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video: Portlanders Talk About Kitzhaber, Kate Brown

Saturday, February 14, 2015


After Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced his resignation Friday, Feb. 13, GoLocalPDX took to the streets of downtown Portland to hear what locals had to say about the Governor and Secretary of State Kate Brown. 

While some Portlanders knew a lot about the current state of Oregon's Governor, others were surprised to hear about Kitzhaber's resignation. 

GoLocalPDX asked Portlanders a series of questions about Kitzhaber and Kate Brown, the Governor to be.

Watch the full video to hear what people had to say:


Related Slideshow: Oregon Leaders React To Kitzhaber Resignation

Four-term Oregon Governor John A. Kitzhaber announced he would resign Friday afternoon amid a storm of controversy over his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, and allegations of corruption. See how Oregon's leaders reacted. 

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

"I am saddened by the news of Gov. John Kitzhaber's resignation from office. However, the scandal has rocked Salem at the start of an all-important legislative session. Today, the governor acted in the best interests of Oregonians, and of state government.

The scandal of the last few months has dominated the news, but I hope that people remember his accomplishments as a legislator, as Senate President and as governor. His work in the realms of health care was remarkable. We, as Oregonians, owe him a debt of gratitude for his service.

I wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors."

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Commissioner Brad Avakian

"Today, we learned that John Kitzhaber will step down as Governor after a career of public service that's improved people's lives and helped expand opportunity to thousands around the state. It is my hope that we view his legacy not just through the narrow prism of these recent months, but the full scope of his decades of service.

As Secretary of State Kate Brown takes the helm of Oregon government, I know that her colleagues and I stand with her as we embark on a new chapter for our state.

The Bureau of Labor and Industries and I stand ready to help Kate Brown with the challenge of putting working families on stronger economic footing in the weeks and months ahead. Oregon has a bright future and we will do all we can to see that our state and new governor be successful as we move forward."

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Rep. Peter DeFazio

"This is a tough day for Oregon. John has been a tireless servant for our state, but I believe he made a decision that puts the needs of Oregonians first. Now we move on."

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Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

"Governor Kitzhaber has been a dedicated public servant to the State of Oregon. I applaud his decades of service and thank him for his work to improve the lives of all Oregonians. The priority now should be to maintain the strength and stability of our state. I am confident in Secretary Brown's abilities and commitment, and I hope for a smooth and expeditious transition."

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Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane

“Today is a sad day for Oregon. I take no delight in John Kitzhaber's resignation but understand his decision. House Republicans have remained focused on working for the people of Oregon and that’s where our focus will remain moving forward.”

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Senator Peter Courtney

"He served in the Oregon House as a Representative. He served in the Oregon State Senate. He was the President of the Oregon State Senate for a record number of years. He was elected and served as Oregon's governor for more than 12 years – longer than anyone else. No public servant has given more to Oregon.

And there is another side. He is a friend. He is a son. He is a brother. He is a father. He is a human being.

It is all of these things for which I hope he is remembered. I hope all of these things are his legacy. He deserves that. Governor John Albert Kitzhaber, MD. I am sorry.

I know that together Oregon and her people will get through this."

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Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli

"This is an unprecedented situation for Oregonians. I expect our leaders to work together to lead a thoughtful transition that respects Oregon citizens. We need to restore trust and accountability with the Governor's office and the executive branch."

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Treasurer Ted Wheeler

"A great Oregonian – Steve 'Pre' Prefontaine – once said that 'to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.' This captures a value that I consider core – and it guides me as I do my part to serve the people of our state.

Katrina and I have a young daughter who represents the seventh generation of my family to call Oregon home. Our state has achieved many things of which Oregonians are justifiably proud. Yet we also know that our state has not lived up to its full potential: outcomes in our public schools lag the nation, our rural economy is hurting, basic infrastructure is crumbling around us, and too many of our citizens suffer with mental health issues, poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Our failure to meaningfully confront these issues puts us in danger of sacrificing the gift handed down to us by previous generations of Oregonians.

The events of the last several months have tested the confidence of Oregonians in our government at a time when we need to focus on the challenges facing our state. I know there is much more that I can – and must – do at this critical time to help our state realize its full potential. In the immediate-term, this means ensuring that Governor Brown is as successful as possible during her transition. I have offered to help in any way I can.

I have been around long enough to know that the resignation of Governor Kitzhaber and the constitutional mandate for an election in 2016 will set off a flurry of speculation about what happens next. There will be a time for politics, but now is not that time. In the coming days, Oregonians should pull together to support Governor Brown and her team in their efforts to bring stability to the Governor's office.

I thank Governor Kitzhaber for his many years of service to our state. I wish him the very best in the years ahead. Oregonians are a resilient people, and I am certain that we will emerge from this difficult period as a stronger and more unified state."

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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum 

"Today is a sad day for Oregon. I want to thank Governor Kitzhaber for his service to our state. The governor's decision to resign will not affect our ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of his and Ms. Hayes' conduct. Oregonians deserve nothing less than a full and fair investigation of all the facts, as well as the opportunity to reach a resolution that will truly allow our state to move forward."

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Senator Jeff Merkley

"John Kitzhaber loves Oregon deeply and has contributed enormously to making our state a better place. Today, he did what was right for Oregon by resigning.

I know that our incoming Governor, Kate Brown, will continue the fight for our Oregon values, from clean air and clean water to a robust economy, and I look forward to working with her."

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Rep. Knute Buehler

"Trust is the foundation of a healthy democracy and it must be earned each day no matter which office you hold or how long you hold it. I encourage our new Governor to set a higher standard for doing the people's work in an open, accessible and independent manner. Representing the people of Bend, I remain fully committed to working with our new Governor and leaders in both parties to create a better Oregon and restore confidence and accountability in our state government."

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House leader Tina Kotek

"Governor John Kitzhaber has accomplished much for Oregonians in his 35 years of public service to our state. As a physician, as a legislator, and as our Governor, he has been a distinguished leader.

In 2011, I worked closely with the Governor during his signature effort to transform how health care is delivered to low-income Oregonians under the Oregon Health Plan. That work fundamentally changed health care in Oregon, and will benefit families throughout our state for years to come.

I support his decision to resign because it is the right decision for Oregonians.

Moving forward, I will continue to champion the priorities we have shared in the areas of equity in educational outcomes, quality early childhood education, and rural economic development.

The Oregon Legislature will meet the challenges facing Oregon and stands ready to show that even in the most trying times, we are committed to doing the right thing for the people of our state."

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Congressman Earl Blumeanuer

"While I am saddened by the governor's resignation, I fully understand and support his decision.

I have worked with John Kitzhaber for over three decades. His commitment to Oregon is deep and his record of accomplishment is strong. Today's action is consistent with that. As a friend, my thoughts are with John at this difficult time.

Going forward, my commitment is to work with the leadership in Salem to move past this tragic circumstance to provide Oregon the support necessary to meet our challenges."

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Stand for Children Oregon

Stand for Children Oregon is deeply saddened by the circumstances that led to Gov. John Kitzhaber's decision to resign. While in office, he was a fierce advocate for children and closing the achievement gap.

"We've appreciated the Governor's hard work on education policy and funding these past four years," says Sue Levin, former executive director and current board chair of Stand for Children Oregon. "He made structural changes to education funding and leadership that will continue to pay dividends in the years ahead."

Stand for Children Oregon will continue Gov. Kitzhaber's hard work to improve student achievement in our state. He started important conversations about early childhood education, improving our state's graduation rates, and providing more support to our English learners. As advocates, our members will ensure these issues continue to be at the forefront of legislative discussions.

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Sandra McDonough, Portland Business Alliance

"During the last four years, we have worked closely with Governor Kitzhaber to rebuild Oregon's economy and move critical issues forward. He was a tremendous partner in that effort and, with his leadership, a lot was done to make life better for Oregonians.

On a personal level, I have known John Kitzhaber for 37 years and I count him as a friend. I admire him as a person and as one of the strongest leaders this state has ever known. As Oregon moves forward, I hope the governor will be able to as well, and we will collectively remember him for the good he accomplished."

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Senator Ron Wyden

"Oregonians want government to focus on their needs rather than investigations and charges and counter-charges. Oregonians have a right to expect the highest ethical standards from their government, and today's announcement by Governor Kitzhaber acknowledges that reality. In the days ahead, we will refocus with our new Governor Kate Brown on the goal all Oregonians share - making the best state in America even better."

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee

"Governor Kitzhaber had an incredible career of public service in Oregon. His work in particular on healthcare helped lead the transformation of our nation's healthcare system. This is a sad end to Governor Kitzhaber's tenure, but his strong record of leadership and vision is worthy of respect."

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Secretary of State Kate Brown

"This is a sad day for Oregon. But I am confident that legislators are ready to come together to move oregon forward. I know you all have a lot of questions and I will answer them as soon as possible. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done between now and Wednesday."


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