So I'm a live and let live kind of gal. If it's legal and among consenting adults, then I'm not so concerned about it. So Oregon GOP House Leadership....
(Michelle Cole, The Oregonian):
In January, Cameron, House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna and five other Republican House members took a three-day golfing vacation to Palm Springs, where they also visited a bar featuring topless dancers.
No state or campaign money was spent on the trip. But the embarrassing details are surfacing just as Republicans are trying to win majority control of the House, or at least maintain the 30-30 tie that granted them equal power to Democrats in the past two years.
The other GOP House members who were on the trip: Republican whip Tim Freeman, R-Roseburg, Rep. Vic Gilliam, R-Silverton, Rep. Matt Wand, R-Troutdale; and Rep. Patrick Sheehan, R-Clackamas and naturally, Rep. Matt Wingard, R-Wilsonville.
If your wives and constituents don't mind, then hey, knock yourselves out. But it's probably a good thing this story came out in August and not, say February, before the filing deadline. Otherwise there may have been a whole slew of social conservatives filing to run against these guys in the primary. But I digress.
The really juicy part of this story isn't the story itself, but why it came out in the first place. Apparently, a retaliatory threat by the disgraced, scandal-plagued GOP State Rep Matt Wingard was in the air:
With Republicans still reeling from the sex scandal involving Rep. Matt Wingard and a young female staffer, former House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron confirmed he abruptly stepped down last month, in part, because of a retaliatory threat that the public would find out about the night he and other GOP lawmakers -- including Wingard -- spent at a California topless bar.
After the scandal broke in which Wingard was accused of pressuring one of his staffers for sex, it fell to Cameron to decide Wingard's fate. More from The Oregonian:
After the news broke, Wingard stepped down as deputy leader on June 14. The next week Wingard announced he would not seek re-election.
Cameron says he was roundly criticized for taking too long to act and for not doing enough. He says others criticized him for overreacting to the allegations.
In the end, the responsibility fell on the Republican leader's shoulders.
"I made a phone call to Matt and said, 'If you don't step back from your candidacy, then I will have to publicly call for your resignation,'" Cameron said. "That did not go over well."
It was after Wingard had pulled his name from the ballot that Cameron said he heard talk in GOP circles that Wingard might go public about the men's' Palm Springs vacation.
"Matt never had any discussion with me directly about that," Cameron said. "There were rumors that he would do that."
Others who were on the trip said they'd also heard the rumors that Wingard had threatened to tell all. Freeman said he didn't believe it.
Right..a guy who would smack his child over the head with a screw driver is probably not going to be the guy to blackmail the leadership of his party. Good call, Freeman.
Weird how a bunch of the trouble among the Republican Party right now seems to lead right into the Matt Wingard vortex, eh? Makes that old adage, "When you lie with pigs--you get muddy" seem like very sage, if not late, advice.