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Sam Adams, You really screwed the pooch on this one

News has just broke that Portland Mayor Sam Adams has admitted to having sex with an 18-year-old. From the Oregonian:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams is expected to make his first public statement today in response to news reports that he had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old in summer 2005 and, on the eve of his campaign for the city’s highest office, lied about it and urged the young man to lie as well.

The story was originally broke by the Willamette Week, august slayer of philandering Oregon politicians.

Adams is the first openly gay mayor of a top-40 city in America, and as such, you would think he would have the goddamn common sense not to do something like this. He’s just playing into the hands of those troglodytes on the religious right. It’s hard to say how this will affect LGBTQ politics, but mark my words it will.

And no, I don’t have a big problem with the sex aspect of the whole debacle, besides, y’know, the lecherous old man part. It was consenting, and according to statements from Adams, Beau Breedlove (seriously his name) was 18 at the time of their, uh, liaison.

Another point worth commenting on: It’s bizarre how most of the comments in the Oregonian story try to defend Adams, saying that the media are being “petty” and “intrusive.” Frankly, that’s the media’s job. I didn’t hear much crying when stories broke claiming that erstwhile House of Representatives-candidate Mike Erickson allegedly knocked a girl up and paid for her abortion. To put it another way: The media’s job is to uncover the lies of politicians. Therefore, you can only blame politicians when they get exposed for, say, having sex with 18-year-olds and lying about it.

  1. Josh M. says:

    Kai, I have to disagree with you. I think the age absolutely should matter because the argument is there that he was grooming a minor for a sexual relationship. Add to that that he basically called a potential political opponent a hatemongering bigot, lied about the relationship and had others lie for him and we have a pretty serious abuse of power. Of course, there are plenty of people out there eager to accuse those calling for Adams’ resignation of homophobia, but if the Neil Goldschmidt affair is any indication, there would have been a comparable outcry had it been a 42-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman.

    Then there’s the fact that he’s spent a long time telling numerous lies, and it gets somewhat difficult to believe that this relationship started after the intern in question turned 18.

  2. Betz says:

    Agreed … has everyone forgot that the beau in question was a consenting adult? The only problem here, and yes it is a problem I think, is that Sam Adams and his partner lied about it. Thats it. It probably doesn’t help his case when he called his critics “homophoboc” when they questioned him about the alleged affair, but still, all the man did was lie about it. When did our citizenry become so shocked about politicians that lie?

    Joking aside, I would like to see people stop freaking out about this story so much. Yes, the man lied, and yes, he should be punished for it … asking for his resignation, or worse, involving gay-rights and/or christian coalition groups into the mix, is probably not the best course of action. This latter part hasn’t happened yet, but I would not be shocked if someone casts the first stone within the next few days.

  3. Kai Davis says:

    Kal, The dude lied. That’s where it ends. This isn’t ‘lecherous behavior,’ he engaged in a sexual relationship with a consenting adult of legal age. Then he denied it and lied about it. The ‘problem’ seems to be lying and getting his partner to lie too. Does the age matter? I don’t think it should.

  4. KAL says:

    Total power corputs totally. Fortune blessed Mayor Adams with an opportunity, and his childish ways “screwed it up”. As Obama said it is time to set aside what is childish or unwise. Sam Adams will need to step down and seek treatment for a psychosexual disorder: lecherous behavior and lying about lechery.

  5. Matt says:

    Yeah, he’s toast. And I agree with the comments above, it’s too bad as this kind of stuff usually just adds fuel to the Sally Kern/Westboro Baptist (hell-)fire.

    As for our poor commenters: yes, the media coverage is petty and intrusive. Yes, this is issue is for the most part irrelevant to the quality of our government. I mean, it’s not like sewage is suddenly backing up and bridges are collapsing because we found this out. But as was rightfully pointed out, if we didn’t give a shit about stupid stories, the media wouldn’t cover them.

    But we LOVE stupid stories. We the stupid public demand resignations for bad reasons, make accusations without evidence, hold our politicians up on impossible pedestals from which they must inevitably fall, and then judge them for having the same kinds of character flaws – however severe – we all possess in one form or another. To blame the humiliation that comes from these kinds of stories on the media’s “superficial preoccupations” while ignoring our own superficial preoccupations really seems like shooting the messenger to me.

  6. Sakaki says:

    I’m not thinking it’s the banging part, but the slander part, where Adams went on the offensive against a fellow city employee who was concerned about Adams’s behavior (Bob Ball). That, and the hiring of that Portland Mercury reporter for a sustainability director.

    If he’s not hit for lying, he’ll at the very least get sued for slander in civil court. Either way, his credibility is effectively gone. And without the police union backing him, it’s going to be hard for him to get anything done.

  7. Gsim says:

    If banging 18 year olds is wrong, I wouldn’t want to be right.

    /except not gay.

  8. Sakaki says:

    The Oregonian went after Sho Dozono for lying about his business ventures. And Dozono eventually lost his election.

    Adams lied about the status of this relationship, the fact that he was a mentor and in a position of power with the guy, and lied not only once…but 3 different times.

    When the Police Union asks Adams to step aside, you know something’s screwy.

  9. T says:

    Poor, poor commenters. The O’s coverage was hardly petty.

    The Willamette Week’s coverage, on the other hand…

    Still, I love Willamette Week’s coverage for a number of reasons: First, the photo of Beau at the top of the page was obviously taken with a telephoto lense while reporter Nigel Jaquiss was going to meet him. That’s Nigel in the foreground.

    Second, half the article is a hit piece on the Mercury, with a bunch of implications but no real proof of anything. Still, it was fun to read!

    Third, CJ, you ask what this means for LGBTQ politics. That’s a good question. When the story first leaked more than a year ago, Adams denied the allegations and said they were the result of homophobia.

    Obviously, that was untrue. And no offense to the LGBTQ community, but it is a very gay story. I’m not sayin’, just sayin’.

    Adams and Breedlove are gay, for one. So is developer Bob Ball, who leaked the story. The other photos taken for the article are by former WW staffer Byron Beck, who’s gay. Former Mercury reporter and current Sam Adams staffer Amy Ruiz is gay.

  10. CJ Ciaramella says:

    No, but Sam Adams’ name is Mud.

  11. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Wait…this kid’s name is pooch?

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