In this new "Era of Responsibility", I would hope that Sam would resign now and allow Portland a chance to move on quickly. This media distraction will inhibit his efficacy as mayor and he knows that.
I can't help from being strangely puzzled by the similarities between Uncle Sam and Mayor Sam. First, he says "Don't Ask" to the press and anyone who had dared to inquire about this relationship, claiming a moral high-ground (privacy would have been something I could rally behind, but claiming victimization by smear tactics rings particularly hollow these days). Next, he says "Don't Tell" to Breedlove. All the while, just like the eager Armed Forces recruiters, he waits for Breedlove's 18th birthday to make his move. While age in terms of development is a somewhat arbitrary construct, his unique position of power and overly-excited capitalization of the "letter of the law" vs the "spirit of the law" raises questions, especially if we extrapolate to this as a reflection of his judgment as a public official. As we experienced so painfully with the last administration, interpreting laws only as they are written while ignoring their intent, can be a style of governance with significant consequences.
Personally, I could care less about the moral debate. Sam's private life should be his private life. That should have been the end of the conversation. Unfortunately, he chose to complicate the matter. He has now brought upon himself legitimate concerns about his character that will greatly hamper his tenure. This elephant in the room will only obstruct his ability to serve as mayor.
Portland has so many pressing issues that will require a timely and coordinated response in this year ahead. In more prosperous times, I might be inclined to have more leniency with fumbling his response to something that deserved a non-response. But his clumsy damage control around his private life and the botched cover-up attempts echo motivations that undermine public trust. If we are to welcome a new "age of transparency" on the national stage, one must ask: Why Sam waited to disclose this with Captain Jaquiss of the [i]WW Muckraker[/i], only after he was elected? It's in this broader context that one must question Sam's repeated emphasis on calculated timing in his actions when [i]he[/i] wants something. As a pattern, this warrants examination, because as a public official we must know whose interest he truly represents in his decisions.
We can't afford to watch this prematurely "self-lamed duck" mayor swim in egotistic circles as we drift towards treacherous waters on the horizon for our community. I call upon Sam to recognize the urgency of the moment: Now, more than ever, we need a mayor who can provide leadership and compassion in the difficult times that lie ahead. With a rich record of public service, he should salvage his remaining reputation by stating he will resign immediately. In doing so, he will allow Portland the opportunity to have once again the potential of an effective mayor, the one we thought we were electing, the one that Portland deserves.
posted 4 years, 4 months ago
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