David Wu accused of "aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior"

Carla Axtman

The Oregonian is reporting tonight that a young woman is accusing Democratic Congressman David Wu of "aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior". The woman is said to have reported the incident to Wu's staff via a voice mail message in the spring.

If true, this story is potentially the nail in Wu's political coffin. Which is why I suspect the Oregonian put 5 reporters on it:

Charles Pope, Beth Slovic, Janie Har, Jayme Fraser and Lynne Palombo:

The woman is the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. She apparently did not contact police at the time.

One person who heard the voice mail described the woman as upset, breathing heavily and "distraught."

In the voice mail, the young woman accused Wu of aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior, according to sources with direct knowledge of the message and its contents.

Reporters could not verify the young woman's age. Notes on Facebook over the last 18 months indicate she graduated from high school in 2010. California records show she registered to vote last August.

Wu told his staff that the sexual encounter was consensual. She is likely 18-19 years old, according to the story.

As many are aware, this isn't the first time Wu has been accused of sexual misconduct. During the 2004 election, a story surfaced from Wu's time at Stanford (in 1976). A young woman accused Wu of trying to force her to have sex with him.

Tonight's Oregonian story hearkens back to that 2004 reporting:

Wu refused interview requests related to the Stanford incident for months and hired an attorney who aggressively attacked the paper's reporting and sought to stop publication. When the story ran three weeks before the 2004 election, Wu quickly apologized for his "inexcusable behavior" and was re-elected.

Ironically, the attorney hired by Wu to fight the Oregonian was Michael Simon. Simon is married to State Senator Suzanne Bonamici, who is widely reported to be considering a run for the Congressional seat Wu now holds. Simon quit working for Wu a number of months ago and was recently confirmed as a federal judge in Oregon.

Update: 9 p.m.: KATU is reporting that Wu has issued a statement on the matter:

"This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family."

Update: 3 p.m., Saturday: The Oregonian reports that Wu spoke with the Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi:

U.S. Rep. David Wu spoke briefly to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Saturday after Pelosi's meeting at the White House to discuss the federal debt ceiling.

The substance of the conversation was not disclosed, but congressional sources familiar with the thinking and attitude of congressional leadership said it's likely that Pelosi told Wu to resign and to step down soon.

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    Well, this looks like the end of Wu and a clarification of the nomination process for that district.

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    What Paulie said. Rep. Wu owes both an apology and a resignation to his district and to the people of Oregon. This is ridiculous.

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    How gracious of David Wu, he states he has "no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family." He did however apparently have no qualms in visiting acts of aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior upon her. David Wu has become a shell of a man, he "stinketh" like a walking cadaver. If Wu had a shred of personal integrity, we used to call it honor, he would resign. If he did resign then there could be a wide open Democratic primary but being an unthinking walking cadaver Wu will not resign therefore there is a real danger a multicandidate primary will result in a victory for the incumbent with name recognition and out-of-the-area funding. Is there anyone with any influence with David Wu to encourage him to finally leave the stage? If Wu is exposed to sunlight for any length of time would he melt?

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    David needs, and hopefully is getting, counseling therapy. I hope he is being more honest with his therapist than he is with the public. He seems in denial and he should not be holding public office. I hope that those loyal supporters in the district that remain will understand that they are not doing him a service by continuing to support him in his political office. By supporting him politically they are continuing to enable his behavior. He needs to deal with his personal demons and get his life in order.

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    Yikes. If anyone else wants to enter the Democratic primary, they should do so soon, or meet with the announced candidates to discuss the matter. Assuming that Wu refuses to resign, having more canidates in the race benefits him tremendously. The people deserve better. He needs to step down, or at the very least, not seek another term. Avakian, Witt, Bonamici or anybody else would be better at this point.

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    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A source says Congressman David Wu will likely be speaking with congressional leaders Saturday about a newspaper report that a young woman has accused the Democrat of an unwanted sexual encounter.

    The source, who is close to the congressman, spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    The source says any potential outcome of the talks with congressional leaders is not known.

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    Indirect and unconfirmed reports are that Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has urged Rep. Wu to resign.

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    Long past time for Wu to go.

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    Well, this is it for me concerning Congressman Wu. Having had an issue with mental illness, assuming it is quickly controlled, was not an absolute deal breaker.

    But sexual advances, wanted or not, towards a 19 year old by a 56 year old Congressman - the daughter of one of his friends from highschool - is. Period.

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    1. Politico states event occurred around Thanksgiving ... Thanksgiving occurs in November ... what else occurs in November ... hmmm ... I may have to do some math here ... carry the three ... oh yeah, you guys voted for Wu in November.

    2. The young lady graduated in 2010 so, what's the age range here?

    3. David Wu said it was consensual ... will one of you PLEASE defend that ... please? pretty please?

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      No one is defending David's actions and there are plenty of calls for him to resign. Clearly the Democratic party is going to nominate someone else. If you are implying that everyone who voted for him knew that he had done all the things that have come out since the election then you are living in a time warp.

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      Geoff, if you had studied civics, you would know that elections occur in early November and Thanksgiving occurs in late November.

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    A quick clarification here: The post from David Robinson implies that the resolution to be addressed at our central committee Wed evening comes from the Democratic Party of Washington County and/or party leadership. It does not. The resolution comes from David Robinson himself. And since it does not come through the P&R committee of our organization, it will require a 2/3 vote of precinct committeeperson (PCPs) to suspend the rules to consider the resolution. Finally, only duly elected or appointed PCPs can vote on either the rules suspension or the resolution itelf.

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    Sorry if you misunderstood my post above. The post is clear that it will be a call from the floor. I wish the Washco Dems leadership was bringing the motion, but I am very happy that our procedures allow for membership to bring motions.

    Obviously there are others with strong beliefs on this issue (I have already received offers from people wanting to carry this motion at Multnomah Dems meeting next month).

    I am a PCP and that leadership role gives me the platform to bring these important issues to a vote.

    He has totally crossed the line of trust and decency with this one.

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    Actually, David, I am not the only one who "misunderstood" your post. I have been fielding media calls all day long from reporters who want to know more about why the Democratic Party of Washington County is putting forth this resolution. And I might add, from several activists who also "misunderstood" your posting on our FB page.

    I am not disputing your ability to bring forth a resolution to the floor, only the fact that you did so by posting on the official Democratic Party of Washington County Facebook page, and, I might add, without the courtesy of notifying the Chair, Platform and Resolutions Committee or Exec Board. I think I lot of people, might have "misunderstood" your intention.

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      A nuanced discussion of how the floor resolution for the WashCo Dems was misunderstood by the media makes it appear that you can't see the forest through the trees. The horse has already left the barn.

      Perhaps your "inside baseball" debate matters to you. I can assure you it doesn't matter to Rep. Wu's constituents. What we would like to know is how in the hell did David Wu get elected to Congress and then re-elected over and over again if his personal life and mental health were in such dire straits?

      Wu must resign, even if that requires every shlub who voted for him to stand on his lawn and sing Tigger songs. Public outrage is necessary and proper; a resolution for the Washington County Dems is too little, too late.

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