CommunityPam's House Blend

OR: Portland mayor in hot water over 2005 affair with teen

We got pretty far into January before hitting a sex scandal. This time it’s the openly gay mayor of Portland, OR, Sam Adams. There had been media reports about a sexual relationship he had with an 18-year-old back in 2005. He held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

The controversy here is less about the affair itself (obviously the young man, Beau Breedlove was of age, though clearly adding homosexuality and stereotyping into the mix and expect a scandal) than the fact Adams lied about it and told Breedlove to do so as well as Adams planned to launch his campaign for mayor.

From the Oregon Live blog of the presser:

Adams met Beau Breedlove in April 2005. Breedlove, then 17, was an intern at the Oregon Legislature for then-Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer. Adams, 42 and a city of Portland commissioner, was in Salem on a lobbying trip. They struck up a conversation, and Breedlove called Adams soon after, hoping for both professional and personal advice on coming out of the closet in the political world.

2:06 p.m.

Adams admitted to sleeping with Breedlove as soon as three weeks after his 18th birthday. The relationship, Adams said, lasted “maybe two months. We went on maybe three or four dates. I can tell you that although I found that Beau was smart, engaging and a decent fellow, that the experience of dating someone that much younger, I didn’t find it compelling.”

Adams said he knew what he did was morally wrong, but at the time “my greater concern was, under 18, illegal.” He also said he once served as a reference for Breedlove following their affair.

1:59 p.m.

Adams was grilled by reporters, admitting that he was “ashamed, humbled and humiliated.” Later in the press conference, said he would resign if it “was in the city’s best interest.”

During the conference, a representative from the Portland Police Association called for Adams to step down, saying that the situation places Adams at risk of “blackmail” that could impact the city.

“Had they attempted to blackmail me, I would have taken the appropriate steps,” Adams said, adding that he expects he will be subjected to additional scrutiny and to “regain people’s trust, which I know I have to do.”

Now I keep asking myself, as I see shades of John Edwards in this — why on earth are pols so arrogant to think that stuff like this won’t come out? The cover-up is always worse in these cases. Adams says he has no plans to resign, btw.

Previous post

Early Morning Swim: Special First Post-BushCo Edition

Next post

Future Historians Agree: Worst. President. Ever.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding