Oregon has long thought of itself as living on high moral ground, embracing that bastion of self-righteousness, environmentalism. The crown has taken some big dents in recent days. Governor John Kitzhaber, just into his fourth term, has resigned. His live-in girlfriend, Cylvia Hayes (also designated “first lady” in recent years; now fiancée), is out as the unsalaried “clean energy” advisor to the governor, with her own office in the State Capitol in Salem.
Things began to unravel in his reelection campaign last fall when the Willamette Weekly reported that Ms. Hayes had been married from 1997-2002 to an illegal Ethiopian alien and had been paid $5,000 for it. She admitted to this and described it as a mistake.
A few days later, KOIN, a Portland television station. reported that she had been involved in a plan to purchase land in Washington state for a marijuana plantation.
She also admitted to this but blamed it on being in an “abusive relationship with a dangerous man” (she soon left him).
It was said that Kitzhaber knew nothing of either matter before the media revelations.