The homophobic double standard for gay political leaders

By Rebekah Orr of Portland, Oregon. Rebekah is a long-time communications professional for various advocacy organizations. She speaks only for herself.

Over the last week much has been said, written and whispered about Mayor Sam Adams and his relationship with Beau Breedlove. Local media have called for his resignation. Calls for support have popped up on Facebook. And at 5:30 this evening supporters of Sam Adams will rally in front of City Hall. Meanwhile, the mayor himself, according to the Oregonian, is consulting with advisers about whether he should, in fact, resign from the office he newly occupies.

In “breaking” this story, Willamette Week wrote,

"Most Portlanders may not care whom he [Mayor Adams] sleeps with so long as it's legal. But they expect a mayor who is smart enough to level with the public.”

Agreed. But from here, my position takes a clear departure from Willamette Week and other news organizations calling for his political head.

Again, in its “breaking” story, Willamette Week said:

"The puzzling relationship of Portland's new mayor with a young man less than half his age is not a story about sexual orientation. Instead, it is a story about candor and the need for the public to be able to trust its leaders."

Now let me say here that the public should be able to trust its leaders. And Sam Adams in nearly two decades of political life has demonstrated that kind of trust. This a rare error in judgment in a long political career. And it was a big error.

Sam should not have denied having a relationship with Breedlove. By lying, Sam enlisted those who support him -- from individuals to organizations -- in the perpetuation of that lie, compromising not only his credibility but those who have supported and defended him. And, by lying Sam created more suspicion than would have emerged than if, at the time, he had simply rejected Willamette Week's inquiries into his private personal life from the get-go and made Willamette Week explain why they had a right to even ask the question at all.

After all, while the public has a right to trust its leaders, it does not have the right to know or investigate the intimate details of the consensual and legal romantic or sexual relationships of our mayor or any other public figure for that matter.

Lying was wrong. But I think Sam had good reason to be concerned that the public may not accept his version of events (that his relationship with Breedlove did not take place while Breedlove was a minor—as Willamette Week and its sources alleged).

Here's where I think the story and its aftermath is, in part, about sexual orientation.

The fact that Sam is gay, unfortunately makes him vulnerable to vicious, old stereotypes about gay men, in particular, that straight men in public or private life do not regularly have to concern themselves with—that gay men are pedophiles or “prey” on younger men. Straight men in politics don't carry the weight of that stereotype with them or understand the fear it summons. And, in fact, many straight men in political life date or have affairs with women half their age (often in secrecy) and no one blinks an eye, calls for their resignation or launches an “investigation.” It's a double standard very much informed by sexual orientation and the public's conscious or subconscious homophobia.

That doesn't make Sam's decision to lie right, but it provides some context for his tremendous error in judgment. And the fact is that that is all that has occurred here: an error in judgment and a trust with the public that will have to be mended.

That said, no crime has been committed. And to imply otherwise is reckless and irresponsible. But that's just what Willamette Week and others have done. Willamette Week's “breaking” story is nothing more than rumor, gossip and innuendo masquerading as investigative journalism.

While I respect Nigel Jaquiss and his attempt to “hold politicians accountable,” the story's tone implies that there is something more to "expose" about the relationship despite the fact that not one of Willamette Week's sources disputed assertions by Breedlove and Adams that the relationship took place after Breedlove turned eighteen. Even the cover headline -- Why Sam Confessed -- carries with it an insinuation of confessing to a crime. That may make for a titillating story, but it's far from responsible or fair. And, despite all of the rhetoric about “the public trust,” I believe that undercurrent of implied criminality is the driving force for calls for the Mayor to resign when the truth is that the only mistake Sam has made is lying about a private relationship to a news reporter.

Having said all this doesn't make me -- or any gay person in Portland who defends Sam -- an apologist for him or his bad decisions. I expect that like me, many gay and LGBT-allied Portlanders were perhaps the most disappointed when they heard the news.

Many in the community look up to Sam and have, I think in some cases, made him a larger-than-life gay role model. And what all of this shows is a message that gay people have been delivering for years: “Gay people are are just like straight people.” Sam's behavior proves the point; like anyone else -- straight or gay -- he's human and he makes mistakes.

That may be disappointing to many, but it's no reason for him to resign.

Comments

  • Bob R. (unverified)
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    Thanks for posting that, Rebekah, you've managed to encapsulate some views which parallel mine.

    I feel let down, but I'm willing to forgive.

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    There is no double standard. It is sleazy for a 40-something year old person in a position of power to sexually pursue a minor and then lie about it to the public during an election.

    What difference does it make if the person who does it is gay or straight?

    I agree with Steve Duin, if Adams decides not to resign, he should support a recall initiative so that Portlanders can weigh in on whether he still has a mandate to lead the city.

  • Tom Soppe (unverified)
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    True,

    I'm so sick of people in every forum from Oregonlive to Just Out saying I and others are just discriminating apologists if we claim the gay issue is relevant at all.

    Gay people faced with such accusations are in SUCH a different position than straight people that everyone should take that into account in judging what Sam did.

    To do otherwise is to ignore the reality that gay people live in, the closet reflex that can arise psychologically and unexpectedly in uncomfortable and accusatory situations (this backed up by psychologists), the viciousness we are up against whenever people have ANY ammo to play the gay=pederast/pedophile card, and the pressure put on Sam to be the perfect noble eunuch that both gays and straights demand gay public figures be.

    The reaction from many commenters at Oregonlive and elsewhere shows Sam was right in thinking that this would bring out every evil stereotype that still lurks beneath the surface even in Portland. In their own ironic way such homophobes speaking out now are making Sam's case for him. No wonder he didn't want to say it!!!!

  • Anon (unverified)
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    I wholeheartedly disagree.

    He lied about the relationship in order to get elected. I have no doubt that he would lie again about Breedlove's age in order to avoid criminal prosecution. He has absolutely no credibility left, something that is crucial in running a major city.

    If WW had ample cause to investigate a potential misdemeanor offense by a major candidate for office, then they did nothing wrong. They were doing what the media is supposed to do. If they didn't have said evidence, and ran purely on supposition (which I don't think is the case), then what is still more important is Mayor Adams' reaction.

    I am queer. I voted for Sam and think he's a great guy. I also think the queer community and Portland in general deserve better than this. This isn't about sexual orientation, don't play that card. Sam is only a victim of his own actions. Thank God the chickens are coming home to roost.

  • Kev M (unverified)
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    That said, no crime has been committed. And to imply otherwise is reckless and irresponsible.

    Ummm, sorry Rebekah but you don't know this. "And to imply otherwise is reckless and irresponsible."

    Unless you were the scheduler arranging their outings?

  • Rebekah Orr (unverified)
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    Sorry Kev M...you don't know that one has.

    The only one who has overtly alleged criminal wrongdoing, to my knowledge, is Bob Ball.

    As I wrote, not one of Willamette Week's sources disputed Breedlove or Adam's assertions that the relationship took place when he was a legal, consenting adult.

    If someone has information otherwise, they should report it to the police.

    But, at this time, there is no information available to the public to support that charge, so for you or any media outlet or any other person without solid evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed wrongly impugnes Sam's character.

    He lied. It was wrong and stupid, but that does not make him a criminal.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Call me naive but I don't think this is affected one iota by it being a gay relationship. There is no more attention being given than if a hetero hottie were involved.

    If I'm surrounded by too progressive a bunch, then I just am out of touch, but I've not spoken with anyone this week that has mentioned or cared that it was a gay relationship. Coming to his aid as a member of "his group" is as ugly a spectacle from where I stand as the affair itself. This is the victimizer exploiting the culture of victimization. I was ready to work grass roots on marital law reform, but if the GLBT community thinks no deeper than "we're gay, he's gay, we're together", than you can do it by yourself. Are you defined by the issue, or who you sleep with? How about just spitting it out? People that aren't suffering from a particular injustice cannot possible understand it the way those who are suffering understand it. Right? Our good wishes support and of course $$$$$$$$$$$ are welcome, but we just don't get it like you do.

    Now let me say here that the public should be able to trust its leaders. And Sam Adams in nearly two decades of political life has demonstrated that kind of trust. This a rare error in judgment in a long political career.

    That is why there are two camps. I've supported Sam before because I like his vision. I don't deal with city gov much, but in the 4 cases that I have, three where he's been involved, he simply lied to us, though we couldn't tell at the time. He never admitted to those. You give him the benefit of the doubt, but over time you see that he never comes clean first, if ever. Lay out that record of honesty. It's the only thing that'll save him in my eyes.

    ...or subconscious homophobia.

    Yeah, heard loud and clear. And if I don't agree with you, I'm a homophobe but don't know it. You are so aware. Perhaps we thickies should just shut up and learn.

  • Joe M (unverified)
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    I think it would be a great, for the Mayor to actively support a recall. Innocent until proven guilty. But guilty of what? A lie.

    Conspiring to not break the law?

    Abuse of power?

    The first is legal and the other may rise to unethical.

    But how did he use his position, as someone who may run for Mayor in 3 years? Did he manipulate the 18 year old? No one will likely ever know, and that means something in his defense.

    If it was a 18 year old girl no one would care.

    If he was allowed to marry, it may curb his wandering. It worked for me.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Meanwhile, the mayor himself, according to the Oregonian, is consulting with advisers about whether he should, in fact, resign from the office he newly occupies.

    Let me see now. The mayor's advisers will be out of a job in a down economy if the mayor resigns. Might that have some bearing on their advice?

    Now let me say here that the public should be able to trust its leaders. And Sam Adams in nearly two decades of political life has demonstrated that kind of trust. This a rare error in judgment in a long political career.

    My own dislike of Adams prior to this week's scandal is rooted in these opinions: Adams is just one more enabler of real-estate interests feeding at the public trough; he buys off the easily impressed "creative class" crowd by making all the right bows to "sustainable" this and that; he's leading the city over the fiscal cliff. What Ms. Orr sees as Adams' trustworthiness, I instead see as Machiavellian scheming, first on behalf of Vera Katz, and now on his own behalf. As for Adams "long political career", he served as Vera Katz' enforcer, then a grand total of four years on the city council. This "long political career" argument is very reminiscent of the argument made on Hillary Clinton's behalf all spring, blandly ignoring the fact that Barack Obama had held elective office significantly longer than Mrs. Clinton.

    Lying was wrong. But I think Sam had good reason to be concerned that the public may not accept his version of events (that his relationship with Breedlove did not take place while Breedlove was a minor—as Willamette Week and its sources alleged). The fact that Sam is gay, unfortunately makes him vulnerable to vicious, old stereotypes about gay men....

    When Barack Obama announced his candidacy, he had good reason to be concerned that the white public might not vote for him.

  • Rebekah Orr (unverified)
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    Zarathustra

    1. I'm straight, so this isn't about me, who I sleep with or any illusions that there should be a monolithic gay or gay-allied community who thinks, acts, and moves the same way. Well intentioned, thoughtful people can disagree. So just to be clear, I did not say, nor do I believe that all people who disagree with me are homophobic.

    2. That said, I do think you are naive about the impact of sexual orientation in this scenario. I think a lot of people are. The way it informs the public's view of this situation is subtle and unseen because it is steeped in the anti-gay socialization that all of us in this country have experienced.

    I think that's worth a thoughtful discussion, but I don't think I deserve your hostile tone.

  • Joe M (unverified)
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    I think it would be a great, for the Mayor to actively support a recall. Innocent until proven guilty. But guilty of what? A lie.

    Conspiring to not break the law?

    Abuse of power?

    The first is legal and the other may rise to unethical.

    But how did he use his position, as someone who may run for Mayor in 3 years? Did he manipulate the 18 year old? No one will likely ever know, and that means something in his defense.

    If it was a 18 year old girl no one would care.

    If he was allowed to marry, it may curb his wandering. It worked for me.

    So what is the crime? He was 22 years older than him...

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    I agree. While I would've liked for Sam to have simply avoided comment rather than lie about his relationship, I do believe that his sexual orientation put him in a position where he felt (rightly, I suspect) that dodging the question would damage him more than would a straight man. For now, I am standing by him.

    However, there is one caveat, and that concerns the Ruiz matter. I haven't been able to keep up specifically on this angle as I've had a busy schedule lately, but if it turns out that she was given a position in exchange for silence (and, aside from innuendo, I have no reason to believe this to be the case), that would cross a line over into corruption that I would have a serious problem with.

  • Mike (unverified)
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    Adams' behavior is a blow to the gay community. If you don't think so, read the reader comments on the Just Out web site. His actions perpetuate a certain negative stereotype of the gay man, a stereotype the gay community hoped Adams' successes would in fact help refute. Seen in this context alone, is it any wonder many gay leaders and dare I say the majority of gays in PDX favor his speedy resignation?

    It is worth remembering that Adams represents not just the gay community, but all of Portland. Gays might be profoundly disappointed and they might have their own unique perspective of this sordid affair, but the great majority of Portlanders are straight. They (we) perhaps view the situation through less emotion-charged lenses. Bottom line, most Portlanders are turned off by the lies and embarrassed by the Mayor's actions. We don't think we can trust him and we want him to resign.

  • Beau Diddly (unverified)
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    wHEN HE SENT A PAID POLITICAL CONSULTANT TO COACH BEAU BREEDLOVE TO LIE, HE ABUSED HIS POWER. If he used campaign funds or the City of Portland's money to hire Mr. Weiner for this purpose, then he's guilty of several violations of city code, and (likely) several violations of O.R.S.

    Hiring Amy Ruiz, instead of several more qualified candidates, also constitutes an abuse of public resources, if there is any evidence this was intended to reward her for favorable press treatment or to run interference on this topic in the future.

    If he wanted to hire a crisis coordinator, they should have advertised for a crisis coordinator? What is a sustainability analyst doing at the "Sam Lied" press conference when no other general staff members were present?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    I do think you are naive about the impact of sexual orientation in this scenario. I think a lot of people are. The way it informs the public's view of this situation is subtle and unseen because it is steeped in the anti-gay socialization that all of us in this country have experienced...I think that's worth a thoughtful discussion....

    Ms. Orr, I absolutely agree with you here, but unless you very carefully disentangle this larger-scale sociological issue from the specifics of The Saga of Mayor Sam Adams, you invite an analysis along the lines provided by Zarathustra, namely, that this has all turned into a display of rather raw identity politics. I apologize for being redundant and probably trite, but a reminder: we just inaugurated a black man as president in a country where there is undoubtedly still no shortage of "anti-black socialization", to tweak your phrase.

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    Let's be clear here: Adams has admitted (after lying) that he was DATING a 17-year-old. Adams' relationship with Breedlove BEFORE he turned 18 was a dating relationship. Period. When people in their 40s date, sex is normally part of the deal; which is one reason they shouldn't date minors.

    At this point, I don't know if Portland's mayor is a pedophile, but I've got some pretty good reasons to suspect he is--and that's a pretty low bar for accepting someone for public office.

    You should only defend Adams if you genuinely think he waited till Beau was 18. Speaking for myself, as someone who doesn't know Sam from Adam, he has given the general public no reason to take him at his word.

  • Tom the Lefty (unverified)
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    To me the analogy is to Bill and Monica. Sexual orientation is not the point. It is the lie and coverup for political purposes. What else is he capable of lying about? I supported him and followed the story from the beginning. He has betrayed my trust, and it is sad because he was a groundbreaking and thoughtful political leader. Sadly, it is time to go.

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    I have great respect for Rebekah, but in this case I think she's wrong.

    I can't understand why Sam would lie about a consensual, adult relationship even if it was with a much younger person. It happens all the time in both gay and straight relationships. Portland is a very progressive city in general and I simply can't see the electorate making that kind of a thing a nonstarter. I'm having a hard time squaring that Adams believed he needed to lie under these articulated circumstances because the public in PDX would find it unacceptable and wouldn't vote for him.

    My instinct and my reasoning tell me that the whole story has yet to be told.

    I also find the persuading of Breedlove to lie about this pretty bad as well.

    For those that are attempting to dismiss this as gay-hating, I caution you. I'm an avid and ardent supporter of gay marriage and equal rights for gays and lesbians.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    I am sorry if I believe that when we elect someone to represent us, that I expect their recent past (5 years prior) and current behavior to resemble the best behavior in each and everyone of his/her constituents that he/she is accountable to.

    By having a sexual relationship with a minor, concealing it because he feared he would lose the election, destroying Bob Ball's public reputation, and hiring Amy Ruiz to a $55,000/year taxpayer paid for City job is not the best behavior for anyone much less a public official whose life is under public scrutiny.

    Sam Adam's behavior is morally reprehensible according to the values of honesty, transparency in Government, and fairness towards others.

    In this fiasco, Sam Adams has not (until recently) been open, honest and fair towards others.

    If Sam Adams stays in office, then what does that say about the citizens of Portland?

  • Jim Jones (unverified)
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    I can forgive Sam the relationship. Not sure there's anything to forgive in the first place.

    And I can understand and forgive him if all he'd done was lie about it.

    But that's not where Sam stopped. Sam went on the offensive against Bob Ball repeatedly, enlisting others in the effort. Go back and look at some of the video and news articles from when that portion of the story came up.

    If this was nobody's business, then that should've been Sam's response. It wasn't.

    The minute he tried to turn the original rumors into a weapon to force Bob Ball to not run for public office is the minute Sam went too far for me. And after watching him in the Oregonian editorial board video, it's clear to me Sam still doesn't get that.

    I just don't see how somebody who would behave in that manner is ever going to earn back the trust of those he'll have to work with to be an effective Mayor.

    Perhaps he'll pull it off, but it seems like too high a mountain to climb.

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    I agree, Rebekah. Unless Adams and Breedlove are lying about when the relationship started, it's nobody's Effing business. I agree that he shouldn't have lied and that having lied was a serious mistake. But it was nobody's Effing business to begin with and who, where, when or why he sleeps with anyone has nothing whatever to do with the duties and responsibilities of being a Mayor as long as no laws were broken in the process.

    Those insisting that the alleged unseemliness of someone Adams' age having sex with a consenting adult of legal age is sufficient reason to demand that Adams resign are taking the same basic tack that anti-abortion wingnuts take - that their personal moral beliefs ought to supercede the law.

  • Rebekah Orr (unverified)
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    Joel Dan Walls

    Fair warning. But, I will say that I think the comparison here to the election of Barack Obama isn't quite on. Here's why--both Sam and President Obama were elected in a culture that is both racist and homophobic. Clearly, one of our better moments as a society.

    But, and I said this during the election, if it had been Barack Obama who had a teenage daughter who was unmarried and pregnant instead of Sarah Palin, I think the same racist culturalization would have informed the reporting of and perception of that issue--and unfortunately, I don't think it would have been the pro-family love-fest that surrounded the Palins. Food for thought.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    Correction, I said "minor" and I meant to say someone much younger than him.

    I don't want to accuse him of criminal behavior. I apologize.

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    Sal, unless you have evidence Sam sexually pursued a minor, please present it immediately. Otherwise, stop saying it...immediately.

    Joel, it just says "advisers," not specifically his current staff. The reports I saw indicated people like Vera, who advises him but is not a paid adviser (that I know of).

    A straight 40 year old who accepts a comeon from an 18yo would be called a dirty old man. A gay man who did the same with an 18 yo man, would be called a predator or pedophile.

    That's why it's Different For Gays.

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Yeah... all those gay Jail Blazers were put through hell by Portlanders...

    ...oh yeah...

    ...not one of the players/coaches/front office personnel of the Jail Blazers era that Blazers fans ran out of town was gay.

    Ooops.

    How about a more likely scenario. Portlanders are sick and tired of seeing the city of Portland mired in scandal. Portlanders had just gotten used to the Blazers getting the organization cleaned up, and here come another mess that makes Portland look awful.

    By the way, Sam Adams is still lying about the scandal.

    From the WW article...

    "...They met again in the spring and early summer of 2005, including a lunch at the downtown Macaroni Grill and a dinner on June 9, 2005, at the Lotus Cafe near City Hall.

    Adams had also said that he and a friend drove down to Salem for Breedlove’s 18th birthday party on June 25, 2005.

    Adams, now 45, also acknowledged then that his encounters with Breedlove distressed his staff, because they looked inappropriate...."

    "...Since then, WW has spoken to three Breedlove acquaintances. All spoke on condition of anonymity. All three say Breedlove told them he had a physical relationship with Adams in 2005, although the men were unsure of whether it began before or after Breedlove turned 18.

    Two of them say Breedlove told them about the relationship in early summer of 2005..."

    http://wweek.com/editorial/3511/12113/

    Sam Adams is saying the sexual relationship with Breedlove started a month after Breedlove turned 18 and lasted a couple of months. According to Adams current story, that means the relationship with Breedlove would have been in August and September.

    Breedlove told two different people about his relationship with Adams in early summer 2005. Nobody is going to specially call August and September "early summer."

    Sam Adams current version of the Breedlove scandal story is STILL A LIE.

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    Sorry; of course that should be "if" and not "unless" in the first line.

  • Joe M (unverified)
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    Jamais Vu

    You start off with...

    Let's be clear here:

    and then it's...

    is normally part I don't know reasons to suspect genuinely think someone who doesn't know

    Let's be clearer: Nobody knows, there is no proof of anything, just a lot of guessing.

    We do know he is a liar.

    He is a politician who lied about something that is significant or maybe not.

    But he should resign?

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "It's a double standard very much informed by sexual orientation and the public's conscious or subconscious homophobia."

    So. let me get this straight, if under the same context a heterosexual would have done what Sam did, then nothing would have happened?

    I believe he got elected even after stating quite openly he was gay, so I am failing to see homophobia.

    Sam could have all along shut and said none of your business and I would have been fine with that. However, he opened the door by publishing a huge paper to the public totally constructed of cloth. Otherwise, it would never have been made public if Sam did not post it.

    That's the issue, this is just the first lie he has been caught in.

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    frank, you're adding the word "sexual" to the accounts from his friends. That word doesn't actually exist in those accounts. You fucked up.

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Torrid Joe: "frank, you're adding the word "sexual" to the accounts from his friends. That word doesn't actually exist in those accounts. You fucked up."

    EPIC FAIL, JOE!

    Here's the passage verbatim from the Willamette Week article along with the preceeding and following paras...

    "...The post could be read as a harmless evocation of a young man’s angst, or as a confession. Either way, WW decided to do additional reporting.

    Since then, WW has spoken to three Breedlove acquaintances. All spoke on condition of anonymity. All three say Breedlove told them he had a physical relationship with Adams in 2005, although the men were unsure of whether it began before or after Breedlove turned 18.

    Two of them say Breedlove told them about the relationship in early summer of 2005, long before Ball made it an issue. They also say the public explanation both Adams and Breedlove gave the media—that Breedlove was only interested in politics and searching for a mentor—was preposterous.

    All three recounted the approximate date and specific location of their conversations with Breedlove...."

    http://wweek.com/editorial/3511/12113/

    Eww... what stinks... did you just defecate all over yourself, Joe?

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Hmmm... there's more than one Joe on the thread. Better clarify. I'm refering to Torridjoe.

  • Winter (unverified)
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    I think the double standard here is that if he were a Republican/Conservative the Democrats/Progressives would be screaming for his head on a platter.

    The fact is he lied, he put Breedlove in the position of having to lie for him, and he accused Ball, a political opponent, of being a liar.

    Why are we excusing deceit, dishonesty and underhandedness simply because Sam is progressive and/or gay? He should have refused to answer questions from the beginning and dealt with the political consequences. Instead he lied ... and lied ... and made others lie for him ... and lied some more.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    I'm not going to allege a double-standard, but WW's original story months ago was obviously not ready for publication. They had no allegation of anything, anonymous or no. They had Ball saying he had heard a rumor of underage sex, and that was it. Even Ball later said he didn't believe it. If the next day we found out that Adams had raped a thousand babies in an orphanage, the original story would have been no less fit for publication because it had no facts, just speculation about a rumor that to this day, no one has ever alleged.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    "Two of them say Breedlove told them about the relationship in early summer of 2005, long before Ball made it an issue."

    I'm looking for the word "sex" in this part that talks about something before Breedlove was 18. It's not there. Just "relationship," WW's neutral word. I have relationships with my roommates, friends, parents, and coworkers, but I'm not having sex with them. And you should be bright enough, Frank, to know that if WW had someone willing to say Breedlove told them he had sex with Adams when he was 17, they would print that. Because so far, they've never gotten a single person to allege it.

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Winter: I'm shrugging it off because it's about his private sex life. And I would do the same if he were some Republican I couldn't stand. The only value I get out of Republican sex scandals is the entertainment value. Believe it or not, I'm a liberal. I don't get all red-faced in moral outrage about sex, or even someone denying you sex they did have.

    Now if there were actual victims, people saying "I was raped," "I was sexually harassed," etc., I would have a problem with that. If it's someone saying "I was 18 and I wanted it," not so much.

    Again, it's wrong to lie, even about your private life, and it's stupid for anyone to get involved with someone that young, politician or no. But he followed the law. No one has claimed otherwise. It wasn't our business to begin with.

  • Joe M (unverified)
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    James X

    Exactly

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Read what is posted on the thread. EPIC FAIL for you too, James X!

    This is also covered in the passage I posted a few minutes ago verbatim from the Willamette Week article along with the preceeding and following paras...

    "...The post could be read as a harmless evocation of a young man’s angst, or as a confession. Either way, WW decided to do additional reporting.

    Since then, WW has spoken to three Breedlove acquaintances. All spoke on condition of anonymity. All three say Breedlove told them he had a physical relationship with Adams in 2005, although the men were unsure of whether it began before or after Breedlove turned 18.

    Two of them say Breedlove told them about the relationship in early summer of 2005, long before Ball made it an issue. They also say the public explanation both Adams and Breedlove gave the media—that Breedlove was only interested in politics and searching for a mentor—was preposterous.

    All three recounted the approximate date and specific location of their conversations with Breedlove...."

    http://wweek.com/editorial/3511/12113/

    Two witness say very bluntly that Adams and Breedlove attempt to describe the relationship as platonic mentor and mentored as "preposterous" Their word. Not mine. There was no two differing types of relationship between Adams and Breedlove. One type of relationship. Sexual. The only thing we don't know is when... right before Breedlove turned 18, or right when Breedlove turned 18. Adams attempt to claim the relationship was a month after Breedlove's 18th birthday has been proven to be a lie.

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    Frank you genius, it's impossible to say you don't know when the relationship started viz Beau's age---and to simultaneously specify when it started.

    They said he had a relationship. They don't know when it started. You posted it yourself, and as I said it points out that you fucked up.

    Frank, I hear you dress like Miss Saigon on Fridays and do a hotdog swallowing act at Darcelle's. I don't actually have any evidence--anyone who alleges that to be true--but you don't mind if I break that story at LO, do you?

  • James X. (unverified)
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    Mike, that's just wrong. Gay people have no obligation to be better than others. They have no obligation to represent all gays. And I, as a gay person, refuse to feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, or anguish about what any other gay person does. That's the thinking of someone who prejudges all minorities by the actions of one.

    While I have no polling on what most gays think, and I'm not going to claim my conversations with other gay people are representative of all of them, I do know that if you had judged the opinion of Portlanders at large by the comments on blogs, you'd be way off the mark. See the poll.

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Torrid Joe: "Frank you genius, it's impossible to say you don't know when the relationship started viz Beau's age---and to simultaneously specify when it started.

    They said he had a relationship. They don't know when it started. You posted it yourself, and as I said it points out that you fucked up."

    Torrid Joe starring in EPIC FAIL II

    As already posted and shown on the thread above twice, in bold once, Willamette Week has three seperate corroborating witness that told them Breedlove's relationship with Adams was physical, and two who said Breedlove told them about his relationship with Sam Adams in early summer 2005.

    Torridjoe, You really should have quit when you were just far behind and covered in your own feces.

  • TL (unverified)
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    My issue is that he lied and he encouraged others to lie on his behalf. It places his credibility in serious doubt and makes it difficult for well meaning people who are not enthusiastic supporters of his difficult to trust him. For me, the issue is trust. For others, including well meaning people I know, it might be more about a 40 something year old man having a sexual relationship with an 18 year old. I wouldn’t be so quick to label those who don’t fall into Sam’s corner as wing nuts or bigots because if there is going to be a re-call election, he’s going to need their support (and I would bet the farm the will be a re-call election).

    For those who support Sam, they had better start the campaign for Sam’s re-election now because quite frankly, he’s going to need every friend he can muster. If he doesn’t resign, the next election will be in several months (a re-call) and the name calling and the moral relativism used by his most ardent supporters will leave those in the vast middle with a bad taste in their mouths. They better come up with something better than "it was just sex". Some people, even some gay people like me, do place a premium on telling the truth. This is going to be the fight of his political life plus he doesn't have Barack Obama's coattails to ride. He's going to have to fight like heck.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    I am sick of people calling for the resignation of Sam.

    This seems a like another example of double standards. OK so Sam had an inappropriate relationship with an 18 year old. Did it harm one of us? Not that I can see. Did is cost us money? Not me that I can tell. Did someone die, get hurt or otherwise suffer some damage? Not that I can see.

    I am disappointed that Sam felt he could not be honest regarding his relationship, appropriate or not, during the campaign. I am so sorry that a reporter has nothing better to do than to make us think we have the right to know about his personal life at all. I find it interesting that the fact that Sam works hundreds of hours to help the city yet this same reporter did not feel that was news.

    Rather, the news was “Sam Lied” to get elected? Well as I recall the choices were – Sam Adams, or Sho Dozono. One had an inappropriate, consenting relationship and the other one did not bother to pay his taxes. One cost me money (because I pay more so he can pay less or nothing at all) and one – well the other one – did nothing to me but be my mayor.

    Keep Sam and get the press guy to resign instead.

  • meg (unverified)
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    My Mayor doe's not go to 17 year olds birthday party's. What a sick fuck.

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Becky: "I am sick of people calling for the resignation of Sam."

    Well... for one thing, Sam Adams is STILL lying about his relationship with Breedlove. As I've shown on the thread in a couple of places, the witnesses Willamette Week have prove Adams claim the relationship happened a month after Breedlove turned 18 is yet another lie.

    For another, Breedlove may not have been 18 when Adams and Breedlove started their sexual realationship. Witnesses place the Adams/Breedlove relationship in "early summer" 2005. Adams and Breedlove were seen dating in Portland in June 2005 before Breedlove's 18th birthday. Breedlove turned 18 on June 25, 2005.

    There's going to be a criminal investigation here.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    Wow, looks like almost everyone is missing the main contention in this issue.

    Beau Breedlove, 17 or 18, sex, relationship, and more juicy unimportant crap is all I hear.

    Here is what matters:

    1. Sam Adams lied to Amy Ruiz about the exact nature of the relationship with Beau Breedlove in an interview about the rumor prior to the election.

    2. He lied because if the truth came out that he was having a sexual "relationship" with an 18 year old or possibly younger, he calculated that he would lose.

    3. Bob Ball hears the rumor, spreads it, and is ruined in the process.

    4. Amy Ruiz follows up after the initial interview and buys into the code of silence with a $55,000/year job after Sam Adams wins the election.

    The question for you supporters of Sam Adams is:

    If he lied in the first place, then why would you trust him now?

  • Bob R. (unverified)
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    If he lied in the first place, then why would you trust him now?

    In plenty of other threads here on BlueOregon you've made this about the sex... now you're back-tracking to complaining about the lies. I guess that's progress.

    To answer your question, from my perspective, he lied about something that should be nobody's business.

    He panicked and overreacted, and it hurt me to discover that he lied and encouraged Beau to lie.

    Nonetheless, I can understand why the motivation to lie went through his head. It was a private matter which should have absolutely no bearing on politics. He should have chosen to say "it's none of your business" and endured the resulting shit-storm. (And there would have been a shit-storm.)

    I don't approve of the lie, but understanding the motivation can lead to forgiveness. I am ready to forgive, provided he is straightforward and open about material things such as city policy moving forward.

    I believe he has a track record superior to many politicians when it comes to policy and civic dealings. I believe, if he continues in the style of his track record, perhaps with an additional degree of humility after this scandal, it will be good for Portland.

    Thus, I am willing to forgive this unfortunate lie. I am willing to give him a chance to get back to work.

    If it turns out that there are more issues, or he doesn't work in an open and straightforward manner on a civic level, then in a mere six months he can be recalled.

    Immediate resignation is not the remedy.

    If he had lied us into a war in which many thousands of soldiers and civilians died unnecessarily, I'd be less forgiving as far as his ability to remain in office is concerned.

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    TJ - Adams admitted as much in my read of today's Oregonian. He said that the mentoring story was a lie, admitted that the relationship pre-dated Breedlove's 18th birthday and that they had sex within a few weeks of Breedlove's 18th birthday. Breedlove claims that he can't remember whether they had sex before or after he turned 18.

    I am not one who favors castigating someone for consensual sex, but how many people would agree that it is ethical for a 42-year old teacher to romantically pursue a 17-year old student or have sex with any high school student, regardless of whether the student in question is 17 or 18?

    Why should the standard be any different for a public figure and an intern?

  • Bob R. (unverified)
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    "Why should the standard be any different for a public figure and an intern?"

    Well, just for one thing, Beau wasn't Sam's intern.

    (So, is this about the sex then, and not the lying? It's hard to keep track.)

    I, for example, since the details of people's private sexual lives seem to be of such importance these days, engage in regular intimate activity with my sign language interpreter trainee. I happen to be in a relationship with him, and it just so happens hes not my trainee. Oh, and to give you all the salacious details you can wrap your tongue around, I recruited him over the Internet.

  • TL (unverified)
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    Responding to Becky:

    "Did it cost us money"?

    If there is a recall, which probably will happen, it'll probably run around $200,000 for the vote itself (that's what the media has reported). Plus the money that will be needed to be raised by the pro-Sam and against-Sam forces in a re-call battle. That might around $200,000, maybe more (my estimation). That doesn’t include the cost of the Oregon Attorney General’s investigation or time he’s had to spend away from work dealing with this crisis.

    "Did someone die, get hurt or otherwise suffer some damage? Not that I can see".

    Perhaps not to you, but I would contend that Sam Adams got hurt, and badly -- and with good reason. Did you watch his news conference? He did not look like someone who was just inaugurated as Mayor of Portland by an electoral landslide. He looked like an old pol fighting for his political life. The wunderkind of city government, with all his talents trashed his own reputation. I realize that in certain quarters he’s done nothing wrong – it’s simply a matter of sex. But when you look beyond his own core constituency, it’s clear some people, many people in fact, found what he did distasteful. Both the lying and the sexual relationship. I know women with 18 year old kids who would find it highly inappropriate for a grown man in his 40's (especially an elected official) to have a sexual relationship their teenage child – and these are women with moderate political views. In fact, I’m gay and roughly Sam’s age. If I were to have a sexual relationship with a teenager of 18, my friends would castigate me.

    And what about Beau Breedlove? I realize he and Sam are still friends. But would you like to be known as the young man that helped bring disrepute to the Mayor of Portland.

    As for Bob Ball, I think his conducts was scurrilous at best. If he was really concerned about the teenager, he should have called the appropriate authorities. Instead, he capitalized on it by leaking it to the media. He is not owed an apology.

    Let it be said that Sam Adams should try hard to rehabilitate his reputation. But most of all, his supporters need to realize there is a Portland outside trendy NW, the Pearl, inner NE and inner SE Portland. He needs to be reaching out to those people, not the people who would support him not matter what.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "As for Bob Ball, I think his conducts was scurrilous at best. If he was really concerned about the teenager, he should have called the appropriate authorities. Instead, he capitalized on it by leaking it to the media. He is not owed an apology. "

    http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/children/abuse/

    Once again, folks, Oregon has some very specific regulations regarding reporting child abuse. It is done by contacting specific agencies. Anyone who doesn't report to those agencies (from DHS to local law enforcement) is not really concerned about the minor involved.

    http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/children/abuse/cps/cw_branches.shtml

    I don't live in Portland. What happens to the mayor of Portland is less important to me than things happening locally. I have no idea about the guilt or innocence of Sam Adams. However, I do think anyone who peddles rumors or otherwise puts politics ahead of child welfare is scum.

  • Roy McAvoy (unverified)
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    I would not presume to judge Sam Adams on issues of morality. I do not care if he was born gay or straight. I could care less if he was attracted to Beau Braveheart (or whomever). He no longer has credibility with the citizens in Ptld, and he has pulled the rug out from every CoP manager responsible for holding hundreds of employees accountable for their actions. It is not about him. It is about everyone else.

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    Sal, you know very well Sam absolutely did not say he pursued a sexual relationship with a minor. In fact he stated the opposite, that he explicitly did NOT pursue him sexually ad a 17 year old. You are coming very close to libelous.

    Frank -- they. Do. Not. Know. When. It. Started. You wrote it yourself.

  • John F. Bradach, Sr. (unverified)
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    When I read this about Commisioner Sam's multimple lies (he took the oath under false pretenses, so I do not regard him to be Mayor), my immediate reaction at 7:17 p.m. Monday was to send the following email to Commisioner Leonard:

    "SAM ADAMS SHOULD RESIGN, TOMORROW For pity sakes. How are we going to get confidence in our elected officials?"

    Then, I read Randy's quote in Willamette Week, I wrote, again to Commisioner Leonard:

    "Randy:

    I just read your quote in WW.

    The man misrepresented himself to the voters of Portland. He must go."

    I misjudged who the next Mayor should be.

    But, I have no doubt given what has happened, that Sam Adams must go.

    His holding off his decision to allow all of the media consultants and apologists to change the dyanmic is no more honest than the several things he did to get elected.

    Sorry, I call BULLSHIT!!!

    Out you go.

  • Joe M (unverified)
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    I guess someone should have told the Mayor that consensual adults does not include 18 year old gay males. Seems like we want to change the law after the fact. What is OK for the Mayor, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25... Am I close yet? What about 18 year old gay adults (I'll use this loosely), 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, 36...

    I think people should go home close their bedroom door and worry about their own stuff.

  • AdmiralNaismith (unverified)
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    Here they go again.

    Democrats should get the death penalty for jaywalking, while Republicans get to wipe their asses with the laws, and not only serve out their full terms but it is considered unseemly to mention their crimes much less hold them accountable, even after they leave office.

  • 240NEMLK (unverified)
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    Rebekah: Why do you feel a need to apologize for Adams? Why are you bringing homosexuality into it? Some of my following points have already been brought up in the responses. Why do you and the other Adams apologists REFUSE to address them? 1)Everyone knew Adams was gay before he was elected. Did most people turn against him because of his orientation AFTER he was elected? 2)If rumors were circulating about a hetero mayoral candidate having a romantic relationship with a 17 or 18 year old, you can bet your bottom dollar the media would be all over it - especially the Portland Mercury. (By the way, where is the Merc? Too busy publishing those prostitution ads?)If the hetero mayoral candidate was questioned about the relationship, he/she would have the SAME options of replying as Adams - admit it and possibly lose the election or deny the relationship if it wasn't true or if it was true and the candidate was afraid of losing the election. 3)Adams lied repeatedly over 17 months to get elected. He only stopped lying this past week, when confronted with the truth. His election is a fraud. 4)Adams went out of his way to slander Bob Ball, a reserve Portland cop sworn to expose possible crimes, who told the truth. 5)Adams hired Mark Weiner to coach the kid on how to lie. The kid was told to not use his credit card to buy train tickets to Portland because credit cards leave a paper trail. 6)If Adams used campaign funds or city money to hire Weiner, he is guilty of a crime. 7)Why was the unqualified Amy Ruiz hired, over well qualified candidates? Was it to shut her up? PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU GO OFF ON THE "QUEER AS VICTIM" RANT!

  • Frank (unverified)
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    Torridjoe: "Frank -- they. Do. Not. Know. When. It. Started. You wrote it yourself."

    Torridjoe now starring in EPIC FAIL III...

    This will be the THIRD time on this thread the exact same four paragraph section of that same Willammette Week article is shown you to be just as wrong as you have been every single time on this thread....

    "...The post could be read as a harmless evocation of a young man’s angst, or as a confession. Either way, WW decided to do additional reporting.

    Since then, WW has spoken to three Breedlove acquaintances. All spoke on condition of anonymity. All three say Breedlove told them he had a physical relationship with Adams in 2005, although the men were unsure of whether it began before or after Breedlove turned 18.

    Two of them say Breedlove told them about the relationship in early summer of 2005, long before Ball made it an issue. They also say the public explanation both Adams and Breedlove gave the media—that Breedlove was only interested in politics and searching for a mentor—was preposterous.

    All three recounted the approximate date and specific location of their conversations with Breedlove...."

    http://wweek.com/editorial/3511/12113/

    Early summer 2005.

    They don't know if it was shortly before or after Breedlove's birthday on June 25, 2005. They know it was early summer, though. That means Sam Adams claim the relationship began a month after Breedlove's birthday is yet another lie. A month after Breedlove's birthday is August. Nobody would describe August as "early summer," and both were specific in putting the time as early summer, 2005.

    You really, really should have quit when you were JUST way behind and covered in your own fecal matter.

  • Straight Perversions (unverified)
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    Jamais Vu wrote: At this point, I don't know if Portland's mayor is a pedophile, but I've got some pretty good reasons to suspect he is--and that's a pretty low bar for accepting someone for public office.

    The casual - and thoroughly ignorant - accusations of "pedophilia" being tossed about this whole story perfectly illustrate the double standard Rebekah is talking about.

    Pedophilia is a serious mental disorder which drives some people to engage in sex with pre-pubescent children. Anyone interested in the truth, as opposed to the sleazy, unfounded accusations being tossed around by those with an agenda to destroy yet another gay man's life through false innuendo, should read the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.

    Beau Breedlove was hardly pre-pubescent at any point during this whole affair.

    The age of consent in Oregon happens to be 18. Across the bridge in Vancouver, it's 16, as in the majority of U.S. States. So whether Beau was 18 - as everyone with any actual knowledge of the facts asserts - or 17, as those with an agenda to bring down Sam Adams' career imply with no factual basis whatsoever, at worst there may have been a violation of the unusually high age of consent we happen to have in Oregon. Poor judgment, but hardly pedophilia if it could have all been legal with a quick drive to the 'Couv.

    Pedophilia is a serious problem, overwhelmingly for all the straight men who want to have sex with their daughters. It trivializes this problem to continually paint it on gay men as a form of social and political manipulation.

  • JJ (unverified)
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    we have a saying on the interwebs:

    Pix or it didn't happen.

    If you have proof that Beau was under the age of 18 when something happened that shouldn't have then please call the Multnomah County DA at 503-988-3162. He would love to hear from you.

    No pix? Then it didn't happen.

  • Norm! (unverified)
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    ". . . Lying was wrong. But I think Sam had good reason to be concerned that the public may not accept his version of events (that his relationship with Breedlove did not take place while Breedlove was a minor—as Willamette Week and its sources alleged). . . ."

    Judging from the outspoken support to defend Adams, it doesn't seem like he had a good a reason to distrust Portlanders' ability to trust him.

    Adams didn't lie out of fear. Adams lied because he was embarrassed for the admittedly "inappropriate" relationship. He also lied to defeat a political opponent and, worse, identify himself as a victim of homophobia.

    ". . . Straight men in politics don't carry the weight of that stereotype with them or understand the fear it summons. And, in fact, many straight men in political life date or have affairs with women half their age (often in secrecy) and no one blinks an eye, calls for their resignation or launches an “investigation.” It's a double standard very much informed by sexual orientation and the public's conscious or subconscious homophobia. . . ."

    Straight men in politics do have to be careful and I'm sure a male politician hanging out alone with a high-school age girl would raise questions. More so if when questioned, they decide to lie about it. Can you support your argument with at least one example of these supposedly numerous straight politicians who are dating teenagers without controversy?

    ". . . That said, no crime has been committed. And to imply otherwise is reckless and irresponsible. But that's just what Willamette Week and others have done. Willamette Week's “breaking” story is nothing more than rumor, gossip and innuendo masquerading as investigative journalism. . . ."

    You have no basis for assuming a crime was not committed -- especially before the state's investigation has been completed. While Adams and Breedlove have denied illegal sex, they are both admitted liers regarding their relationship. Adams may have still committed a crime if he made inappropriate advances toward Breedlove before the 18th birthday. Adams may have violated state campaign laws by making false statements during his campaign. Adams may have used city funds to hire a consultant to help with his lie. We are far from concluding that no crime was committed and, due to Adams' actions, we can no longer believe Adams' explanations.

    Willamette Week's reporting has been excellent and no more sensational than Adams own statements regarding the matter. Adams has confirmed what you call rumor and gossip.

    ". . . Many in the community look up to Sam and have, I think in some cases, made him a larger-than-life gay role model. And what all of this shows is a message that gay people have been delivering for years: “Gay people are are just like straight people.” Sam's behavior proves the point; like anyone else -- straight or gay -- he's human and he makes mistakes. . . ."

    As a member of the gay community, I supported Adams and looked forward to his leadership as mayor. I believe losing Adams as mayor will be a tragic waste of talent. However, after reviewing Adams' admitted actions, I can't see how he can remain in office as legitimately elected official.

    Adams ran as a leader of the LGBT community and sought our support. Yet, community leadership is not free or without an obligation to meet even higher standards. Adams falsely claimed to be a victim of homophobia when he was first accused of having a sexual relationship with Breedlove. He lied to conveniently cover-up an embarrassing relationship, malign a political opponent, and win public office. Worse, by using mentoring to hide his sexual relationship, he harmed the community by perpetuating the stereotype that gay men cannot be trusted as mentors.

    I do hope Adams can eventually lead the city in the future after he has recovered from this scandal and rebuilt trust with Portlanders. However, for now, he needs to resign the office he unfairly won.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Rebekah:

    both Sam and President Obama were elected in a culture that is both racist and homophobic. Clearly, one of our better moments as a society.

    Bob T:

    Hmmmm, where were the progressives of Ohio and Maryland a few years ago when most or almost all Republicans in those states voted for Ken Blackwell in Ohio and Mr. Steele in Maryland? Couple years later you guys went around saying that those same voters wouldn't vote for Obama because he's black. Gosh, the things that happen that you don't notice. I think reality passes you by most times.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Janus (unverified)
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    Here's the problem. If Sam was "dating" Breedlove before he was 18, but not having actual sex there is a very strong liklihood he was engaging in some form of sexual touching. If so he committed Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree and that charge is still able to be prosecuted because Breedlove is not yet 22. I guess the Attorney General will decide whether there is evidence that this "dating" involved sexual touching. IF, and that is a big if, Sam committed this misdemeanor does that change anyone's opinion about what should happen. And does it vindicate Bob Ball?

  • Scott (unverified)
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    These attacks on Sam Adams are 100% anti-gay.

    First of all Adams nor Beau Breedlove should have been asked about their relationship. They are adults and it's none of the public's business. Let me repeat that they are adults and it's NONE of the public's business. I don't care if Adams and Breedlove lied about their relationship, it's NONE of the public's business. Breedlove worked for the Oregon state legislator in congress and Adams worked at the Portland mayor's office, 60 miles away. Eighteen years old is old enough to join the military and make life or death decisions. What heterosexuals can NOT comprehend is that an 18 year old can be an equal participatant in a relationship with an older person. Egalitarianism is foreign to heterosexuals.

    Sam Adams needs to STAY in office and not cave to these blatantly anti-gay attacks.

    David Vitter, a U.S. Senator, had sex with multiple female prostitutes, which is ILLEGAL, while married. Instead of calling for his resignation he recieved a standing ovation when he returned to the Senate.

    BTW, TL you are NOT gay so stop pretending.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "As for Bob Ball, I think his conducts was scurrilous at best. If he was really concerned about the teenager, he should have called the appropriate authorities. Instead, he capitalized on it by leaking it to the media. He is not owed an apology. "

    Bob Ball went to Randy Leonard off record. Randy ran to Adams where they decided to concoct this story and then publicize it as the truth. Adams all along could have said none or your business or no comment. He instead decided to use the bully pu;pit to what he thought was his advantage.

    Adams opened the door and screwed over Ball in the process. Let's ignore the fact that Ball may have been a competitor in the mayoral election.

  • TL (unverified)
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    I didn't realize that if someone wants to report an alleged case of sexual abuse of a minor, you don't call the DA, the police or the State of Oregon, you call Randy Leonard for an off the record conversation.

    As for Scott's remark about me not being gay, don't be a rube Scott. I am gay -- but I'm capable of thinking for myself. Me thinks you flatter yourself a bit too much. Being gay doesn't mean I need to think like Scott. That would make me a very dull boy.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    Bob R.,

    I don't consider myself a "progressive" so you implying that I am something that I am not and do not aspire to be has absolutely no impact on my thought or conscience.

    Yes, I have mentioned sex in other threads, but my thought on this has always "progressed" to the greater questions of integrity, standards for public figures, the hypocrisy of the Left when one of their own comes under scandal, and trust.

    Call it what you want. I know exactly where you stand and I disagree entirely with you.

  • Resign Now (unverified)
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    Orr provides a perfect example of the childish sense of self-entitlement and lack of character in this matter that is all too representative:

    I think that's worth a thoughtful discussion, but I don't think I deserve your hostile tone.

    If she wants to participate in the debate, she "deserves" response on the subject matter however it comes. Rebekah's comments about "tone" are irresponsible and a childish conceit for in fact not dealing with substance.

    Now let's focus on exactly the propaganda Rebekah is actually peddling, namely playing the dirtiest, most gutter game of trying to slime anyone who argues Adams should resign as being a homophobe. Some key facts Rebekah dishonestly ignores or tries to spin.

    Key fact 1: Events have borne out that Ball is the candidate who told the truth Sam engaged in a very problematic relationship with a young man whose judgement may have been clouded by Sam's power and status. Since Ball is also gay, all of the rationalizing about Sam's outright lie, as well as claims Ball was just engaging in sleazy politics, is dishonest pap. Until Sam's excuse-makers like Rebekah honestly coming to grips with that truth, and all that this event actually says about their own dishonorable character, they have nothing credible to contribute.

    Key fact 2: The propaganda tactic of people like Rebekah is to attack the motives of even honest opponents, not their facts: I believe that undercurrent of implied criminality is the driving force for calls for the Mayor to resign when the truth is that the only mistake Sam has made is lying about a private relationship to a news reporter. The fact is, we don't know the truth. If Rebekah actually has evidence that she does, there's a pretty good likelihood she'll be called to testify. Rebekah should have shared that evidence here if she is actually trying to make a credible and honest argument. Instead she in substance accuses every person who asserts Sam should resign, regardless of their reasons, of being homophobes. Or even worse in the self-centered NW, for being callous for not forgiving Sam because of the homophobes. Yet she and those who share her views have not been equally charitable towards Ball who in fact risked his personal and political reputation in telling the truth.

    Key fact 3: This is for those who want to falsely impeach Adams on some theory of lesser criminal liason with a minor. And for Sam's apologists who jump on this red herring to create their own red herring arguments (while still throwing in their "homophobe" accusations): That is a separate issue about values and beliefs of what should be criminalized. There are a large number of people who can disagree with those laws, and therefore will carry out their own acts of civil disobedience by refusing to be compelled too speak in violation of their 1st Amendment rights, and who believe Adams should resign because he doesn't have the leadership character and personal integrity to be mayor.

    What Sam has done is shown he is a poor leader and sets a poor example of leadership for everyone. That is far from inconsistent with his record as an elected official. Rather than do the honorable thing and admit the truth, people like Rebekah starting hurling vile accusations which she doesn't even attempt to prove, much less have the facts to prove.

    The real goal of apologists like Rebekah is just to keep the guy they like, and who will benefit them by trying to take the City in the direction they want, in power. They selfishly want this regardless of whether what it is genuinely in the best interest of all (something they don't have the right to define for others), whether he is actually competent or just a glad-hander, and whether he actually sets a poor example of leadership.

    Sam, Rebekah, and the rest of Sam's apologists show the in the most important ways they are xactly like a lot of selfish right-wingers who defended the right-wing politicians who took our country so far down over the last 8 years.

    On a side note, in this mess of low character, we may all come to regret the calls for this to be thrown to the Attorney General. And for this limelight-seeking Attorney General, who ran on a platform to further distort the role of the Attorney General in line with the direction the right steered that office when they held the legislator several years ago, to agree to accept it.

    Adams, Koger, and the partisans on all sides deserve each other. The rest of us just need to say say we don't have time for the mess they are creating or their petty squabbling. Sam needs to one honorable thing in his career and resign so the people can get on with the business of making the City work.

  • JohnK (unverified)
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    Perhaps Sam could begin the healing process by offering to pay restitution to those whose careers and reputations have been damaged by his unethical behavior and by offering refunds to those of us who contributed to his campaign based on his character and good judgment.

  • Fudge Packers Local #69OSI8 (unverified)
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    Posted by: Resign Now | Jan 24, 2009 9:10:53 AM

    Orr provides a perfect example of the childish sense of self-entitlement and lack of character in this matter that is all too representative:

    I think that's worth a thoughtful discussion, but I don't think I deserve your hostile tone.

    If she wants to participate in the debate, she "deserves" response on the subject matter however it comes. Rebekah's comments about "tone" are irresponsible and a childish conceit for in fact not dealing with substance.

    Very, very, very true. This whole affair has taught me one thing. I think of things like gay-bashing as being part of the era of slavery and male-only suffrage. This has taught me that it isn't dead, that there are a lot of people that go around seeing the world in terms of their being bashed for their sexual orientation.

    I've got a perverse streak that way. I firmly believe that if a person makes a victim of themselves, and they make sure it's going to be an issue, even when it isn't, there is only one, appropriate response. SHOW them what real persecution looks like. If you surround yourself with voluntary misery, why disappoint? I hope that anyone that lived through the Depression and has lived every moment of the last 60 years waiting for the next one gets wiped out by the banking scandal. If you live your whole life around the expectation of a negative, you deserve it.

    I've never had an anti-gay thought in my life. Hell, I've never thought about it at all. Live and let live. I can tell you from now on though, when anyone shows "gay pride", I'm going to get in their face with every crude put-down I've ever heard. "The world is anti-gay" is your community and I'm all for building communities. I'll certainly do my part. Pity this will take time away from persecuting Christians. They're #1 for "by definition we are persecuted". Oh well, train, train, train. Let me read some more on Sam and maybe I can learn some advanced techniques.

    It's easy to tell self-indulgence from real social persecution. The latter never call it that. That's the awareness raising bit. THAT'S why- back to tone- the tone of this is so insulting. Just what don't we know about the gay lifestyle in the year 2009 of the common era? Well, we don't know that our bias is unconscious and influences us in ways that oppress others. That almost sounds like a hypothesis. How about fleshing it out? No, not in Portland. You just say it and, "people that get it will be down with it. If you don't you not". Does anyone in this society- forget Portland- EVER make a statement that's data driven anymore, or is every statement a test to see if you're with the in-group?

    BTW, those commenting on manners... This "More Comment" functionality, besides being an ugly one-size-fits-all-browser-workaround-hack-for-safari, forces one to think about the functionality for a moment, rather than the content. That is the definition of Microshafting. I have no doubt it will inspire ruder comments.

  • G Schmidt (unverified)
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    Here's the thing.

    This idea of Sam "pursuing" Beau has the undertones of exactly the context Rebekah was writing about.

    There was no "pursuing." There was a brief relationship initiated by Beau, but certainly mutual, which ended mutually and amicably.

  • 240NEMLK (unverified)
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    Resign Now, your comments mirror my comments. We deal with facts and the Adams supporters deal with innuendo. Have you noticed the posters replying after us still refuse to discuss the facts we put forward?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Rebekah,

          I'm actually sensing some straight-phobia on this story. One fear is that the actions of an individual will spill over and damage the progress made by an entire group. I think we're past that. I never once looked at this story as a revelation about gay people. I've always thought it confirmed what a jerk Sam is as an individual. It was Sam who brought up the gay-persecution card while going on and on about how young gay men can feel lost and even commit suicide so they need mentoring by someone older who's looking out for them. To hear Sam tell it he practically saved this young man's life. What a guy, but I've always noticed how Sam tends to brag about himself even in a lie like this.
    
     But let's look  at that charge of underage sex. You know, the one leveled at him by another gay man to take advantage of straight-phobia: The fear that straight people are run by stereotypes of gays. Here's where it gets interesting:
    
       This story actually includes TWO vicious attacks on a gay man with the smear of underage sex, and it was Sam Adams doing the second by smearing Bob Ball. As he said in his interview with the Oregonian, "He himself had vulnerability on this issue in his own life."
    
       So when you get all morally outraged at the double standard Sam has to endure by getting smeared like this, your point should also apply to Sam - otherwise you're working with a double standard of your own. What we have here are 2 gay guys acting on their straight-phobias. Do you see that? I mean Sam made a big mistake by accusing Bob Ball of this, but he was relying on his belief that the straights in society would be too outraged by his words to weigh them for what they were: A politician fighting back and not caring whom he hurt.
    
        You might even ask yourself about an official who would do that to a citizen, especially one contemplating a run for mayor. But that doesn't fit the story you're trying to portray here of Sam, the poor, persecuted victim of a double standard.
    
       Too bad for Sam such behavior does fall into a different area: The way officials use their power to manipulate a situation. Yes, there's an element in society driven by homophobia on this, but this isn't really about homophobia. It's about a politician abusing his power. This isn't about a teenager revealing himself to be a gay man. This is about Sam Adams revealing himself to be one of the meanest, calculating, self-righteous, craven politicians that we've seen here in Portland. A man who would attack another gay man with these vicious charges, and throw the gay community under the bus, to keep his tight grip on power. That's what this is ultimately playing into: My phobia of politicians.
    
  • Rebel Dog Speaks (unverified)
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    This is why people find the gay end of the argument suspect (besides irrelevant) as a factor in the Sam story. It's the cherry picking.

    Anyone interested in the truth, as opposed to the sleazy, unfounded accusations being tossed around by those with an agenda to destroy yet another gay man's life through false innuendo, should read the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.

    Does anyone care that until DSM III, the APA defined homosexuality as a sexual deviation? But since they've changed their minds, it's the truth. The APA don't exactly count as "the truth".

    But the ultimate double standard award in all this has to go to the gay community supporting Sam. The ones doing it just because he's gay. Would you lay out to me how those that are calling for Sam's resignation are either consciously or unconsciously acting out their bigoted cultural assumptions, but the Catholic Church is just another religion? Within the last 6 months, the Pope has said that GLBT lifestyles will, literally, be the end of homo sapiens. He's saying that living a committed, gay lifestyle, if accepted by society, will be the end of all civilization. He goes on to say that he means it literally. The species will become weak and become extinct, if GLBT lifestyles are a valid social choice.

    You overlook that everyday to have relationships with the 1/4 of the country that profess that he speaks for them on matters of faith and morals. We call for the head of lying, self-righteous politician and we can't be ignored, but you can do business with Catholics. It's not just cherry picking, it's cherry picking low hanging fruit. You want to hold those with "unconscious programming" responsible? Sue your Catholic boss for not promoting you because you're openly gay. Almost every corp allows for fuzzy criteria, like "is he/she a good person". If your pastor told you on Sunday that living like your subordinate does will be the end of the road for your children, how could you not discriminate? So, how is it that you have to shout at us from the rooftops, but manage to hold your tongue about the rest? It's the same reason Sam lied. Intellectually L. A. Z. Y. As such, the only thing most Americans have against gays is that they didn't think of the entitlement first.

  • Ron C (unverified)
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    As much as so many want to deny, there are moral absolutes in this world. What Mayor Adams did was wrong and how he handled it was wrong. Can I forgive him? You bet. Can I trust him and his word now. Nope. Sam, you gotta go. Quit embarrassing yourself and our City.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @Bill McDonald

    Thank you for articulating what I was thinking, but unable to write. I always enjoy your thoughtful commentary.

  • Matt Petini (unverified)
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    I live in Purley, Surrey and this story has been on the BBC, so I thought I would get it from the horses mouth, so to speak. Well, not exactly his mouth, but we won't extend the metaphor.

    One of the things that seems odd about the discussion, from a UK point of view, is that we put more emphasis on who's doing the talking. I envy your open, accepting style of debate, where you take Rebekah at her word that she is speaking only for herself. Besides being a busy professional that would seldom have the time to write an article, she must be the only "spin doctor" on the planet that also has views! PR ladies don't have opinions. They spin other peoples' opinions. This is a first, as I do take you at your word. Looking at your resume, it still staggers me, though. Maybe that's a cultural difference.

    Does this mean you live in Salem, or just burn a lot of carbon? That is motivation, to find the time to do what you do for a living, for free, for a city you don't live in. I envy Oregonians' sense of civic involvement.

    Oregon AFL-CIO Appoints Rebekah Orr to Communications & Research Director By Lauren Lafaro

    3/4/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rebekah Orr 503.753.3884 Oregon AFL-CIO Appoints Rebekah Orr to Communications & Research Director (Salem) The Oregon AFL-CIO announced today that it has appointed Rebekah Orr to the position of Communications and Research Director. "I am thrilled to join the AFL-CIO in its ongoing efforts for increased fairness and opportunity for Oregon's working families," said Orr. Orr brings to the Oregon AFL-CIO nearly ten years of experience developing strategic communications programs and putting them to work on the grassroots level. She has broad experience in media and government relations, public education initiatives and electoral, ballot measure, legal and legislative campaigns. Orr most recently worked as a Senior Communications Director for Portland-based creative services firm Metropolitan Group. Prior to that, she served as the Communications Director for the House Democratic Caucus in the Oregon Legislature in 2007 and spent more than three years as the Communications Director for the statewide civil rights organization Basic Rights Oregon. Orr attended the University of Oregon where she studied journalism and communications and women's studies. "The depth and breadth of Rebekah's experience brings a new level of sophistication and vision to Oregon AFL-CIO's interaction with our members and with the public at large," said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain."Her skill and talent, combined with that of our already stellar team, positions the AFL-CIO and our affiliates to take our fight for working Oregonians and their families to the next level." The Oregon AFL-CIO is a federation of unions, representing more than 188,000 working families, dedicated to making jobs better and improving the quality of life in our communities for the working families of Oregon. Journalists seeking AFL-CIO comment or story background may contact Orr in the office by calling 503.224.3169 or by cell phone at 503.753.3884. Email correspondance should be directed to [email protected] ###

  • ChickieBlue (unverified)
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    Sorry, but I really think if you replaced young male protege with young female protegee in this story, the effect of the lie is the same. The man in both scenarios may still be tempted to lie, but I don't really care if one stopped and did a gut check on his sexual orientation and the stereotypes it might reinforce. In the end, he still decided to lie.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Straight Perversions did a good job talking about this, but, since I did some research, I thought I'd post this:

    Each US state has its own age of consent. The most common age is 16. In other nations, it's as low as 12. (In many countries, it's effectively below that.)

    The argument that having sex with a person one hour before s(he)reaches the age of consent in a particularly puritanical state is "pedophilia" (while it is legal and therefore justifiable one hour after) is so lacking in reason that it hardly deserves comment. If Breedlove were brain-damaged and under the protection of the state, it would merit this kind of scrutiny. Lacking that, BO readers need to readjust their priorities.

    My position on this has nothing to do with Sam Adams. His position on real estate interests is far more important than this bullshit.

  • DanOregon (unverified)
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    Adams should announce that he will continue to serve pending the outcome of the investigation. Get back to business and measure for himself how well he'll be able to govern. If at the end of the investigation there is doubt about his continued ability to govern or there is other troubling information he should bail out. At the very least, should he stay, he should vow not to raise money for a campaign against any recall efforts. Let his performance be the judge. If there are sufficient numbers who want him gone, he should accept it. If he instead turns this into a "people are out to get me" drama, like Clinton (however true or untrue), I'll be really disappointed.

  • 240NEMLK (unverified)
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    Posters, please address my points and other facts and stop with the "Queer as victim" routine. Are you capable of dealing with facts or does ignoring facts allow you to continue the victim role?

  • J Loewen (unverified)
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    Hetro sexual Clinton got into trouble and impeached because of sex with a 21 yr. old Female.

    Adams lied. Blamed the candidate he brought up of being a liar and smearing him.

    Adams now says that Breedlove was 18. Breedlove in his statement didn't say how old he was.

    trying to turn it into a Gay bashing issue is diverting from the truth of Adams behasvior

  • Minx (unverified)
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    Sam lied, nobody died! News @ 11. Time to move on...

  • Aaron V. (unverified)
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    Who's to say that this scandal is a bad thing?

    It'll cost Sam Adams a ton of political capital, which will ensure that fewer of his hare-brained ideas get serious consideration.

    Portland does not need more streetcars. We do not need to line Homer Williams's pockets again. Portland, Metro, and Vancouver/Clark County should work together on developing a bridge with sufficient capacity, preferably with light rail, but not cowtowing to the loud cyclist lobby.

    Other council members should direct the focus onto well-crafted proposals to bring jobs to the city and keep the city's bureaus running smoothly, not give favors to the cultural creatives or developers.

  • (Show?)

    "If he lied in the first place, then why would you trust him now?"

    Exactly.

    This quote by Vera Katz from today's Oregonian should give anyone pause in trusting Adams:

    "Knowing what the city is going to be facing -- 7 percent budget cuts -- if there is nothing else out there, he [Adams] should consider staying," Katz said."

    Note she said "IF there is nothing else out there. . . he should CONSIDER staying." Wow. There's a ringing endorsement, from one who knows him best.

  • Tom (unverified)
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    During the Lewinsky thing it seemed Portland was mainly behind Clinton. Now the most public voices at least seem to be anti-Sam.

    Did we go backwards in 10 years? I think there is actually less sex-witchunt mentality now that America has seen the GOP puritans for who they really are.

    Is it that we have a different standard for local people? Maybe but I can't see that that's what's really affecting things here.

    And I have a hard time believing the level of outrage is JUST about poor victim smearmonger Ball, the possibility that Ruiz was hired for this reason (pretty much disproven by the anti-Adams Oregonian already), or the possibility that sex happened before the 18th birthday. And the Clinton thing was arguably worse in that he lied under oath and she was HIS intern at HIS place of work.

    By deductive reasoning alone (and without even taking into affect the stereotypes I already know are out there) I can't that homophobia is factoring into Portland's reaction more than liberal or conservative Portlanders are willing to admit? And that's without even taking into account the blatant homophobes (many from out of town perhaps?) that seem to dominate the discussion at Oregonlive and other "mainstream" blogs.

    No one including I or Rebekah conclude that everyone opposing Adams is doing so partially or wholly due to their conscious or subconscious homophobia. But it is certainly legitimate for us to wonder if the percentage opposing Adams or the percentage who have gotten so emotional would be different if this was a straight sex scandal.

  • Tom (unverified)
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    Part of my 5th paragraph should read "I can't help think that homophobia is factoring into Portland's reaction..."

  • (Show?)
    It is sleazy for a 40-something year old person in a position of power to sexually pursue a minor and then lie about it to the public during an election.

    Breedlove was not a minor. The bullshit which flows form that alone renders the rest of your non-think dismissible. We call 17 and 18 year olds who volunteer to be trained to kill people, then are shipped overseas to do so "heros"... but an 18 year old ADULT gives a 42 year old adult an organism, and then moronic calls, and the hyperbolic, factually wrong, bloviating like yours come out of the woodwork.

    Ms. Orr does a good job of encapsulating this and your unhinged and factually full-of-shit statement I quote part of, underscores the very point she made.

    Well done.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Zarathustra | Jan 23, 2009 4:46:03 PM Call me naive but I don't think this is affected one iota by it being a gay relationship. There is no more attention being given than if a hetero hottie were involved.

    Disagree. I know of numerous elected officials that have had May/December sexual relationships. Hell we have a current city councilman who is dating a stripper. Good for him and it is none of my business nor yours.

    The question never would have been asked, nor the social environment one that would have prompted Adams to need to make a boneheaded move to lie about this in the first place if this were a hetero relationship between two consenting opposite gender adults.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Straight Perversions | Jan 23, 2009 11:57:39 PM

    I heartily second your post. Well stated.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Norm! | Jan 24, 2009 12:22:35 AM Can you support your argument with at least one example of these supposedly numerous straight politicians who are dating teenagers without controversy?

    Let's start with our 29th President Warren G. Harding who began having an affair with Nan Britton, which began when she was 16 and he was 51. Oh, and Harding was also having another affair at the time as well with Carrie Fulton Phillips who was still married.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Janus | Jan 24, 2009 2:35:19 AM Here's the problem. If Sam was "dating" Breedlove before he was 18, but not having actual sex there is a very strong liklihood he was engaging in some form of sexual touching.

    No, here's the problem, you have ZERO knowledge of anything to support your fantasy speculation.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Resign Now | Jan 24, 2009 9:10:53 AM Key fact 1: Events have borne out that Ball is the candidate who told the truth Sam engaged in a very problematic relationship with a young man whose judgement may have been clouded by Sam's power and status.

    Your "facts" are wrong. Ball accused Adams of having sex with a minor. He didn't.

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Bill McDonald | Jan 24, 2009 12:18:08 PM This story actually includes TWO vicious attacks on a gay man with the smear of underage sex, and it was Sam Adams doing the second by smearing Bob Ball.

    Except there was no underage sex. Ball's claims were a lie, as was Adams claim to have not had sex with Breedlove who was an adult when they had sex. So who other than Adams was being smeared with the false claim of having had sex with a minor?

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Ron C | Jan 24, 2009 12:52:33 PM As much as so many want to deny, there are moral absolutes in this world.

    What moral absolutes are you speaking of that are pertinent in this case?

  • (Show?)
    Posted by: Harry Kershner | Jan 24, 2009 2:17:28 PM

    Well said.

  • I can be upset and right too (or not? (unverified)
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    I'm not sure why I (or others) should be blasted for calling for Sam to resign? I'm sorry but this is not some homophobic double standard. This is not about Sam being gay.

    This is about his lying, the trust of the public, how he conducted himself and campaign, and...

    About us trying to build a better political system led by better political leaders.

    For me, the word leader put in front of Sam's name is now tarnished. For that matter I feel Portland has also been tarnished.

    I hear what Sam's supporters are saying and I feel that too. I also feel I'm justified in my concerns too.

    I thought with Obama and our new day - we were setting down a different road (in our minds and hearts) than this one.

    It pains me to see Sam go if he does but it also feels right.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Watch the Oregonian video of Sam saying over and over that the charge from Bob Ball was underage sex. He even says Bob wanted to put him in jail. And Sam says about Bob: "He himself had vulnerability on this issue in his own life." How else can you read that? Sam seems to be suggesting that Bob has a history of underage boys himself. Watch it yourself and decide.

       I'm just getting tired of posts like this talking about how homophobic Portland is. If we're so homophobic, how did he get elected?
    
  • (Show?)
    Posted by: I can be upset and right too (or not? | Jan 24, 2009 6:07:24 PM I'm not sure why I (or others) should be blasted for calling for Sam to resign? I'm sorry but this is not some homophobic double standard. This is not about Sam being gay. This is about his lying, the trust of the public, how he conducted himself and campaign, and...

    Not blasting anyone for calling for his resignation over the lying and the resultant lack of trust going forward this has caused him, rendering him potential an ineffectual mayor. But that is not what a large portion of the "outrage" and tar and feathering is, which is very much a double standard and an excuse to rail against Adams because he is gay and this was an instance of two adults having gay sex and the phony "moral" high dungeon that people are going to.

    Do I think that what Adams did was spectacularly stupid and showed a stunning lack of judgment? Absolutely. Does it mean he can no longer serve effectively as mayor? Dunno, right now but he may be fatally wounded politically at a time when Portland needs very effective leadership. But as amply demonstrated by such charmers with screen names like fudgepackers, and the fraudulent claims of sexual predator, pedophilia, etc. which have been hurled about on the intertubes over this, particularly the pass given to numerous elected officials and politicians who have done similar things and nary a peep over it... Ms. Orr points out some very real hypocrisy going on with more than few.

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    This isn't about sex with Breedlove. It's about a lie, a coverup and a potential payoff (Amy Ruiz) to get elected.

    I saw it before on TV many years ago.

    It was called Watergate.

  • Dave Lister (unverified)
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    This isn't about sex with Breedlove. This is about a lie, a coverup and a payoff (Amy Ruiz) to win an election.

    I saw this may years back on TV. It was called Watergate.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    As Jack Bog has said, "Is Portland rotten to the core? It's starting to look that way."

    The way this is to trying to be spinned by the gay community and their close allies is revealing a very tribal instinct to protect their own no matter what the perpetrator did. The spin is that in 2009, we are acting as if it is 1669, which is complete fucking bullshit in my opinion. We have progressed since then and holding Sam Adams up to the same standards of Larry Craig is the mark of that progress.

    The level of denial on Sam Adam's supporters is tantamount to the denial of the parents of Casey Anthony.

    I have stated my reasons why Sam Adams needs to resign in earlier posts on this topic on why he needs to resign and they have very little to do with "sex" and more to do with a situation that caused Sam Adams to lie to get elected.

    I was watching the news earlier and Julie Banderas on Fox News mentioned this story. It is only a matter of days before O'Reilly, Hannity and all the other talking heads at Fox, MSNBC, and CNN pick up this story and send their teams of reporters out here.

    It will be interesting either way. Sam will suffer either way. The Gay community will suffer either way and more if they stand by Sam Adams unconditionally.

  • Joe M (unverified)
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    If this would have worked out different, we would be discussing how Mayor Ball smeared Sam Adams to be Mayor.

    So far, he has lied. He should acknowledge, apologize and get back to work. He has done that. Let the AG do their investigation, which should turn up nothing if the Mayor has totally come clean.

  • (Show?)

    Rebekah

    I struggle with your comments as with so much else concerned with this story.

    You claim there is a homophobic double standard. I willing to allow some kernel of truth in your claim, although I think your use of "homophobia" is a bit overheated.

    But even if you are right, Sam Adams was well aware of these stereotypes from his 20 years in public service. He was well aware of these stereotypes when he chose to pursue a relationship with an 18 year old, rejecting the advice of his staffers.

    And he was well aware of these stereotypes when he feigned moral outrage at Bob Ball's claims.

    This is a very, very serious lapse in judgment. As I've posted before, I do not think this rises to the standard of a "resign-able" offense.

    I have always been suspicious of Sam because he is imperious. He is so confident in the rightness of his beliefs that he rejects criticism and dissent. I have heard this from allies, from city folks, and from political folks.

    This is just one more in a series of times where Sam has shown that be places his own political ambitions and personal motives above those of the public and even above those of his closest friends and confidants.

    I pray that Sam thinks long and hard about what this indicates not just about his personal life, but about his political life.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Let it be said that Sam Adams should try hard to rehabilitate his reputation. But most of all, his supporters need to realize there is a Portland outside trendy NW, the Pearl, inner NE and inner SE Portland. He needs to be reaching out to those people, not the people who would support him no matter what.

    Too true. But he'll probably opt for something to appeal to his base, like getting a full-body tattoo. On the other hand, if Adams wants to try something daring and dangerous, he can start riding the streetcar as a fare inspector and find out if anyone except for out-of-state tourists actually pays.

  • Resign Now (unverified)
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    lestadelc distorts the truth (but what else can anyone expect from an Adams defender at this point?): Posted by: Resign Now | Jan 24, 2009 9:10:53 AM

    Key fact 1: Events have borne out that Ball is the candidate who told the truth Sam engaged in a very problematic relationship with a young man whose judgement may have been clouded by Sam's power and status.
    Your "facts" are wrong. Ball accused Adams of having sex with a minor. He didn't.

    First, the same goes for lestadelc as it does for Orr: If (s)he has actual evidence proving the young man was or wasn't a minor, he should put it on the record here. That is part of what is being investigated.

    Similarly, if lestadelc has any direct quotes from Ball himself saying what lestadelc claims, (s)he should put them on the record. The statement by Ball quoted right on Blue Oregon uses the phrase "a relationship with a minor". (By the way, the Oregonian now longer has the statement at the link from Blue Oregon and elsewhere.)

    What everyone has and cites about Ball are paraphrases by reporters of what Leonard and others supposedly say Ball said. That's called "hearsay" and it's not facts. And even most of that hearsay actually says that Ball alluded to an inappropriate relationship with a minor, which is the case, not specifically sex with a minor, and that we now know became sexual at the latest sometime very shortly after Breedlove turned 18.

    "A problematic relationship" accurately, if delicately, encompasses the actual facts we know and what Ball is reported to have said. It also represents the truth the relationship was inappropriate even if Breedlove had just turned 18.

    It's hardly a good defense to argue Adams was hanging out with a 17-year-old while they both waited for the guy to turn 18. The fact is, an adult old enough to be his dad would have said it's not appropriate to even do that. Breedlove's subsequent behavior, quite understandable because he was just a a kid and is still quite young, demonstrates why Adams did not behave with proper concern for someone who was so much younger and less mature.

    I notice lestadelc, like most of those desperately defending Adams, in addition to be dishonest on this point also fails to counter the other points in the comment.

    Critics who irresponsibly and without basis slander as being homophobes those who argue Adams should resign because he is not leadership quality are just plain low-class.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Opposed Hillary = SEXIST Opposed Barack = RACIST Oppose Sam = HOMOPHOBE

    Our level of discourse is heading in a disturbing direction.....

    Someone needs to scream at the top of their lungs and tell everyone to shut the heck up.

  • 240NEMLK (unverified)
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    lestatdelc, you defend Adams based soley on the statement that he did not have sex with a 17 year old. How do you know this? Certainly you're not going solely on Adams' word. You spent much time and words basing your argument on this and playing the "Queer as victim" card. I personally don't think whether the kid was 17 or 18 is the major factor in this case. I have listed 7 major factors in this case in a previous post above. I have also asked (you) to defend Adams with facts, not innuendo and playing the gay card. You either can't or refuse to address my seven points. I am bringing up the same points many other posters are bringing up. No one will disagree with those points, so they must be true. Until you are willing to deal with the facts surrounding the Adams scandal (listed in my 7 points) SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  • Karl Smith (unverified)
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    Hi Rebekah, Nice article.

    As being gay has become more accepted into the mainstream, so has the Circuit become one part of a larger gay culture. NoiZe understands that our readers who enjoy the Circuit also enjoy many other social events. So, as we continue to bring you unbiased and complete reporting and information on all things Circuit related, we will also keep you up to date with information on many other events you want to know about.

    noiZe Magazine is the premier guide to Circuit Parties, Gay Dance Events, and Festivals. Covering Parties around the world, and providing you with complete information on when and where the best parties are, noiZe is your guide to the hottest events.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    What Sam did, gaining the trust of a teen boy which he could later exploit into a sexual relationship, is commonly referred as “grooming”.

    It is a fairly common practice among insecure, sexually predatory older men who have difficulty establishing relationships with those their own age. They target boys with no male role models in their lives and begin ingratiating themselves to them. Once the teen trusts the older male he can often be easily manipulated into a sexual relationship upon turning 18 (if Sam can be believed on that score).

    The street term applied to men like this is “Chickenhawk”.

    So let’s see, he lied, coerced another to lie, trashed an honest man’s reputation, and handed out a government job to end investigation of the scandal.

    Did I get any of that wrong?

  • wsix (unverified)
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    Rebekah,

    Did you see the headlines today? Oops. You might need to revise your article. You've been duped by Sam again. He has reinforced the stereotype by actually becoming the poster child! How many more half-truths will you hear? Most of us have already concluded that Sam is unfit.

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    Sam got elected by the people to do a job. He should do that job without hindrance from the few who have gone sour. The recall petitions should be fought off but if they succeed the decision will be made by those who are empowered by law to make the decision: the people.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Posted by: mp97303 | Jan 24, 2009 10:04:53 PM

    Opposed Hillary = SEXIST Opposed Barack = RACIST Oppose Sam = HOMOPHOBE

    Our level of discourse is heading in a disturbing direction.....

    Someone needs to scream at the top of their lungs and tell everyone to shut the heck up.

    I've spent 4 years doing that, mainly here, and it ain't working. To be fair, it's down to the contributors. I suppose the pushback on posts like this and "Miss Manners" are better than in the past. Must say, though, you're fast becoming my favorite pithy poster. Guess you're pithed off.

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    Are the people who voted for Adams but who are pissed off at having been lied to by the guy and disgusted by the way he handled this matter homophobes?

  • Meriwether Lewis (unverified)
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    Please. We would be having the same public discussion if he had slept with an 18 year old woman whom he had known when she was 17. We just would have had them at the beginning of the election because no one would have believed "I was just mentoring her."

  • 240NEMLK (unverified)
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    42 year old city councilman Sam Adams kissed a 17 year old for 60 seconds in a city hall restroom. NICE!

  • Beavis (unverified)
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    "...if the Mayor has totally come clean"?

    heh heh heh heh heh yeah. He said "come". That's cool. And the mayor sucks. heh heh heh heh.

  • Lance Comfort (unverified)
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    Actually, I think Sam got more of a pass for being a member of the gay community than he would have received had he been a heterosexual man involved with a 17 year-old girl. No one would be speaking out for him were that the case. He would be labeled a pedophile and quickly ousted from public life. But the people of Portland are good open minded folk, and they are hesitant to come across as biased against a gay man. They instead are willing to accept another dishonest politician rather than face that kind of scrutiny.

    Sorry Sam, I liked you, but you've got to go.

  • 240NEMLK (unverified)
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    Shouldn't the title of this opinion piece be: The Heterophobic Inclination To Make Excuses For Gays.

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    This post is such an easy cop out. Why not accuse everyone with a different point of view of being discriminatory and imply that they are not "LBGT-allied" like you. You'd rather that they just be quiet for fear of being labeled homophobic. It's that patronizing and dismissive attitude that is reckless and irresponsible when people are having a reasonable public discourse on what we should expect of our elected leaders.

    I am every bit pro-LBGT as anyone else on this site and I take offense to your implication that I am homophobic because I think Sam should face some consequences for his actions. I don't care what gender Sam or any other politician's partners are. I don't think he even had an obligation to tell us whether or not he had sex with a consenting adult (if that's actually what happened). Nor do I expect perfection from elected officials, they're human too.

    Sam could have responded to the original story by saying he's never done anything illegal, and that anything beyond that is private and none of our business (and hopefully that would be the truth). But instead he decided to go out of his way to lie to the public in order to fulfill his own political ambition. He then may have attempted to cover up his lie by hiring a reporter for an important city position for which she was woefully unqualified. Now he is being investigated by the police for potentially committing a felony, yet you state that it's irresponsible to think anything happened before Breedlove was 18. Actually, it would really be irresponsible for authorities and the public in general to assume that Sam wouldn't lie to protect his career when he's already done so. So, he has completely destroyed his credibility, and now he has to take time to respond to this story when he should be governing. Sam made a series of stupid decisions that have led him to this point, and now he should have to suffer the consequences. It doesn't matter whether those decisions involved an 17-18 year old boy or girl. If he can't be an effective mayor because he has to deal with all of this, then he should resign. Portland deserves better.

    If anything, it is people like you who have a double standard. I am certain that if it were a straight Republican politician who was in the same situation with a potentially 18-year-old female, opinion on BlueO would be pretty uniform. We would all be calling his actions predatory and disgusting. But because some commenters here like Adams' politics, they rush to dismiss all arguments against Sam and impugn the integrity of the people making them.

    It's disappointing to see accusations of homophobia being used to silence dissent on this site. I am not criticizing Sam because he is gay, I am criticizing him because he is an idiot.

  • Duckworth Lewis (unverified)
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    Well put, Nick and mp.

  • Dav (unverified)
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    <h2>But now reports are coming out that Adams had sex with Breedlove when Breedlove was only 17 (according to one of Breedlove's high school friends). Maybe voters forgave Adams to soon... Breedlove is also on felony probation.</h2>
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