There’s a rally in support of Mayor Adams planned for 5:30 pm tomorrow at City Hall.
Here’s an email I received from a reader about it:
“As you know, Sam has stepped up to the plate for the bikers of Portland many times, and risked his political neck for us just as many. Are we, as a community, then going to leave him to the wolves for a thank you? No, I say we need to take a stand. Now, he is the one that needs our support. Now is not the time for liberal hand wringing. We need to take up the fight to support someone who has supported us, even when it was politically unpopular to do so. This is absolutely relevant to the bike community. His politics are why we elected him, not his private sex life. I hope you will join us in taking a stand for the most pro-bike mayor we’ve had in Portland, and put an announcement on your website about this rally.”
The rally is being planned over on the SamIsStillMyMayor blog.
Support for Adams is strong with Portlanders who care about biking. I’ve noticed many of the 800 or so members of the Support Sam Adams Facebook group are familiar names from the bike scene.
And here’s another email I received today:
“I urge you in your capacity of editor of BikePortland to call on Sam Adams to get back to business and get us some sidewalks and cycling facilities already. Perhaps even suggest that if he finds himself unable to get his job done in a few months he can think about leaving but right now we want him to move on and get some work done.”
Will you attend the rally? What are your feelings at this point? How does Adams’ support of biking figure into your assessment of this situation?
Sorry, his sex life is not the issue. He lied, he tried to cover it up, and his attitude was such at the time that those who did support him when he needed it were later humiliated. That he is pro-bike means very little in the face of his willingness to act inappropriately, again, with respect to his grip on the truth, not his private life.
I have been car-free for over 20 years and am probably more liberal than you. I can not wait until he resigns. That said, I could not stand Adams and his faux-progressive politics, before his cronyism and lies became public knowledge.
Adams is a disgrace to Portland and should resign promptly. I also do not care where the man dips his noodle. But, I certainly would not let him around my 15 year old son.
If i would not trust him around my children, I hardly think he is fit to be mayor of a large city. Resign now so we can find a more progressive (and honest!) mayor.
Think if the children.
No, his sex life isn’t the issue. And yes, he lied. _About his consensual adult sex life_. If you can’t distinguish between lying in answer to questions that should never be asked in public, and lying in answer to matters of fiduciary public trust, you are being dense.
No, his sex life isn’t the issue. And yes, he lied. _About his consensual adult sex life_. If you can’t distinguish between lying in answer to questions that should never be asked in public, and lying in answer to matters of fiduciary public trust, you are being dense. He deserves our support and defense against the opportunistic moral outrage of his political enemies.
#3 agreed, and #2 if you think that sam resigning is going to result in someone more progressive becoming mayor I think you are out to lunch.
Get back to work Sam!
Great progress he has shown us so far! he will be out in the next few days anyway, so enjoy your little rally. Ya’ll are so precious!
I agree with a separation of public and private issues. Sam should have just taken the 5th, instead of lying. But let the punishment fit the ‘crime’.
If the young man was under age, then that’s a crime and a much bigger problem, but it’s my understanding that is not the case. Though this is so early in the investigation …
People make mistakes, and this one doesn’t seem so grave … and it’s private.
I’ll be there.
If Sam does decide to resign, and I hope not, who is next in line to take the interim office?
Sadly, this is not the person I want running my city. I think we should concentrate our efforts on finding an honorable mayor. Good people are out there, I think it’s defeatist to say, let him stay because there’s no one better. Like Obama says, it’s time to raise the bar and expect more from our elected officials.
Enjoying the nuances of the moralistic gray zone, I’m not so sure anyone’s conclusion about this sad ordeal could possibly make them “dense.” For my part, I come down to:
consensual adult sex — who cares,
denying consensual adult sex — who cares,
publicly savaging one’s accusers as being on an anti-gay crusade as part of a Big Lie Attack — bad and wrong.
I don’t know that Sam should resign, and I’m not sure how I’d vote in a recall, but I most certainly do NOT think it’s time for cyclists to go to the mat for Sam at this point. I don’t see any benefit in cyclists, as a political group, losing political capital trying to defend Sam at this early stage.
Sam could have been, and might still be, the best mayor Portland cyclists could have hoped for. That said, his Big Lie Attack in response to being outed on this matter makes it hard for me to defend him.
I’m really disappointed and discouraged right now. Trust is earned and I was always taught it’s better to be honest up front than to lie for personal gain. Regardless of the subject. Actions speak loud. This blows because all the good things Sam stands for are going to forever have a stigma attached. So even if he’s the best Mayor we ever have…
Look, I blame Bill Clinton for the last 8 years and I still consider him one of the finest Presidents this nation ever had. But if he had just kept it in his pants and didn’t try to fudge his answers after he got caught I don’t think we would have opened the door for all this silly “liberals have no morals” bashing that goes over really well with ‘normal’ folks. We can thank Bill for the upsurge and wealth of fodder material given to the so called moral majority.
I know my thought isn’t complete, but hopefully some of you get what I am saying.
Sam’s actions don’t just hurt Sam. Having his entourage air out their dirty laundry publicly does nothing for the rest of Portland. I feel betrayed because I think he should have been man enough to deal with this before the election.
But right now it seems he’s the type of person that will do or say anything if he thinks it will get him where he needs to be… where WE want him to be. How is he going to prove otherwise? It’s going to take a lonnnng time and really, folks, we got stuff we need to be doing.
Here’s what this has devolved into:
Those Feeling Betrayed: “I’m angry at Sam for lying to me.”
Those Supporting Sam: “Who cares who he had sex with?”
Those Feeling Betrayed: “It’s not about the sex, it’s about being lied to.”
Those Supporting Sam: “Why do you care who he had sex with?”
Those Feeling Betrayed: “It wasn’t just a lie, it was a cover-up. And it was so he wouldn’t lose votes. So he could get voters to believe something that wasn’t true.”
Those Supporting Sam: “You’re such a prude. If this country hadn’t been populated by puritans 400 years ago, this wouldn’t be an issue.”
Those Feeling Betrayed: “I wonder if he’s telling the truth now? Would we ever have found out the truth if WW hadn’t broken the story? What else might he lie about to get what he wants?”
Those Supporting Sam: “Consensual sex isn’t relevant. I don’t understand why you keep focusing in on who the guy had sex with. Why can’t you get to the real issue?”
Will you people please get a effing clue already!? NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE SEX!!
If you don’t care about being lied to, find. I do.
Sam pulled an Elliot Spitzer.
To all of you claiming that he should resign because he lied:
You seem to think that lying doesn’t happen all the time, in politics and elsewhere. What did President Bush do to divert your accusations when he committed all those lies during his presidency (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20031013/corn)? What did all the rest of the US Presidents do? They sure as hell didn’t apologize for each and every lie. And furthermore, who hasn’t lied about a hook-up?
Get off the lying bandwagon for a minute and think about who you are feeding to the dogs. Friend or foe? If lying is your problem, you have many more offensive targets to pursue than Sam Adams.
Interesting caveat where I completely disagree:
publicly savaging one’s accusers as being on an anti-gay crusade as part of a Big Lie Attack — bad and wrong.
I think the accuser was using Sam’s private life to gain advantage. So while Sam could and should have opted for a more noble angle like, “I’m not going to comment on my private life.” he didn’t. Probably partly out of anger and again out of fear. The accuser (Ball) started the dirty politics. That is the most important piece of the story.
I would have wanted to bury him too… I would have been livid.
Sure I am disappointed but I continue to support Sam and will be at the rally. I just want him to get back to work.
Rallies and protests are all fine and dandy, but they really have little bearing on Admas’ ability to serve. Until a majority of the city counsel members start calling for his resignation Adams should stay in office. This is why we have representative democracy instead of a democracy. Mob rule is too hasty and harsh. His ability to work the city counsel is his real political power.
I have never been a big Adams fan, but trying to run him out office for this is ridiculous. Unfortunately, a pro-Adams rally will likely inspire a counter rally. The perception of those rallies will largely be controlled by the media. Are you ready for that?
Would anyone prefer if we had Sho (less than bike-friendly) Dozono??
a.O: It’s not the lie, it’s the smear tactics afterwards that are my concern. In my book he’s got every right to lie about his private life in public. For example: if Sam was in the closet and a reporter asked him point blank if he were gay and Sam denied it, I wouldn’t care. Yes, it’s a lie, but it’s a lie about something that doesn’t really mean anything in his day-to-day job.
Does that make sense? To those of you who say it’s the lie that matters, would you feel the same way about a closeted mayor who got outed? Is that different somehow? I’m not looking to prove a point, I’m trying to get some understanding of how the other side feels.
The bumperstickers are already out and spotted on cars in PDX…
PORTLAND: THE ONLY CITY WHERE AN 18 YEAR OLD CAN HAVE SAM ADAMS
Although I support Sam staying,
Sam and biking/transportation issues are not mutually exclusive. For example, Randly Leonard is a very big transprotation and biking advocate. The City has also developed the civil service component (Geller, etc.) to develop and support bike infrastructure. Just because one man leaves, does not mean that the whole thing comes crashing down.
We tend to put too much credit on individual leaders in government. There are legions of civil servents standing behind them and their culture and philosophies do not change over night.
Part of the Big Lie Attack:
“I have been the target of a nasty smear by a would-be political opponent,” Adams wrote in a Sept. 18, 2007, letter released to the public. “I didn’t get into public life to allow my instinct to help others to be snuffed out by fear of sleazy misrepresentations or political manipulation.”
That’s quite different to me than “I didn’t sleep with that (very young) man.”
Who wants to be on the business end of a vicious, career-ending attack to cover up a lie?
I’ll be at the rally.
I wouldn’t say I support him “as a cyclist” per-se – but I do support him keeping his job, and I would be willing to make that view public. I don’t know for sure if I’ll go to the rally, but I definitely support him in staying where he is, regardless of whether I feel what he did in his private life is morally right or wrong – I don’t think it should have ever come into public view, being, as far as we can tell, perfectly legal.
I don’t see why people who, based on his political service up to this point, felt he was a perfect candidate for mayor, now suddenly feel like he’s a horrible mayor because of a personal matter that clearly up to this point hasn’t made an appreciable difference in his political service.
From http://samisstillmymayor.blogspot.com/ :
“I just heard from Dan Savage, and he’s agreed to say a few words at the rally tomorrow. Awesome.
Also, who wants to make signs? We’re meeting up tonight at Roots Brewing (1520 SE 7TH in Portland) at 6pm to make signs for tomorrow. All are welcome! We’ll be in the new, big room.”
If you think it’s about the lying you’re nuts. Maybe it is for YOU. But if the general public cared about the lies, Bush would have been impeached in his first term. It’s not the lies. It’s the sex.
I also like the line about an “honorable” mayor. Do you think that’s what we’ll get if Sam resigns? No. Sam screwed up but there is still no one around that I’d rather have leading this city.
I am sorry I cannot be at the rally tomorrow.
The punishment of resignation is too harsh to fit the crime, however Adams has lost so much credibility because of this he won’t be very effective. A big part of the Mayors job is public persuasion. He has lost a lot of that ability. If we really want somebody to get to work and get things accomplished whether its bike related or not we probably need somebody else in the position.
Here’s a hypothetical situation.
I’m a member of a minority group. I do my best to be a vocal representative of both that group and other citizens of my city. So much so that I gain public office and have a desire to run for higher office.
At some point I do something that while not illegal may be construed as questionably ethical. This situation could be harmful to me as a politician and to the minority group I openly represent. Rumors start to circulate about this action.
I decide to run for higher office. A possible opponent brings up the rumors, because he is also a member of the same minority group and feels it would be best if these rumors were substantiated or refuted by myself.
On being approached with these rumors I panic. I have a reflex action to protect myself and others involved. I lie and deny everything.
The press will not let it go. I am at a decision point.
***** DECISION ONE *****
I decide to come clean. I apologize to all involved, my constituents, members of my minority group, the city council. I explain myself not as justification but with the hopes that you can understand that I panicked, but will be able to forgive. I promise to be a better representative to you all, and plan to continue on in my campaign for mayor.
I can go forward knowing that I am not perfect but that I will always work towards doing the right thing for myself, my minority group and my constituents.
Lets go back to the decision point and take another route.
***** DECISION TWO *****
D@mn, I just stuck my foot in it, and while not illegal there are a lot of bigots out there who are going to paint me and all members of my minority group with a wide brush because of this. Better circle the wagons.
I go to Joe who was part of the questionably ethical situation and I get him to back up my denials.
That isn’t really enough. I’ll get my communications people to prep Joe on how to deal with the press if the ask him about the situation.
That’s not really enough, I better go on the offensive. I’ll write letters to all the media outlets, I’ll be very vocal about my denials at every chance I get.
That’s not enough. The guy who brought it up has aims at the mayors seat. He might start a smear campaign, I better do it before he does. I’ll announce that as a member of the same minority group as myself, this kind of bigoted and discriminatory witch hunt could only be brought about by a self loathing member of our minority which makes it even worse.
That should be enough to hang on to enough votes to win the election. That was a tough decision, but politics is a dirty business.
A totally legal situation, although ethically questionable provides the opportunity to make things right and rise above the fray, but I took the low road and thought only of myself, not caring who got hurt along the way.
No sex, no teenagers. Just the opportunity to do the right thing.
I wanted to thank you for covering this in the (always) respectful way that you have, and for allowing those of us who have supported Sam Adams for his progressive record to have a place to post our thoughts and opinions and express our disappointment in a forum where people are respectful of each other. You hold your site’s visitors to a high standard, and I think it encourages important dialog, especially during difficult situations. So thanks.
Unfortunately Sam does what he does for the most self serving of reasons.
He covered up his lies with a well planed out attack, to ensure he got elected. Anything to save his political skin.
He did the same thing when he declared bankruptcy. When he realized it would come back to haunt him he went back and paid his bills. Only because it was politically expedient.
Strike two in my books. I’m not will to go to strike three.
I hate to tell you Sam but
“Do unto others before they can do unto you”
is not the golden rule.
as far as the sex goes, how many of you pick up high school seniors?
he lied because it looks way bad. sexual preference has nothing to do with it, its the fact that almost everyone squirms when they think of someone in their 40’s hooking up with school aged people.
he would have been smeared into the ground had this been public before the election. he had to lie.
I just dont get why he didnt continue to lie. Thats just political stupidity.
yay bikes! i rode mine to work today.
Who thinks Mr. Ball deserves JUSTICE?
I really like Steve Duin’s column (and suggestion) today:
“If Adams is still lying about the timing of his first sexual encounter with Beau Breedlove — turning their age disparity from a deeply troubling issue into a criminal one — we’re in Goldschmidt territory, the land of the lost and forgotten.
But while the investigations and the disagreements continue, I have a suggestion on how we all might channel our frustration and move this process forward:
And a recall that Sam Adams openly encourages — and privately supports — because the voters deserve a referendum on whether or not he is still qualified to serve as Portland’s mayor.
While calls for Adams’ resignation are the crusade du jour, a recall allows both the mayor and the multitude the opportunity to step back from the week’s numbing revelations and assess the damage.”
Seems like a good plan to me.
thanks for saying that DT.
this has been challenging to cover. i didn’t really get much else done today because I was thinking so much about the whole situation, talking with people about it, etc…
I should have posted this early this morning…but I had a whole different story about Adams ready, but then decided to not publish it.
hopefully tomorrow I can focus on some other stories.
@ Dan (#32)
A recall can’t take place for 6 months, and those who smell blood will have a hard time waiting to go through the process.
@ Paul (#31)
How about I blame Bob Ball for trying to use someone’s sex life against them? Those who are crying over Bob Ball’s political career need to remember that *he’s* the one who went there. Adams should never have had to answer such a question.
I’m not saying that the lying is okay, but it is wearing blinders to think that Sam could say “No comment” and it would mean something besides “Yes” in the eyes of the media and the gossip-mongering public. I think he was backed into a corner with no good options. So thanks a lot, Bob.
I’ll be going.
I watched, astonished, from across the pond, for several years as this country allowed itself to be pre-occupied with the sexual misadventures of one of it’s elected leaders.
That fiasco caused as a direct result the takeover of this country for 8 years by the most vile, corrupt, incompetant and destructive force we have ever seen. Something for which the fallout is only beginning to come to light and something for which even the experts still do not know if we shall recover.
For people to allow their attention to be diverted by the trivialities of what at this stage is still the completely legal private life of one of our public servants is idiocy of a level only shown by the outgoing administration.
If it’s legal and private, no one, not even the pope is under a moral or civic obligation to divulge.
People had better wake the hell up, cuz we have far more important things to be worrying about right now.
I’m with Sam.
Larry Craig never quit. Just sayin’.
We live in a country where “no comment” is assumed to mean guilty. Thanks exploitative media! So his options were admit it and lose votes, not comment and lose not as many votes, or lie and hope nobody finds out. Three bad choices but one lets him keep his career going.
I’m disappointed that he made a poor decision in sexing up somebody 26 years his junior. But we live in a country where the concept of “barely legal” has its own industry so I’m pretty sure he’s not the only one.
I will be there. I’ve still got a bunch of “Sam Adams for Mayor” buttons at home, I’ll bring them.
And if Sam does decide to resign, will he go ahead and pass Safe Sound and Green first? I know the economy is down, but a lot of us can still afford a few bucks a month. They could even wave the fee for anyone that is collecting unemployment, (or better yet, make them pay in labor instead of dollars,) but our streets are in awful shape, and we need someone to fix them.
And no, it isn’t about the lie, it really is about the sex. I’ve realized that in the last 2 days, as people keep repeating that it is about the lie, that really, THEY are the ones that are lying.
Hey #11 – Do you have selective reading ability disorder or something? Numerous people have responded to the “OMG he lied!” issue, usually by pointing out that if it was about lying, where the hell were all of you for the last 8 years. That aside, the argument that “if he lied about this, what else will/has he lied about?” is flawed from many angles. So if I’m on a diet and I eat one donut, I can no longer be trusted not to eat everything insight? How about this, whoever out there has never (and I mean NEVER) lied about anything to anyone ever…YOU can make that argument. The rest of you (those who’ve told at least one lie)? Apparently you are not to be trusted at all, by your own argument.
Oh, and those that feel “betrayed” – try having a family member or friend killed in a war that our Leader lied about to get us into, lied about what it would take, and to this day still has not apologized for the results. Or if that’s too hard, you could just get off your self-righteous high horse and GET OVER IT.
I sense a witch hunt. I’d prefer that Adams work toward re-establishing trust and redeeming his character, which of course is possible. While the coverup, deceit and abuse of power were all wrong and diminish his credibility, forcing a resignation is unwarranted and makes a crummy situation far worse.
Also, for all the keepers of the moral compass, please leave Obama out of the discussion. No one is immune from telling a lie.
I’m going to try to be there.
Yes! Glad to see you guys supporting Sam!
DT, #34, what does Mr. Adams’ decision to lie tell you?
For all his anti-bike attitudes, at least Sho fess’d up and did the right thing. Should we expect any less of Mr. Adams?
First of all, can we stick with talking about bicycling? That’s why I’m here. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of almost everything politicized. Anyone agree here?
But, Jonathan, if you’re going to announce pro-Adams rallies, which is certainly within your rights, will you also announce rallies that ask for his resignation?
So what if Adams is pro-bike? Does that trump everything? I love dogs, but I’m not pro-Hitler, who loved his dog as well.
Please, can we talk about biking, rides, great places to do bike business?
I will be there.
NEWSFLASH: POLITICIANS LIE ABOUT THEIR SEX LIVES!!
NEWSFLASH #2: SANTA CLAUS DOESN’T EXIST!!
Stop being naive Portland. This whole “scandal” stinks of political maneuvering in exactly the same way the Clinton “scandal” was used to put Republicans in power.
Potter lied about the changes he promised to make in Portland. No controversy. Bush lied about sending thousands to their death. No controversy. The gay, liberal mayor lies about getting laid, and all of a sudden, the Inquisition is lighting their bonfires.
I don’t support Sam or any politician because I like them. I support them because they share my vision for the community. Fighting against Sam Adams is de facto fighting FOR Sho Donzono et al.
I just wish that Sam would get back to work and our newspapers would get back to going out of business.
You DO live in Tulsa, Oklaholma…right?
dan Kearl #26
“The punishment of resignation is too harsh to fit the crime, however Adams has lost so much credibility because of this he won’t be very effective. A big part of the Mayors job is public persuasion. He has lost a lot of that ability. If we really want somebody to get to work and get things accomplished whether its bike related or not we probably need somebody else in the position.”
I agree with everything you have to say, with one exception. I don’t think he has lost credibility yet. If he has indeed lost it, and he can’t do public persuasion, (much like the last year and a half of Potter’s term after Ceaser Chavez, when he became “irrelevant”,) then yes, Sam should step down, and we should get someone else. But if Sam can pull this one out, (and I think he can,) and keep going, then great. And even if it takes a couple weeks for that to happen, that is far better than waiting several months for a special election.
Carl, #41, so what is PDX to me? Tulsa’s crystal ball. Bike issues don’t exist in political vacuum.
I posted this because of emails I got about it that mentioned bikes specifically and because many of the rally organizers happen to be people who care about biking.
If an anti-Sam rally has a bike component to it please let me know about it and I’ll be happy to post something.
Im hoping to make some spoke cards for the event. Hopefully I can find the time.
DT, #34, what does Mr. Adams’ decision to lie tell you?
In all honesty (no pun intended), I think this is the real question.
To some people, that decision tells them that he can no longer be trusted to make good decisions and show good judgment.
To some people, that decision tells them that Sam judged that he would be attacked over a relationship that was consensual and legal and no one’s business by people who feel it necessary to disparage homosexuals. (And it has been said many times: how many stereotypes can you validate in a single “scandal”?)
To some this reflects on Sam’s character. To others, it reflects on our society and how it views sex and what kind of topics are appropriate and relevant for public discourse during a campaign.
Should we expect Sam to do the right thing? Of course. What *is* the right thing? To resign? To apologize? To buckle down and prove himself to a disappointed public? He has already apologized, but the “right thing” to do depends on what his decision to lie meant to you.