David Wu admits taking someone else's prescription painkillers

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Among the more puzzling aspects about the stories swirling around Congressman David Wu have been the reports that his staff attempted an "intervention" at a downtown pharmacy.

Why would his staff feel the need to conduct an intervention at a pharmacy?

Now, we've got a bit more detail. From the Oregonian:

Wu told The Oregonian he had accepted prescription medication from a campaign contributor in Portland in October. Wu said that he had left the painkiller prescribed by his doctor for neck pain in Washington and that the donor offered him something for a severe episode.

"The donor offered me an alternative painkiller, and I took two tablets. This was the only time that this has ever happened," Wu wrote. "I recognize that my action showed poor judgment at the time, and I sincerely regret having put my staff in a difficult position."

A campaign staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the person still works in politics, confirmed that Wu, 55, had taken oxycodone from the donor.

To me, that still doesn't sound like the whole story. Using someone else's pain pills is dumb (and maybe illegal - any lawyers fill us in here?), but assuming that the prescription matches and it's a one-time event, it doesn't seem to be something that would lead to staff demands that Wu enter a psychiatric hospital.

It seems to me that there's still more to this story.

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    Again, as I stated for a couple of days now... substance abuse issue (specifically the same one that the fright-win propaganda king Rush Limbaugh was busted from at an airport once).

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    Or maybe it's an over-reaction on the staffer's part - some of the staff behaviors are not adding up either.

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    Also, the incident at the pharmacy seems unrelated to a one time taking of pain pills.

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    I'd like to give Wu the benefit of the doubt in this difficult time, but "two Oxycodone"?? That's about as hard to believe as "I didn't inhale."

    I am not sure he is being completely honest with the media, not surprisingly at this juncture. I hope he's being completely honest with himself and with his doctor.

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    So, in other words, you will keep insinuating things, Kari, rather than present facts with reasoned argument to try and take down this Congressman. In other words, he might be hiding things, he's tainted with my accusations, so he should resign immediately. This is not journalism, it's tabloid propaganda.

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      Bill, I am not insinuating things. I am - for the first time, by the way - expressing my concern that we're not getting the whole story.

      I have not called on him to resign. My thoughts have swung wildly back and forth - and I'm reserving judgment until I see more facts.

      But that's exactly what we're still missing here -- facts.

      And that's what I'm waiting for.

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      Kari doesn't need me to defend him...but clearly that's not what Kari said, Bill.

      We're talking about A LOT of staff here..senior, long-time staff who'd invested years of their career with Wu.

      This isn't a bunch of fly-by-night folks or simply a newspaper with a grudge against Wu. There's clearly been some ongoing problems.

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      Bill, why do you feel that he does not have an obligation to come back to the district and talk to his constituents and be fully forthcoming? I suspect the people in his district will be pretty sympathetic if he did that, but this continual ducking the voters and just giving talking points is getting wearing.

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    David Wu has to resign.

    But, as he's been in Congress for quite awhile, I'm sure he's pretty well set financially- could probably take a couple of years off and relax and consider his options.

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    Not sure where Barnhart is on this issue. He did a story here not long ago giving a certain GOP state rep. the what for because a crime was not reported. I would think he would chime in when a member of congress quite likely committed a crime.

    From Barnharts story: Matt Wingard, just a few weeks ago, swore to uphold the Constitution of the State of Oregon. He swore to “faithfully discharge the duties” of his office. Not reporting a felony is a crime for any citizen; for someone holding an elected office, it’s a double-dip of dereliction. It’s possible that the crime or crimes (Wingard’s statement indicates multiple offenses) occurred before he took office. There were several elections using vote-by-mail prior to that time. But if these felonies were perpetrated after Wingard took office and he did not report them, he has committed both a crime himself and a violation of legislative ethics.

    Barnhart? Hello? Where are you when we need you? :-)

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      Darrell, are you referring to Wu taking someone else's prescription pills? which Wu has publicly admitted, in a national forum? i don't really think that's being hidden or ignored. if he committed a crime, it's out there to be prosecuted. although i'm not sure taking someone's prescription, when they give you 2 pills, is actually a crime. just not very bright.

      feel free to be specific.

      i'm the only person who seems to care about Wingard's admission (which disappoints me). Wu's situation is getting a tad more play. you really think i'm needed? or are you just getting a big boner from calling out a liberal on his hypocrisy?

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        well, duh, of course that's what he was referring to. what a muldoon.

        sigh. that's what i get for not reading to the top of the page! i wasn't even aware what page i'm on; i'm having trouble reading & typing in this tiger costume.

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        Your offensive use of imagery is disappointing and unnecessary.

        One of the most difficult parts of political passion is being intellectually consistent.

        "If someone I like does it, it should be overlooked, but if someone I oppose does it, they should be taken to the woodshed."

        Whether friend or foe, I like to tease people a little when it appears they are being inconsistent. Some admit it. Others, like you, try to explain it away. I'm guilty of it sometimes. I think we all are. And, for what it's worth, I call out a lot more friends than opponents.

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          i am offended that you find my imagery offensive. it was colorful.

          to be honest, i wrote in haste: i was in the middle of something else & didn't realize the drug thing was the big deal. but what i wrote remains the same: Wu's admission is out in the world -- far more than Wingard's will ever be -- and people are paying attention. and that's what i called for in my piece on Wingard: for people to pay attention. i suggested someone file an ethics complaint; not being from his district, that's not appropriate for me. i'm not in Wu's district either. same thing.

          there is nothing inconsistent in what i wrote. the two cases are not similar; they don't call for the same actions. Wingard said something stupid in a committee hearing that i took as an admission of wrong-doing; no one seems to agree. there is no question that Wu screwed up, but every is paying attention to that. i'm not sure why i should be required to add to the noise just to satisfy your version of consistency. which is inconsistent with mine.

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    Unlawful possession of controlled Substances. Oxycodon/Oxycontin is a schedule II drug, making it a class C Felony. Assuming he had no valid prescription for the Oxy. The donor can be prosecuted for delivery of the drug, a Class B Felony.

    I'm sure this stuff happens often, but it's rarely prosecuted because it seldom comes to the attention of authorities. And it's more of a middle/upper class drug crime which prosecutors tend to use their discretion not to prosecute in any event.

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