It has just been disclosed that Portland's mayor, Sam Adams, who is the first openly gay mayor in the country, has just admitted to a sexual relationship with a teenager.
He's in Washington to attend a mayor's conference and the inauguration...but he has admitted the relationship, after much pressure to do so, to the Willamette Week and the Oregonian.
I've long been a fan of Sam Adams. A former friend used to work with him in Vera Katz's office (and I believe she went to college with him) and has always spoken highly of him, and I've always enjoyed the fact that he was the announcer at our little local Multnomah Days parades. He spoke at the "No on 8" rally we happened on last fall downtown. From what I've read about Adams, he has prided himself on being actively engaged in community events...he's a mayor of the people.
So it was with great disappointment that I read that he had a relationship with a man half his age...whether he was 17 or 18 at the time cannot be confirmed for sure. And even worse, when he ran for mayor, he reportedly encouraged the young man to keep quiet about the relationship.
Very, very disappointing. I do not care about this man's sex life. Personally, I do take issue with people who gallivant with others who are more than 20+ years their junior. But the most egregious thing about this situation is that he covered it up. And for all this to come out on the eve of such a momentous inauguration.
The Willamette Week acknowledges that other politicians have had "indiscretions" (such as Barney Frank) and have made amends and have gone onto be successful and effective public servants. But this is a very sad start to his term.
Barack Obama, whatever you do, please don't disappoint me. No matter what comes, please stand by your integrity and ethics.