Kitzhaber

THE CURIOUS CASE OF JACOB DANIELS

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There aren’t many people who can say they work at the upper echelons of politics. That they participate in local politics. That they own their own law firm. That they represent notable clients throughout the State. That they are an equity partner in a recently launched research firm (that has already nabbed big clients). That they work remotely at a Washington, D.C. consulting firm from their office across the country in Creswell, Oregon, or as Jacob Daniels would prefer, from his couch in Creswell, Oregon.

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Not many people do these things. But if they do, they certainly don’t do them at the same time, and if they are doing them at the same time, they don’t do it all by the age of 30…, unless you are Jacob Daniels.

Daniels is a friend of mine, and although I have always enjoyed watching him energetically operate, I never thought that it was newsworthy.

But last week I saw Daniels’ name appear in the news on three different fronts: On the cover of The Oregonian regarding a large political operation; both the Register-Guard and The Eugene Daily News reported that Daniels has been recently retained in a high-profile manslaughter case; and oddly enough, a ballot measure that Daniels had written in his hometown of Creswell had failed, receiving 44 percent of the vote.

Sure, sometimes I see Daniels on the news giving a legal opinion or talking about politics, but that’s just Daniels, he is always out there trying to get something done.

But it seems like this guy is in a real hurry to get things done.

Depending on what side you are on, you either think that Daniels is doing the Lord’s work, or you think he is the Devil. But regardless, he gets things done. I know, because I have been watching my friend for a long time.

Daniels is very proud that he attended Tulane Law School. You don’t have to spend much time with him before you hear from him that he went to Tulane. To some people, it comes across as arrogant. But if you know Daniels, you know that he is just a guy born in Cottage Grove, Oregon who can’t believe he has a seat at the table.

Following his graduation from Tulane Law School, Daniels returned home to work as the Deputy Research Director to former NBA star Chris Dudley’s 2010 campaign for Oregon Governor. On election night it looked like Dudley was going to become Oregon’s next Governor, but by morning John Kitzhaber had taken a narrow lead over Dudley and won a third term as Oregon’s Governor.

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But then Kitzhaber turned around and appointed Daniels to the Governor’s Small Business Advisory Council at the age of twenty-five, and Daniels began to explore running for public office himself.

In 2012, at twenty-six years old, Daniels decided he wanted to join the Oregon House of Representatives. He entered the 2012 GOP primary for Oregon House District 11 against the popular Kelly Lovelace, who had spent his life running businesses in the district and working in the grass fields that serve as the backbone of Linn County’s economy. Daniels didn’t win that race, but he knocked on just about every single door in the legislative district, raised tens of thousands of dollars, and lost the race by 256 votes.

Following that race, Daniels was appointed to the City Council of Creswell, ran for election and earned a full term on the City Council. Daniels was subsequently elected twice as the City Council President. But Daniels didn’t feel he was a good fit on the Council.

In written answers to questions sent to Daniels, he wrote: “I left the Council because I was ticked-off about the passage of a budget. I got up and left during a meeting. While exiting I proclaimed that I was resigning. Looking back, I am really disappointed with the way I handled my exit. In hindsight I should have sat through the meeting and tendered my resignation the following day in writing. It had been a culmination of things. I believe that government should be inconsequential in our lives. I’m not anti-government. I just have a different outlook on government. In essence, I realized that a guy who wants to shrink government has no business running a government. There are a couple places for people with my outlook on government, such as lobbying tired Congressmen in the Rayburn Building [Editor’s note: The Rayburn Building is one of the major office buildings for members of Congress] and fighting it out in the courtrooms.”

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During Daniels’ brief flirtation with public office he started his own law practice, began handling family law and criminal cases, and continued his work in politics. Daniels earned a niche as a hardline researcher who found tiny pieces of evidence necessary to push numerous state legislators across the finish line to election or re-election. According to public campaign finance reports, Daniels now serves as general legal counsel to the political arm of the Oregon House Republicans.

Daniels and some of his research colleagues recently launched a firm called Oregon Research Consultants, LLC. In response to written questions, Daniels wrote: “I am very excited about Oregon Research Consultants. We have already finished our first project and we have a great team in place. Due to time constraints I am a minority owner of the firm, so I don’t speak on behalf of the firm, but we have nabbed a couple great clients and I expect good things.”

Those research skills became very important in former Representative Dennis Richardson’s 2014 campaign for Governor. Daniels came on as the campaign attorney and chairman of the debate preparation team and worked diligently to help Richardson connect the dots in the John Kitzhaber/Cylvia Hayes scandal – which included the campaign sending a letter to the FBI and United States Attorney urging a criminal investigation.

As the Kitzhaber/Hayes scandal began to grow, Daniels filed a petition to recall Governor Kitzhaber, at the age of twenty-nine.

For the few weeks following his effort to recall Governor Kitzhaber, both Daniels and national political operative Charlie Pearce eagerly poured flames on the fire with both the local press and national media outlets including NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, etc.

It is safe to say that Jacob Daniels has earned his spot at the table. The big question to ask is pretty simple. “What’s next?”

According to Daniels, “I just want my driver Patrick Dills to win the Championship on Saturday night at Cottage Grove Speedway.”

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber Resigns

2-11 kitzhaberSALEM, Ore. — Embattled Oregon Governor Kitzhaber resigned from office in Salem Friday, following months of controversy and questions surrounding he and his fiancée Cylvia Hayes.

This comes after key Democratic allies urged him to step down Thursday.

Senate President Peter Courtney told reporters he and House Speaker Tina Kotek asked Kitzhaber to resign.

Also, Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler also released a statement Thursday, asking for the governor to resign.

Prior to Friday’s announcement, the governor continued to repeat that he and his fiancée Cylvia Hayes have done nothing wrong. They are in the midst of an investigation over allegations that Hayes used her position in the governor’s office to land contracts for her consulting business.

Democratic Party leaders believe the scandal is interfering with the governor’s ability to lead.

The governor’s office released this statement Friday, along with a letter of resignation.

Governor Kitzhaber Announces Resignation

Resignation effective at 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 18, 2015
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber released the following statement today.

I am announcing today that I will resign as Governor of the State of Oregon.

It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken – it is to stand and fight for the cause.  For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue.

I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved. But even more troubling – and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon – is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value.

It is something that is hard for me to comprehend – something we might expect in Washington, D.C. but surely not in Oregon. I do not know what it means for our shared future but I do know that it is seriously undermining civic engagement in this state and the quality of the public discourse that once made Oregon stand out from the pack.

Nonetheless, I understand that I have become a liability to the very institutions and policies to which I have dedicated my career and, indeed, my entire adult life. As a former presiding officer I fully understand the reasons for which I have been asked to resign. I wish Speaker Kotek and President Courtney and their colleagues on both sides of the aisle success in this legislative session and beyond. And I hope that they are truly committed to carrying forward the spirit of bipartisanship and collaboration that has marked the last four years in Oregon.

In 1968 I was inspired to commit my life to public service by the last campaign of Robert Kennedy. Forty-one years ago I started work as an emergency room doctor in Roseburg with a goal to make life better for those in my care. Ever since then, I have sought to keep that focus by trying to make things better for the people and the communities of this state that I love. I have had the extraordinary privilege of pursuing that work as a State Representative, State Senator, Senate President and as your Governor.

Over those years, I have had the honor to be a part of some remarkable achievements.

  • We responded to the worst recession and financial crisis since the Great Depression by rebuilding an Oregon economy that has added jobs and vitality in many regions of our state.  And, unlike many other parts of our nation, we did it together with cooperation and respect for Oregon and for each other.

 

  • We successfully defended Oregon’s spectacular natural heritage of clean water, clean air, forests, farmland and special places.  We created the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds and nearly 90 watershed councils.

 

  • We have also found ways to support our rural communities and to create jobs in our natural resources industries while enhancing the environment.

 

  • When forces of intolerance sought to divide us we stood up for the principal that every Oregonian deserves respect and basic rights – including the right to choose and the right to marry the person we love.

 

  • And I am proud that Oregon has not invoked the death penalty during my last four years on the watch.

 

  • We have stood by our working men and women steadfastly supporting collective bargaining and the right to form a union.

 

  • We have transformed our health care system, improving access and quality while lowering costs through our new Coordinated Care Organizations.  Tonight over 95 percent of Oregonians will go to bed knowing that they have health insurance coverage.  We did that together.

 

  • In a three-day special session we reformed our public pension system, provided tax relief to small businesses and raised new revenue for mental health and for public education  — the foundation of our future.

 

  • We have passionately pursued the goal of equity and opportunity – especially for those Oregonians who have been left behind: communities of color, English language learners and those in poverty, those in the rural parts of our state, the very young and the very old.

 

  •  We have laid the groundwork for eliminating the achievement gap and ensuring that over 90 percent of our children could be reading at level in 3rd grade within five years.

 

  • And we are poised to reach agreements that will resolve the century-old water crisis in the Klamath Basin and expand irrigated agriculture in the Umatilla.

As important as what we have accomplished – how we have accomplished it is perhaps even more important. We have had a great tradition of overcoming partisan differences in this state and doing what is right for Oregon. That tradition had faltered, but over the past four years we have rebuilt a functional political center, reaching across party lines to do difficult, important things by reducing polarization and building community to help right the ship and chart a better course for our future.

I ran for a fourth term as your governor to continue that progress. But the questions that have been raised about my administration – specifically allegations against me concerning the work done by my fiancé Cylvia Hayes and the contracts she obtained during my last term – and the escalating media frenzy that has stemmed from this – has clearly reached the point of no return.

I am confident that I have not broken any laws nor taken any actions that were dishonest or dishonorable in their intent or outcome. That is why I asked both the Ethics Commission and the Attorney General to take a full and comprehensive look at my actions – and I will continue to fully cooperate with those ongoing efforts.  I am equally confident that once they have been concluded Oregonians will see that I have never put anything before my love for and commitment to Oregon and faithfully fulfilling the responsibilities of the public offices I have held

But it is also clear that this process will take months.

I have always had the deepest respect for the remarkable institution that is the Oregon Legislature; and for the office of the Governor. And I cannot in good conscience continue to be the element that undermines it. I have always tried to do the right thing and now the right thing to do is to step aside.

One thing I hope people know about me is that I love this state and its people, its rivers, its mountains and its landscapes with every fiber of my being. It is because of that love that I tender my resignation as Governor, effective at 10 a.m. on February 18, 2015. Secretary of State Kate Brown will take the oath of office as Oregon’s Governor at that time. Oregon will be in good hands and I wish her well.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you and our state. It has been the honor of my life. And I believe I can say that looking back over those years we have left it better than we found it.
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Watch KEZI 9 News at 5, 6, and 6:30 p.m. for the latest on the announcement.

Treasurer Calls for Governor to Resign

Governor KitzhaberSALEM, Ore. — Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler is weighing in on Governor John Kitzhaber’s plan to not resign.

He released the following statement Thursday on the governor:

“It is with deep sadness that I ask Governor John Kitzhaber to resign his position as Governor of Oregon. He has accomplished many great things during his long career, and history will be kinder to him than current events suggest.

“Unfortunately, the current situation has become untenable, and I cannot imagine any scenario by which things improve. Oregon deserves a Governor who is fully focused on the duties of state.

“I hope the Governor will do the right thing for Oregon and its citizens.”

Watch KEZI 9 News at 5, 6, and 6:30 p.m. for more on this developing story.

Kitzhaber to Stay in Office

Portland, Ore — Governor John Kitzhaber is speaking for the first time after a day of speculation that he would resign.

It caps what was a wild day in Oregon politics where the governor held private meetings with high ranking state leaders and some say he almost stepped down.

As news came down of Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown’s abrupt departure from a Washington D.C. conference rumors began to swirl at the State Capitol in Salem.

Was Kitzhaber stepping down and would Brown step in?

Rolling up to his Portland home Kitzhaber quickly quelled any rumors or assumptions he would resign.

“As I indicated last week I recognize I’ve been getting a lot of pressure from many corners to do so, don’t intend to do so. Tuesday as you know I went and visited the legislative leadership to get their sense you know my presence in terms of the legislative agenda. And as a matter of respect I called the secretary of state I think it was also Tuesday and told her that I’d like to speak to her,” said Kitzhaber.

Kitzhaber says he met privately with Brown Wednesday to tell her his intention to not resign.

Sources tell the AP he changed his mind Wednesday.

But if Kitzhaber wasn’t seriously considering a resignation why call Oregon Brown back to Oregon?

“She is the Secretary of State and it’s not the kind of conversation I wanted to have on the phone, this is a serious issue, it’s a serious call to have a sitting governor resign. And then she would then become the governor if chose to do that and I wanted to have a face-to-face with Kate and make sure that she understood what my intentions were,” said Kitzhaber.

With all of the buzz at the State Capitol Wednesday and in the midst of a criminal investigation Kitzhaber says he’s dedicated to his job and to serving Oregonians.

“I appreciate their support in the election in 2014 and they can count on me to do my job,” said Kitzhaber.

Kitzhaber also says he doesn’t feel he’s lost credibility with both Democrats and Republicans.

He has continued to repeat that he and his fiancee Cylvia Hayes have done nothing wrong.

Hayes Releases Statement on Property

10-14 hayesEUGENE, Ore. — Less than a week after an illegal marriage was revealed, there’s another scandal for Governor Kitzhaber’s Fiancée, Cylvia Hayes.

Hayes released a statement saying she lived on a property in Okanogan, Washington in 1997, meant to be used as a marijuana grow operation.

A Florida man says he sold Hayes and another man the property. He says he figured out why they wanted such a rural property after it was repossessed.

“They had drilled holes in the walls of the log house for the irrigation tubes,” said former real estate broker Patrick Siemion.

In the statement Hayes says:

“I was involved in an abusive relationship with a dangerous man. We live together for several months on the property in Okanogan that was intended to be the site of a marijuana grow operation that never materialized. I was never financially involved with it.”

Gov. Kitzhaber Saves Woman

Still0506_00000PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon’s governor put his medical skills to the test to help save a woman’s life, Monday.

Portland Fire says the woman stopped breathing after overdosing on drugs. She was near death, until Governor John Kitzhaber came to her rescue. Before getting into politics, the governor was an ER doctor in Roseburg.

This isn’t the first time the governor has stepped in to help someone in distress. In April 2010, as the democratic candidate for governor, Kitzhaber stopped a debate Eugene to stabilize a man having a seizure.

The governor’s office did release this statement about the woman who was in trouble:

“The governor wishes her well and hopes she seeks treatment in order to avoid the bad situation she was faced with Monday.”

Lower tuition rates for all OUS students will start in January

Starting in January, lower tuition rates will be in effect for all Oregon University System students with today’s approval of new rates by the State Board of Higher Education. Beginning winter term 2014, tuition increases will be reduced for resident undergraduate students, saving each student about $150, due to a Special Session investment of $25 million, which was endorsed by Governor Kitzhaber and the state legislature.

Back in June, the legislature and Kitzhaber approved $15 million to reduce tuition. Now with the Special Session funding, a total of $40 million will reduce tuition for the academic school years 2013 through 2015. As of today, OUS students will be saving $150 with the new average increase now at 2.6 percent, compared to the 4.8 percent increase passed in June.

For the first time since 2001, undergraduate tuition will freeze next year in fall 2014. Rates will not increase for the entire 2014-2015 academic year above 2013-2014 rates. The State Board, along with the new campus institutional boards, will meet next spring to approve rates for 2014-15.

For the 2012-13 academic year, UO resident undergraduates were paying $8,010 in tuition only. With the revised approval passed today, UO students will now only have a 2.6 percent increase of tuition, amounting to $8,220 for the 2013-14 academic year.

The Oregonian reported last year that the state’s per capita income, or money made by each Oregon resident and government payments, is 9 percent lower than the national average, ranking it at 32 among the states. Currently, Oregon students pay 72 percent of the cost of education. Due to reduced state support, this number has doubled within the past two decades from 36 percent in 1991-92. Oregonians are earning less money and at the same time state support for higher education has been cut. According to the OUS 2013 Legislative Issue Brief, Oregon ranks 44th nationally for state appropriations per student.

Governor vetoes bill allowing Native American mascots

Gov. John Kitzhaber has vetoed a bill that would have allowed schools to keep Native American mascots, nicknames and logos that depict Native Americans.

Kitzhaber will attend conference in south Asia

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and his companion will travel to the south Asian nation Bhutan to participate in an economic development conference sponsored by the German government.

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