The Oregon trail to corruption

The Oregon trail to corruption
Former John Kitzhaber and Cylvia Hayes

The rapid rise and meteoric fall of Oregon Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber sounds like a plot from a Netflix television series.

One of the main characters is a live-in girlfriend running a profitable consulting business with contracts from cronies connected to billionaires seeking to buy influence with the governor.

Another plot line is the governor’s throwing away $300 million in state and federal taxpayer dollars in order to protect his political reputation as a “health care reformer.” This same governor has to later resign after a different scandal takes down his administration.

This is a great story line and the show could give “Scandal” a run for the ratings. Too bad for the people of Oregon, it is a true story.

When Obamacare was passed a number of states jumped headfirst into the cesspool of government-run health care. Oregon was intent on proving Obamacare could work. The state was given a quarter of a billion dollars to set up its own health care exchange. Call centers, a web portal and even online outreach were paid for by both state and federal taxpayers.


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