OR House: Bruce Hanna: "I've never been blackmailed"

Carla Axtman

I don't know what Bruce Hanna is really trying to accomplish with this interview in the Eugene Register Guard, but it doesn't seem to serve the purpose he's articulating, according to the headline:

Hanna wants to put visit to topless bar behind him, by Saul Hubbard:

Oregon House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna, a Roseburg Republican, said Monday that a visit that he and six other state GOP lawmakers took to a California topless bar earlier this year was “regrettable,” but he added that he hasn’t considered stepping down from his leadership position.

“If one defines this as a wrong turn, this does not define me,” he said. “The work I have done on legislation that matters to Oregonians far outweighs this one incident.”

The visit to the topless bar, first reported by The Oregonian newspaper last week, occurred during a “personal vacation” that Hanna took to Palm Springs, Calif., with six male colleagues, three of whom held leadership positions in the House Republican caucus at the time.

As I've already stated, Hanna and the boys can fly their crazy freak flags all they want. I could care less. The crux of the problem is that they set themselves up to be blackmailed by Matt Wingard:

Rep. Kevin Cameron of Salem since has acknowledged that he gave up his position as House Republican leader in July in part due to fears that details of the bar visit would be disclosed to the public. Cameron told The Oregonian that rumors were circulating in GOP circles that one of the other lawmakers on the trip, Rep. Matt Wingard of Wilsonville, might speak up about the visit. Cameron had previously asked Wingard to scrap his re-election bid after a former aide accused Wingard of pressuring her into a sexual relationship.

Hanna, whose district includes Cottage Grove, Oakridge, and much of southeastern Lane County, said Monday that he had heard “similar rumors” about Wingard going public about the topless-bar visit, but only “second- or third-hand.”

Later in the piece Hanna goes on to say, "I've never been blackmailed."

First of all, if you have to say that in an interview where clearly some kind of blackmail type thing has been involved, that's not good.

But Hanna still has his sweet leadership gig despite his "regrettable" actions. His colleague, Kevin Cameron, is a different story. Cameron lost his spot when he believed that Wingard was ratting them out them about this trip.

So was Cameron the sacrificial lamb? If this incident is merely "regrettable" and not something one should lose their leadership spot over, why did Cameron lose his...and not Hanna?

And honestly, if Hanna really wants to put it behind him, why give an interview to a reporter and continue to jawbone about the story?

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