lengths Kitzhaber went to include Hayes in his administration and place her in the spotlight. He sought to task her with both important and popular roles to boost her credibility. And, it was all to help Hayes’ political ambitions.
In August 2013, Kitzhaber tasked Hayes with “helping shepherd his office’s anti-poverty work.” Kitzhaber admits in an email to Hayes that the most important aspect of the work was not the anti-poverty mission itself, but how it would further their political objectives. Via the Oregonian,
“‘This may offer us an opportunity to bring all of this together, not only our policy staff and our community based implementation efforts but more importantly to get you and I out of our silos and really do this together,’ he wrote that month. ‘This is REALLY important to me if we are going to try to do this again.’”
Though Kitzahaber certainly did not intend them to become public, the emails provide an enlightening glimpse at the disturbing self-interested, disingenuous motivations all too often found in liberal politicians.
The proof of close collaboration between the two is important because Kitzhaber previously denied knowingly intermingling Hayes’ outside consulting work with her service as unpaid first lady. Given Hayes’ level of involvement in his administration, Kitzhaber’s claim is more even more than a little difficult to believe.
The FBI, IRS, and federal prosecutors continue to investigate the couple for conspiring to sell their influence to extreme “green” groups. Additionally, investigations are ongoing as to why Kitzhaber failed to report on his annual ethics statement that Hayes’ received $88,000 from a fellowship. Investigations into Hayes’ failure to properly file all her income for tax purposes are also ongoing.
Kitzhaber and Hayes sought to prevent the public release of their emails, and the mounting proof of their corrupt behavior certainly explains why.