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BREAKING: Dennis Richardson to Run for Secretary of State

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Dennis Richardson

Dennis Richardson announced today that he will be entering the race for Oregon Secretary of State. Richardson cited concerns about a lack of transparency and a failure to implement real reforms in the wake of the Kitzhaber scandal.

“It is simply not in my nature to walk away from a problem,” Richardson said in his announcement. “For the past year, I’ve watched as the legislature failed to restore the public trust after Governor’s Kitzhaber’s resignation.  Instead, we see further corruption with stories of sweetheart deals at the Department of Energy relating to energy tax credit giveaways.  I think voters are looking for someone who will be honest and willing to ensure state agencies stay on the right course.”

Richardson, who ran for Governor in 2014 and was defeated by Kitzhaber and served as the co-chair of the Ways and Means Committee, said he believes his resume meets the job description well. 

“You know, in this position, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a social conservative or social liberal,” Richardson said. “The Secretary of State has limited authority, largely tied to budget and performance audits, managing the public records, ensuring fair elections, and rolling out the welcome wagon for businesses looking to settle in Oregon,” Richardson explained. “As someone with budget experience and a law degree, I will be able to tackle auditing government agencies so we can streamline processes and return savings to the General Fund.  I’ll also use the power of the audit, so failures like Cover Oregon, which cost taxpayers nearly 300 million dollars, won’t happen again.”  


Related Slideshow: Slideshow: Questions Kitzhaber Didn’t or Wouldn’t Answer

The Governor's Friday media address, billed as an attempt to increase transparency into the matter of his controversial fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, raised more questions than it answered. 

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How do you not know whether or not you and Cylvia Hayes constitute a legal household?

Friday, Kitzhaber said he had no idea whether he and Hayes were legally a household, in which case he would be implicated to a greater degree, should Hayes be indicted for her alleged transgressions. The statement raises questions about how Kitzhaber, with a legal and financial staff, could have no idea what the state of Hayes' finances were. 

Political expert and Pacific University professor Jim Moore said regardless of whether or not she and Kitzhaber legally constitute a household, Hayes faces serious questions, he said. 

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Is Cylvia Hayes being investigated by the IRS?

When media reports surfaced that Hayes is being investigated by the FBI, Kitzhaber’s office said they were not aware of any investigation. Still, the question of whether she is being investigated by the IRS remains.

Friday, Kitzhaber would not answer questions regarding Hayes’ taxes.

"It's pretty clear she either gave the Oregonian fraudulent tax returns or she lied to the IRS," said Jim Moore, a professor of political science at Pacific University. 

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“What’s going on, John?”

“The major question that he needs to answer, and it troubles us who were admirers, is ‘what’s going on, John? Has this woman so captured your attention that you can’t get your mind around the love of your life [maybe] exercising bad judgement?’” said James C. Foster, a professor of Political Science at Oregon State University, Cascades. 

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Why is the German government paying for Cylvia Hayes’ trip to Berlin?

Kitzhaber said Friday that Cylvia Hayes is in Sweden on her own expense, visiting friends, but will be travelling to Berlin for a meeting with the same group that funded her 2013 trip to Bhutan. 

Kitzhaber emphasized the trip was not being funded by Oregon taxpayers, but did not explain why the German government was funding her trip. 

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Did you ever talk to Cylvia Hayes about her taxes?

In refusing to answer questions regarding Cylvia Hayes’ taxes, the Governor would not say whether or not he spoke to her, officially or unofficially, about the legitimacy of her tax filings.

“I have nothing else to say on the issue of her taxes,” the Governor said Friday. 

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If Cylvia Hayes is a public official, why has she not been made available to answer media questions?

Since her tearful October press statement in which she apologized for an illegal 1997 marriage to an Ethiopian immigrant, Hayes has not addressed media. Even in that address, she did not take questions following her statement.

Kitzhaber deflected several questions asked Friday to Hayes, although she is out of the country. 

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Have you or Cylvia Hayes contacted a criminal defense attorney?

While Kitzhaber said Friday he had not hired a criminal defender, the question remains as to whether or not he or Hayes have consulted one. Last month, media reports surfaced that Hayes was under investigation by the FBI, although the Governor’s office denied knowledge of any federal investigation. 

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“What were you thinking?”

Jim Moore, a professor of political science at Pacific University, said regardless of whether or not Hayes and Kitzhaber legally constitute a household, Hayes faces serious questions regarding her tax filings. 

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Why not ask an organization other than the Oregon Ethics Commission to investigate you?

When asked Friday, Ktizhaber said he did not think it was necessary to ask an investigative body other than the Oregon Ethics Commission, whom he appoints, to look into whether or not he or Cylvia Hayes violated Oregon's state ethics statute. 

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Did you know about the $118,000 fellowship from the CEDC?

Media reports last week unveiled Hayes was the recipient of a $118,000 fellowship from D.C.-based Clean Economy Development Center. She received $88,000 in 2012 and $30,000 in 2011, but the apparently undisclosed money does not match tax filings she supplied to some media outlets. 

In refusing to comment on Hayes' taxes, Kitzhaber would not say whether or not he knew about the fellowship money. 

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Why aren't Cylvia Hayes' contracts reflected on your Statements of Economic Interest?

The financial disclosure forms Kitzhaber is required to supply the Oregon Ethics Commission each year he holds public office may not reflect the income Hayes genrated from consulting contracts.

The form requires Kitzhaber to declare the name of any compensated lobbyist associated with a business with which he or a member of his household was associated with. In 2012, he wrote N/A, the same year the Clean Economy Development Center, which works with public officials to support renewable energy initiatives and create jobs, awarded Hayes a fellowship worth $88,000.  


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