Blogs & Archives

Some feel sorry for the romantic couple who have left office in a cloud of doubt.
I guess love doesn’t always conquer all.


by Mary Foran

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigned office on February 13th, a Friday, on the eve of Oregon’s 156th birthday as a State on February 14th, St. Valentine’s Day. And all because of his ongoing love affair with Cylvia Hayes, who he called his “First Lady” and fiancee, though a date for their wedding had never been set.

Birthday cake (Oregon State Capitol Facebook. Fair use.)

Oregon’s birthday cake (Oregon State Capitol Facebook. Fair use.)

Oregon, principally Multnomah County located in Portland with 70 percent of the vote, had reenlisted him for an unprecedented 4th term as Governor before the scandal broke out: Cylvia Hayes was under suspicion of influence-peddling in the Governor’s office and not declaring proceeds from her consulting business to the IRS. There were things about Cylvia that didn’t set well with Oregon voters: her attempt to buy land for an illicit marijuana growing operation, and the fact that she married an illegal alien from Nigeria to get him a green card in her youth.

Oregon was still reeling from the failure of the Cover Oregon Health Care website the blame for which was put at Kitzhaber’s feet since he had been an emergency room Doctor before his venture into Oregon politics.

Oregon, being a largely Democratic and Liberal State, loved Governor Kitzhaber for at least 3 and a half four-year terms, but as scandals about Cylvia emerged, even Democratic officials felt it was time for Kitzhaber to step aside. He said in his resignation audiotape that he felt the media had tried and convicted him before the facts of the situation were known.

Media disclosures said that there was an attempt by the Governor’s office to scrub emails before subpoenas were issued for corroborating evidence in the Ethics investigation against him and Cylvia. The FBI has also been called in to investigate, and the investigations will continue even though Kitzhaber has resigned public office.

The Secretary of State, Kate Brown, will take over the Governorship until elections in 2016. Not as well-known, she had already come out as bi-sexual, a competent politician, and a liberal Democrat. She will appoint a new Secretary of State from her party. She follows Barbara Roberts as the second woman Governor for the State.

Ex-Gov. Kitzhaber (From the files of Dr. Kitzhaber, PD)

Then Gov. of Oregon John Kitzhaber (From the files of Dr. Kitzhaber, PD)

Governor Kitzhaber was famous for his blue-jean and cowboy boot good looks and a neatly-trimmed mustache and hair that turned white while he was in office. His laid-back attitude and sincere love of Oregon endeared him to the voters, although conservatives gave him a run for his money in the most recent elections. He was a conservationist and expert on health care who helped establish the Oregon Health Plan that covered the poor.

Cylvia Hayes at the Department of Agriculture, Washington DC, 2012

Cylvia Hayes at the Department of Agriculture, Washington DC, 2012

There are many who will miss him in office, and many more who question his recent ethics. One member of the public said on the news that “he got hooked up with the wrong person,” which eventually brought him down.

But others feel sorry for the romantic couple, who have now left office in a cloud of doubt and wariness.

I guess love doesn’t always conquer all.




Featured image by VectorOpenStock, CC Attribution3.0

Cylvia Hayes: USDA photo by Lance Cheung. Uploaded by Steve Morgan CC BY 2.0