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Soy Milk: I'm Sam Adams, and I'm here to seduce you.
January 22, 2009 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Sam Adams, the recently elected openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon, has come under fire for lying about a relationship he had with a teenage legislative intern in 2005 named Beau Breedlove. When first asked about the relationship in 2007 during the election campaign, Sam (then 42) claimed he was being a mentor to the young man. Sam recently cut short a trip to DC to return to Portland to publicly apologize and control damage over a new article in which he admits to having a sexual relationship with Beau. It's got the town divided over whether he should resign of if the whole thing is being blown out of proportion.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink (116 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Beau Breedlove? You've got to be kidding me. I mean, what reasonable person of literary mind could help but fall for 'Beau Breedlove'?
posted by jeffkramer at 2:30 PM on January 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


Well, somebody was surely being blown out of proportion.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:32 PM on January 22, 2009 [30 favorites]


Two ridiculous names in a ridiculous affair. One named after a beer/president and the other after a character in a teen romance novel.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:32 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm so sick of hearing about this (as I'm local). I really couldn't care less. If the kid was a minor Adams probably ought to be prosecuted, but I've heard he was 18 at the time, so I just don't care, and I hate that people do.
posted by Caduceus at 2:33 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


blown out of proportion

lol wut?
posted by jquinby at 2:33 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just looked this up, but strangely enough, the age of consent in Oregon is 18. I had no idea it was so high.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:33 PM on January 22, 2009


I was going to link to his MySpace page, but Gawker provided better pics. In short, I agree with their title: "Portland Mayor's Lover Might As Well Be Porn Star"
posted by filthy light thief at 2:34 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


And who names their kid "Beau"? I'm outraged!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:34 PM on January 22, 2009


Oh, I guess I heard wrong. I'm still pretty meh about it.
posted by Caduceus at 2:35 PM on January 22, 2009


Two ridiculous names in a ridiculous affair. One named after a beer/president

Did I fall asleep that day in history class?
posted by Rangeboy at 2:36 PM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


How can people get so worked up over a lie told in response to an inappropriate question? Especially when the facts (revealed later) disclose nothing illegal but merely personal? Sure there's an "investigation" forthcoming (sounds more like a spelunking expedition into Adams' sex life to me), but even if Breedlove were 17 I could hardly say anyone was harmed or exploited.

I voted for Sam Adams, and I would vote for him again today. He's an excellent mayor.
posted by Matt Oneiros at 2:37 PM on January 22, 2009


See, I warned you people about teh gayz!! Today it's an 18-year old man, tomorrow it'll be box turtles!!

/Cornyn
posted by billysumday at 2:39 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's an excellent mayor.

Yes, but he's gay. He's gay! He sleeps with other men!!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:41 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


You could write headlines for cnn.com.
posted by Zambrano at 2:41 PM on January 22, 2009


Sam Adams, the recently elected openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon, has come under fire for lying about a relationship he had with a teenage legislative intern in 2005 named Beau Breedlove.

If it weren't for the word "openly" you'd think Adams was a Republican...
posted by dersins at 2:41 PM on January 22, 2009 [12 favorites]


How can people get so worked up over a lie told in response to an inappropriate question?

Remember the 90s?
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on January 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


He's an excellent mayor.

Three weeks in and only one admission of lying to get elected!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:44 PM on January 22, 2009


And who names their kid "Beau"? I'm outraged!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:34 PM on January 22


Lloyd Bridges?
posted by bonecrusher at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2009


I want Sam Adams to continue being my mayor.
posted by birdie birdington at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


http://www.myspace.com/ueabsille

"Who I'd like to meet:

people- friendly, kind, and sincere. people that can laugh and love. when
it comes to romance, it's an undisputed fact that i like older men. why?
because i like someone who know's who they are, and gives good advice.
someone who will wrap their arms around you and keep you warm, and someone
who will kiss you goodnight, and tell you to have sweet dreams.And i've
found all of that in my michael- he's the one"
posted by digaman at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2009


What I find disturbing is the possibility that he hired Ruiz to shut her up. And that city planners only make $55k.
posted by mecran01 at 2:51 PM on January 22, 2009


Lloyd Bridges?

I will never watch Hot Shots: Part Deux ever again
without cursing his son's name. *shakes clenched fist*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


I met Sam Adams once. Seemed like a cool guy, after all, he had a FUCKING KEG OF BEER IN A CONFERENCE ROOM. My vote is overblown!
posted by Mach5 at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2009


Having sex with a subordinate is generally inappropriate, regardless of either person's sexual orientation or age.
posted by mkb at 2:53 PM on January 22, 2009 [17 favorites]


I notice that, in scouring for anti-Adams protesters, the oregonlive link has two photos of the same guy.

It's sad that people care about crap like this.

I do confess to some amazement over the kid's name, though.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:54 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Having sex with a subordinate is generally inappropriate

To be fair, it was only for college credit.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:58 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


If the intern was above the age of consent, then as far as I'm concerned they can do what they want, and should be left alone to do so. I do not care that Mayor Adams did not openly admit to the relationship.

/Portland local
posted by spacely_sprocket at 3:04 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah it sucks if he's a great guy and a good politician, but having sex with interns is abuse of power, and abuse of power is the kind of immoral you usually don't want in your positions of importance. Not to mention how disastrous a political move this was. I mean jeez the kid was hot but keep it in your pants dude. It's like the Spitzer hooker thing. For fucks sake how can it be that hard to get laid as a youngish cool politician by people who aren't sex workers or your employees? I could pretend to be Mayor Adrian Fenty at bars every week to get mad honeys and I'm not even black!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:05 PM on January 22, 2009


To be fair, it was only for college credit.

Bet he got a four point Oh! Oh! Oh!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:05 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


One named after a beer/president

Brewer-patriot, dammit!
posted by mr_roboto at 3:12 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Listen, I'm a strident, man-hating, middle-aged, longtime-electively-celibate, asexual broad with no interest what...so...ever in callow adolescent puppy-boys, and even I would have a hard time resisting the impulse to crawl six miles over broken glass just to drink the dirty bathwater of somebody named Beau Breedlove.

I mean, does that conjure up loin-melting images of a young Freddie Mercury, or what? Hubba.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:14 PM on January 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


if only he'd followed the sign right behind him...
posted by mrballistic at 3:21 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Having sex with a subordinate is generally inappropriate, regardless of either person's sexual orientation or age."

We don't know who was subordinate. Beau could be a top.
posted by klangklangston at 3:27 PM on January 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Leave it to Portland to elect a beer as their mayor.
posted by mullingitover at 3:28 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn, he is a hottie. But I'm not buying that name, no sir. I'll take the hit for being condescending and unsubtle but everyone does what "beau" means, right? And Breedlove? Anyway - considering all the nuts clammoring for Obama's birth certificate, I refuse to, er, swallow this until someone provides documentation!
posted by Bokononist at 3:29 PM on January 22, 2009


It was nominative determinism that led him to this sad life of jailbait scandal - he never had a chance.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on January 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


I (also a Portlander) also don't care, unless it turns out the Beau was underage at the time.

Potomac: He was an intern, but he wasn't Sam Adams's intern. I don't think there's an abuse of power angle here.
posted by Laen at 3:32 PM on January 22, 2009


For me this has nothing to do with sexual orientation. You don't diddle the interns. Ever.
posted by rocket88 at 3:34 PM on January 22, 2009


"... WW has learned that Adams campaign strategist Mark Wiener also called ..."

That whole office is just a sausagefest!
posted by me & my monkey at 3:35 PM on January 22, 2009


Why don't you diddle the interns? they do in congress.
posted by Postroad at 3:46 PM on January 22, 2009


Another p-town resident here. I gotta say that for those who _ahem_ worked their tails off to get Sam elected, this is a real disappointment. Even if you don't think this was a big deal, there's just no good way to spin this and the press doesn't appear likely to cut him any slack either. The evening news last night even had some "lie detection expert" analyze the audio of the apology statement. The guy said Sam's still "hiding something". Not to mention the fact that the new AG is already launching a criminal investigation at the request of the county attorney.

I bet he resigns soon. That said, if you are still a fan there are some support options...

1) There's a rally Friday, 1/23 @ 5:30pm in front of city hall. That's the single best thing you can do to support him.
2) Visit http://samisstillmymayor.blogspot.com/.
3) On facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=46090272767&ref=nf
4) Tell your friends.
posted by esome at 3:46 PM on January 22, 2009


Remember the 90s?

Apparently Adams was asleep or something. I don't live in Portland or even Oregon, and I don't care at all who anyone else has sex with (as long as it's not my husband), but seriously folks---DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM BILL CLINTON???!!

Hello... sex w/ an intern + lying about it = BIG JUICY MEDIA SCANDAL.

Oy, the stupidity!
posted by DiscourseMarker at 3:53 PM on January 22, 2009


The evening news last night even had some "lie detection expert" analyze the audio of the apology statement.

Johnny Walker always called himself a "lie detection expert" for bar bets, but it looks like he's turned pro.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 PM on January 22, 2009


Yes, but he's gay. He's gay! He sleeps with other men!!

Yeah, it's okay to be gay and all, but don't actually, you know, have sex with other men. Icky!

Nah, actually, I think if he had had the same sort of relationship with a young female intern, he'd be under the same scrutiny. It seems to be more the impropriety than the actual gayness.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:59 PM on January 22, 2009


This little semi-scandal isn't close to worth resigning over, but I bet Mr. Adams is one emotionally immature dude. 42 and 17/18?
posted by aerotive at 4:02 PM on January 22, 2009


It's not like Oregon has a history of caring what people do with their wieners.

I can pump my own damn gas thank you!
posted by The Power Nap at 4:05 PM on January 22, 2009


When this story broke, Sam made a series of self-righteous public denials and went on the attack against the political rival who raised a concern about it. (By the way, that person is also a gay man.) That rivals' political career was ruined after Sam and his cronies publicly smeared him as a liar –which we now know wasn't the case.

He claimed that he was merely reaching out to a confused young man to give him "advice and perspective on coming to terms with being gay." We now know that he and his political consultant had several meetings with this young man in which they coached him to lie to the press. The young man seems to have had a pretty good perspective, until Sam got to him.

We also know now that Sam gave a job to a reporter who had been pursuing the story. She's a 26-year old reporter who suddenly got a $55K job as a "Sustainability and Strategic Planning Advisor," which even she admitted she had no background in.

Sam's behaved despicably here, and he's used the gay community to deflect criticism. He claims to have had to lie in order to avoid homophobic prejudices against gay men. We now know that he was reinforcing those stereotypes and using homophobia as an excuse to perpetuate his own political career.

This whole thing stinks, and not because he's gay or because he had sex with someone who was 18. Sam betrayed the gay community and needs to resign.
posted by halekon at 4:07 PM on January 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


This whole thing stinks, and not because he's gay or because he had sex with someone who was 18. Sam betrayed the gay community and needs to resign.

La-la-la-la I can't hear you Republicans do it sometimes too who cares!
posted by billysumday at 4:12 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Smarter MeFites than I will recall if the comparison to Bill Clinton and the "innapropriate question" line of argument is relevant. Wasn't President Clinton asked if he had had extra marital affairs part of a sexual harrassment suit against him? That doesn't strike me as a totally irrelevant question (I could argue it both ways, to be honest, but I don't think you can be stunned that the question was asked - nor can you be stunned that someone in that position would deny the accusation).
posted by Nick Verstayne at 4:17 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


If Adams was straight, and had tagged an eighteen year old female <>intern, I'd expect there'd be more of a scandal (i.e., I would have heard about it before it showed up on the blue.) But it seems that if it involves teh gays, it's not as big a deal.

I'm not sure what to make of that. "They're gay, so they're expected to behave badly?" "We can't criticize his behavior, because he's gay?" "Young gay men need mentoring if-you-know-what-I-mean?"

He tagged an intern. Bad Mayor! Bad!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:18 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


you know what, if the interns are of age and want to be diddled by the boss, then so be it. who didn't have fantasies of fucking a guy twice their age or even acted on it? i mean, seriously, this is such bullshit.

by the way, Beau Breedlove might as well be a gay porn star and for fuck's sake, it's don a strap on and get in some male drag if it would give me a chance to hit that hard 10 thousand ways to sunday.

Beau is definitely a fine piece of man-meat.

and with that, all i have to say is that gringos need to learn a thing or two about sex scandals from the French. ( i should have turned that into my first FPP. )
posted by liza at 4:26 PM on January 22, 2009


Well, the obvious comparison is Mark Foley. He bugged me because he was so methodically grooming underage interns, ready to move as soon as they turned 18. The real life equivalent of "Barely Legal" magazine.

No idea if this was a one shot deal or a pattern for Adams, but it seems similar. By his own account they met when Breedlove was 17, and waited until after his birthday. If that's not true, Adams is gone for sure. But even if he did dance around the letter of the law, it looks kinda predatory.
posted by msalt at 4:32 PM on January 22, 2009


it's don a strap on and get in some male drag if it would give me a chance to hit that hard 10 thousand ways to sunday.

Beau is definitely a fine piece of man-meat.


fucking boyzone.

oh wait...
posted by Justinian at 4:32 PM on January 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


So, uh, any news on what kind of a mayor he is? Guess I'm just a pragmatist or whatever, but if I were from Portland, I'd give much more of a fuck about that than who the mayor is fucking.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:48 PM on January 22, 2009


Guess I'm just a pragmatist or whatever, but if I were from Portland, I'd give much more of a fuck about that than who the mayor is fucking.

Yeah, but he's gay. And the bf is smoking hot. Who cares about Portland?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:01 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know, if you do have a sex scandal and you want people to forget about it, then don't have sex with someone called Beau Breedlove. People tend to remember that name. And find it funny. And tell their friends.
posted by ob at 5:04 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Call it the Packwood Problem.
posted by box at 5:10 PM on January 22, 2009


by the way, Beau Breedlove might as well be a gay porn star and for fuck's sake, it's don a strap on and get in some male drag if it would give me a chance to hit that hard 10 thousand ways to sunday.

Beau is definitely a fine piece of man-meat.


Uh, you don't get a pass on obnoxious "I'd hit it" filter comments just because the hitee is a guy.
posted by jokeefe at 5:16 PM on January 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


The problem isn't that Beau is an intern, because he's not an intern for the mayor's office or city government at all. The problem is that the mayor lied about it, and made some other guy look like a liar. We need more leaders like this.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:33 PM on January 22, 2009


Uh, you don't get a pass on obnoxious "I'd hit it" filter comments just because the hitee is a guy.

IGNORE THIS MAN.

Plz to be continuing with the hot hot objectification metaphors, kthx.
posted by Ryvar at 5:52 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


...Commissioner Randy Leonard

...staff assistant Lisa Leddy said it had been a rough couple of days. "I'm almost afraid to answer the phone," she said this morning. "We're getting hammered."

...Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian

...Clark Saylor
[Read his surname out loud]

I'm sorry, but . . . Sam Adams? Beau Breedlove? Randy Leonard?

Hey there, Saylor?

I refuse to believe this whole scandal isn't just viral marketing for some upcoming big-budget porno.
posted by Ryvar at 6:05 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just thought I'd mention that he's a Democrat -- because none of the linked articles seemed to think it was important to mention his political party.
posted by Class Goat at 6:10 PM on January 22, 2009


At least your mayor didn't change his name to Luke Steelerstahl.
posted by octothorpe at 6:13 PM on January 22, 2009


If a politician lies about something some will find objectionable, in this case, a relationship with a much younger subordinate, and uses this lie to damage opponents, then executes an elaborate cover-up that includes abuses of power in hiring, well, I'm not sure what it would take to convince some of the up thread posters that he might not be fit for office.
I can understand that his sexual orientation is part of the issue, and undoubtedly it is motivating some of the people going after him, but on the evidence presented he has displayed extremely poor judgment and potentially acted illegally.
posted by bystander at 6:20 PM on January 22, 2009


Just thought I'd mention that he's a Democrat -- because none of the linked articles seemed to think it was important to mention his political party.

Dude, he's the openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon. Do you really need to be told he's a Democrat? I mean. I guess he could have been Green Party, but still...
posted by dersins at 6:31 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Excellent pickup Goat. There was a lot of confusion as to what party the openly gay mayor of Portland might be.
posted by absalom at 6:37 PM on January 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM BILL CLINTON???!!

Hello... sex w/ an intern + lying about it = BIG JUICY MEDIA SCANDAL.


This is maybe a bad example here, though? I mean things turned out pretty well for Bill Clinton, short term and long.
posted by longsleeves at 6:38 PM on January 22, 2009


The issue isn't about his sexuality. The issue, the creepy underlying issue, is that a 42-year-old man used his position of power and authority under the guise of a mentorship to take advantage of a 17-year-old boy. What's creepier is that he allegedly waited until the kid turned 18 to fuck him--the countdown to legality is troublesome. If this had happened with a straight man and a 17-year-old girl there would be an absolute uproar, so why the double standard?

I voted for Sam, and was very vocal in my support of him. But lying for 4 years, an elaborate cover-up, "coaching" the kid himself to lie? Only coming clean because the Willamette Week was bent on outing the truth? Hiring an entirely unqualified woman, Amy Ruiz (former employer: The Mercury) in lieu of however many qualified urban planners/developers to oversee Sustainability???

Not to mention the hypocrisy of my fellow Portlanders in this entire matter: let me remind y'all of the Derrick Foxworth affair, wherein a cop gets smeared because he's having an interracial relationship with a coworker. Was anyone up-in-arms then about the invasion of privacy?

This whole thing disgusts me. I'm not sure if I'd vote for him again, particularly in light of his history with Vera Katz.
posted by nonmerci at 6:38 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


As much as it pains me to say so, halekon is right. The issue isn't that he lied about it because anyone would have. The issue is the cover-up, the promotion of an unqualified individual to a prominent office in an attempt to hush them. I am a proud Adams voter, have met him on several occasions, clink'd glasses with him, gave money to his campaign. And this is a betrayal of the trust he asks of his supporters. No one blames him for lying about an ill-advised affair, I don't even care about the age divide (even if it combined with the fact he was a subordinate puts it firmly into unethical and creepy territory), it is the fact that he tried to cover it up so desperately. If he had simply admitted to this when confronted with it, chances are he would have been hailed as even more of a prettyboy gayplayboy then he already is locally.. but now he just seems like another creepy old politician trying to hide the fact that he likes to diddle the hot young manmeat that is under him. I don't know if he needs to resign, as I don't know what would happen then (runoff election? Would Randy Leonard simply ascend to Mayor?) But Adams definitely owes Portland something for betraying the trust we so readily showered upon him.
posted by mediocre at 6:39 PM on January 22, 2009


I don't know about the runoff election, I think I read in the WW that someone would have to pick someone else to replace him? Unhelpful, I know, but it's all in this article. If he doesn't resign and public outrage is high enough, after 6 months voters have the option of collecting petitions for a recall election, which requires some odd 30,000 votes. Then it'd be Sam vs. some other dude.

I'm still pretty mixed about this, and I think I'm actually the angriest because of the placid responses from a lot of Portlanders (more than likely douchey hipster out-of-towners /TRANSPLANT HIPSTERIST)...if this just disappears, then I'll fear for the future of Portland politics more than I already do now.
posted by nonmerci at 6:49 PM on January 22, 2009


I was slightly shocked at the number of dissembling "Hey, I don't care about the age difference." comments, but then I remembered that we're talking about a sexual predator of young boys, not girls, and that this is metafilter, the place on the internet where the Y chromosome goes to die.
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 6:57 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did things turn out okay for Bill Clinton? I doubt that. If Hillary wanted to, she could crush Bill's legacy any number of ways, and she's smart enough to know it. And Bill is smart enough to know she knows it. I'm sure Hillary has her metaphorical hands cupping Bill's metaphorical balls, ready to crush them should he annoy her, and so it will be as long as he's alive. Which is probably why Obama made Hillary Secretary of State: in making himself her boss, he also made himself Bill's boss, indirectly. That was really quite clever, because that's really the only way Obama could exert any control over Bill Clinton, and you don't want an uncontrolled Bill Clinton wandering around.
posted by jamstigator at 7:07 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am just glad that the nonprofit I work for has the center page ad spread in the issue of the newsweekly that broke the story. Most read issue in years!
posted by karmaville at 7:09 PM on January 22, 2009


So the mayor admits that he was pounding an underage twink boi and people are debating whether he should resign or not?

Doesn't that make him, you know, a sex offender?

I thought in most places you get prosecuted for that and get put on a registry.
posted by jayder at 7:09 PM on January 22, 2009


Wait, what? Why are Clinton ball-crushing metaphors being thrown about? Let's avoid the derail, folks...
posted by nonmerci at 7:09 PM on January 22, 2009


Sorry for the excessive comments, but I'm pretty interested.

To jayder: If you had RTFA, you would note that Adams claims the sexual aspect of the relationship only started within one month after Beau's 18th birthday, thus negating any illegal activity.
posted by nonmerci at 7:15 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The real life equivalent of "Barely Legal" magazine."

Uh, I hate to crush any dreams, but the vast majority of "barely legal" girls are in their mid-20s.
posted by klangklangston at 7:18 PM on January 22, 2009


.. (more than likely douchey hipster out-of-towners /TRANSPLANT HIPSTERIST)..

Well, this is the Mercury we're talking about haha..

I agree though, I'm as partisan as anyone but there is a lot of blind support played for laughs, which is just as effective and smart as total ignorance and non-voting. I'm sure a lot of the Portland hipsterarti voted for Adams just because he is openly gay and all the little things he did to "Keep Portland Weird!". I wouldn't be surprised at all if you took away the uninformed vote and it resulted in a Dozono win.. He is a worthy leader (though I certainly didn't agree with everything he did when working under Vera Katz, a name I'm sure many people who voted for him don't even know) and is good for Portland. I just hope that he can keep his head above the political water and come out of this without destroying his political career. He needs to be very humble and admit to wrongdoing though, and this journalist for the Mercury who got a job she didn't deserve needs to be relieved of her duties. She should be given something comparable with a good salary to not totally screw her, but she did not deserve the job she got because she threatened to tell everyone what was in Adam's mouth.
posted by mediocre at 7:34 PM on January 22, 2009


Uh, I hate to crush any dreams, but the vast majority of "barely legal" girls are in their mid-20s.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
ooooo...........

posted by Avenger at 7:35 PM on January 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's difficult to get all schadenfreudly when the guy was openly gay. If he'd been a closeted Republican, I could have a good jeer and laugh. Because, yah, I'm the kind of guy who thinks it's hilarious when two-faced bastards get a comeuppance. But this? This is the sorta thing that makes go meh. If the kid was underaged, then throw the book at him. If the kid was able to consent, then it's tough to give a damn.

I guess this all boils down to the fact that I kinda like freakshows. Openly gay dudes aren't a freakshow any more. Forty years ago, sure. But we've been there, done that, had a gay decade and now it's passé.

Republican: when only the best schadenfreude will do.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:44 PM on January 22, 2009


It probably fares well for Adams that the majority of the reaction I've seen anywhere to this.. online, print, in person, whatever.. seems to be joking about how hot the dude is. So the public doesn't seem to care very much, which is concerning in its own way considering that Adams took part in some seriously shady activity.
posted by mediocre at 7:46 PM on January 22, 2009


The issue is the cover-up, the promotion of an unqualified individual to a prominent office in an attempt to hush them.

That deserves a smackdown. Probably not a jail term (unlike our mayor, who had his fingers in the cash drawer), but he ought to resign.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:46 PM on January 22, 2009


If Sam Adams isn't our mayor anymore who's it gonna be Sho Dozono? Whack. Personally, I don't give a shit who he banged.
posted by alpinist at 7:59 PM on January 22, 2009


I'm with nonmerci on this. Sam's feeble cover-up attempts are just worsening the situation. Why the silence with Foxworth? I've asked quite a few people about it and no one can muster more than a sad shrug, a why, and a sad shuffle away.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 8:13 PM on January 22, 2009


Those silly homosexuals!
posted by dawson at 8:46 PM on January 22, 2009


I'm a local, and I've read the articles listed above. I also think that things are being blown out of proportion and Adams is again the target of a smear campaign. People are reading the above links and simply accepting the narrative that is painted by WW, such as:
Now, 16 months later, the stakes are higher. If Adams lied, his actions unfairly blackened the reputation of one man—Ball—while clearing his own path to the mayor’s office. New information now raises questions about what decisions he may have made—or may continue to make—to keep the truth under wraps.

Voters have handed Adams the keys to America’s 30th largest city. Most Portlanders may not care whom he sleeps with so long as it’s legal. But they expect a mayor who is smart enough to level with the public—and who is not beholden to anyone to protect his secrets.


I have a show me the money problem with those statements. The article goes on to assert, without evidence, that Adam's hired Ruiz to shut her up. It also asserts that this scandal was used to destroy Bob Ball's political future.

Let's take the Ruiz BS first. WW and other outlets have argued that the pay for the job Ruiz got hired for is 55,000, a lot more than she was making at the Mercury. They also state unequivocally that she had none of the qualifications for the job. Yet, it's a political position too. And Ruiz was arguably one of the sharpest political reporters in Portland. From the The Portland Mercury:
"But I've looked at Amy's columns in the Mercury, too, and it seems like she's really plugged into the local politics," the person continues. "I have a background in a lot of the theoretical stuff but I think she has a lot of the political experience. I think she's really well qualified for the job."

The person from that quote was another applicant for the job in question. if the job paid 55,000 and she had some of the qualification, why not hire her. Don't just use the salary difference between her last job and this one to assert that she was bought off. Actually show some evidence or go screw. I'm tired of politics by insinuation.

The second assertion is that Adams went after Ball for the initial allegations, and then ruined his political career. From The Portland Mercury in September:

It’s not just the unfounded allegation or whisper campaign, but the fact that he’s been caught in at least two lies about the story. First, he told the Oregonian that he knew nothing about the rumor last week, which was blatantly false. Then, he called Leonard and asked him if he had told the Oregonian, because Leonard was the only person he had told about it. That, too, was blatantly false—Ball had met days before with Vera Katz, and Leonard knew it.


My problem with Ball is this. He took a swing at Adam's and basically got hit back. He swung for the fences and Adam's managed to play better defense. Ball is now going to cry that Adam's lied to the media and that's unfair boo ho? Shut the f*ck up and go home. You dragged a guys sexual relations into a political campaign. It's not like he had any evidence indicating that Adam's had sex with a minor. The f*ck wad simply started a whisper campaign against Adams and got f@ck#d for it. Good riddance.

In the end WW's whole article was instigated from anonymous emails and messages posted on blogs. WTF? If someone has something to say, or some evidence that Adams did something illegal, then give it to the Attorney's office. Otherwise, sit down, shut up, and stop polluting my City's airwaves with McCarthy like insinuation bullshit.

I'm sorry I'm pissed off, but I just spent two hours dissecting bullshit to get some facts so I could make up my mind that this story is bullshit. This is why politics in America get a bad name. There's too high a noise to signal ratio, and the people on the frontend should be doing more filtering so I don't have to waste my time on bullshit.
posted by herda05 at 8:48 PM on January 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, the obvious comparison is Mark Foley. He bugged me because he was so methodically grooming underage interns, ready to move as soon as they turned 18.

maf54 is on Facebook.
"In 2006, Florida Republican Mark Foley resigned from Congress in disgrace after a series of e-mails and instant messages emerged between him and underage male congressional pages. Despite this debacle, it looks like he’s still active on the Internet with a LinkedIn profile and now a Facebook page. Click here to friend him."
posted by ericb at 8:50 PM on January 22, 2009


we're talking about a sexual predator of young boys, not girls

No, we're not. We're talking about a liar, and someone who should be shamed from office for lying, but he's no more than that.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:50 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


And nomerci, the comparison with Foxworth is a false analogy. Foxworth was being charged with sexual harrassment:

Beginning in 2000, according to a tort claim Oswalt’s lawyer filed at City Hall this week, Foxworth harassed and threatened Oswalt while they conducted their affair.

Firstly, I've found no information indicating that Breedlove was an intern for Adams. He was a legislative intern in another City. So Adams wasn't having sex with a subordinate as people are incorrectly asserting here.

Second, Breedlove hasn't charged Adams with sexual harassment. Nor has he indicated that he and Adams had sex when he was a minor. So people who are saying that these were two consenting adults are correct.

At this point, I'd love to see the media shut up and let the Attorney's office do it's inquiry so I don't have to listen to this anymore.
posted by herda05 at 9:03 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


All the self-righteous people above banging on about lying and sexual predation and having had an affair need to be a little more understanding of human nature. First, as someone in one of the linked articles people regularly lie about who they have sex with and how many times they have sex. There will be people who will always lie about it. Just as it is not a crime to lie about the number of times one has sex or exaggerate one's penis size or wear padded bras, nor should it be whether one has had sex. Sex is a personal issue and should stay that way, so long as it is consensual (in this instance had it not been consensual, Breedlove would have cried rape). A public representative should be allowed to have sex as much as the next person, out of wedlock, before marriage, with anyone over the age of 16, with the same or different gender, unless that pol is a closeted gay Republican or a member of the clergy (because the hypocrisy is contemptible). A public representative is elected to perform its elected functions and should not be judged on personal pecadilloes or idiosyncracies, but on his or her performance on the job. It amazes me that having violated the constitution and allowed torture (a crime under both U.S. and international law) under his watch, and much much more, George W. Bush gets to go home without having been impeached, but William Jefferson Clinton has the ignominy of having been impeached because he diddled an intern and lied about it. Hello, people: priorities?

Second, having sex with someone who is 17 or 18 hardly constitutes sexual predation. The object of predation has not complained or tried to bring suit against the alleged predator. The police rarely prosecutes such 'crimes' because there are more serious crimes out there and filling the prisons with people having sex with those who are the age of college freshmen is a waste of state resources and, in my view, an abuse of the law, as a guide to shepherd good behavior. The law as it is written must be very precise, but particularly when it comes to criminal law, is designed to discourage reprehensible behavior. So, when it comes to the age of consent, different states have different ages (typically between 16-18 in the US), which adults should take to mean that they should not be diddling anyone younger. Yes, of course, an adult can be prosecuted for diddling a one-day-shy-of-18-year old, but such a prosecution would be motivated by an over-zealousness that would miss the essence of the law and employ judicial and police resources unjudiciously.

To promote good leadership and good governance, after 8 years of the scandalous opposite, the question people should ask themselves is: is Sam Adams doing an unimpeachable job as mayor of Portland?
posted by Azaadistani at 9:58 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


herda05 is right, and halekon is wrong. Ball tried to wreck Adams's career by bringing up the homophobic fear-tactic of predation. The press decided to go along with it.

If there's one thing you have a right to lie about, it's an invasive and inappropriate question about your sex life.

(Also I thought Breedlove wasn't Adams's intern.) (Also the impression I'm getting from the accounts is that Breedlove seduced Adams, rather than Adams somehow preying on Breedlove, but I certainly wasn't there, and neither were you.)

The Willamette Week should be ashamed of itself for its invasive and pointless reporting, and Just Out (the local gay rag, whose ed board is also calling for Adams's resignation) should be doubly ashamed for playing along for supporting the normalization of sexuality that is rampant throughout this "scandal".
posted by Casuistry at 10:02 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also worth noting is the politics of portland newspapers. WW and the Mercury have a long standing rivalry, and perhaps WW doesn't like that Ruiz is now on city payroll. Also of severe importance is noting that WW got a pulitzer last year for ... investigative reporting of a sex scandal involving an oregon politician and a minor. They're looking for another in the annals they know. The mercury, per their usual fuck-all attitude, will probably make jokes about this and question WW's street cred for knocking on the much loved mayor.

I'm acquainted with the editors of both papers and I think they're both good people, but this seems like a case of shit getting blown way out of proportion. Sam Adams fucked a guy less than half his age. So what. He lied about it. Of course he did. He hired Ruiz... seems logical. She's damned sharp, and is a hell of a politician in the making.

Meanwhile, the verdict is out on him being mayor. The verdict is in, however, on his political history; he is liberal, oriented torwards green technology and public transportation, and housing for the homeless. I voted for him and I would again. Even if it turns out Beau was 17.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 10:42 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


This whole thing is like an Ann Proulx novel, right down to the character names.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:52 PM on January 22, 2009


Class Goat: Just thought I'd mention that he's a Democrat -- because none of the linked articles seemed to think it was important to mention his political party.

That's because in Portland, the mayor is a nonpartisan position, as are all the city commissioner positions. Since the majority of people in the city are in the lefty/progressive sphere (or at least registered Democrats), it'd be sort of pointless to have the pre-election debates dominated by party ideology. In the most recent race Adams was definitely more liberal than his opponent, Sho Dozono, but it wasn't a Democrat/Republican thing.
posted by lisa g at 11:05 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Consenting adults
Beau was an intern at the state Legislature, not the city. He reportedly contacted Mr. Adams for advice on how to have a political career when gay. Also reportedly, there was no sex until Beau was of legal age.
So we have another case of invasion of privacy - Adams should have declined to answer the questioning when this scandal mongering started.
Portland elected a gay man as mayor. What was the expectation?

Disclaimer: I live in unincorporated Washington County. Can not vote in city elections.
posted by Cranberry at 11:20 PM on January 22, 2009


Well, here's the thing. Adams knew he had done something wrong, or at least something that could be perceived as wrong. So instead of try to correct his mistake he tried to cover the whole thing up with a series of lies. Not a single lie, but a concerted campaign of lies that involved a number of people.

If one is hoping to become a public servant, my hope is they do so in order to help their community. Portland, like most cities, needs some leadership through these hard times. Instead we have someone who lied in order to get into office and is now defending themselves instead of leading the city.

My problem with this is not the sex, or the lying, per se, but the position this puts the mayor in: he is now unable to lead. Or in other words: he is now unable to do his job.

And on the Ruiz issue - I'm sorry, but she got that job as some kind of favor and everyone involved knows it. I know a few people around various interested communities in Portland and her posting was controversial before this latest scandal broke.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:49 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just thought I'd mention that he's a Democrat -- because none of the linked articles seemed to think it was important to mention his political party.

Well, we're talking Portland here, it goes without saying he's somewhere within the range of Far-Left to moderate Democrat.
posted by mattholomew at 3:57 AM on January 23, 2009


These things always end well.
posted by blucevalo at 7:28 AM on January 23, 2009


the question people should ask themselves is: is Sam Adams doing an unimpeachable job as mayor of Portland?

He's been mayor one week, so it's kind of hard to tell.

To be fair, he was the chief of staff to the previous longtime mayor (Vera Katz) and some might argue he was running the city during those years too.
posted by msalt at 8:13 AM on January 23, 2009


Casuistry: the question people should ask themselves is: is Sam Adams doing an unimpeachable job as mayor of Portland?

Just about every employer I've ever worked for has had a pretty strict ethical code in place in regards to sexual behavior among employees. People who are sexually involved off the clock should not be put into a position of supervising each other on the clock. If such a relationship exists, someone needs to quit, or transfer to a position that prevents conflict of interest. It's the conflict of interest that's the problem, not the sex.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:45 AM on January 23, 2009


(in this instance had it not been consensual, Breedlove would have cried rape).

Uhh, are you joking? How many people are raped or sexually abused and never, ever "cry rape"?

As far as the "analogy" to Foxworth, it wasn't an analogy. It was a further example of sexual scandal in Portland politics being treated in a far different way. There were many factual problems with the woman's story, including the fact that she basically said "Oh, hey, 6 years ago this happened and now I'm pressing charges."

Whatever. I'm not surprised by any of these apathetic reactions. Calling it a smear campaign is a little shrill, though, since it would be nowhere near this level of media coverage had Adams not tried his damnedest to cover it all up.

And maybe he wasn't technically his intern, but Adams was mentoring a 17 year old boy who he then proceeded to fuck immediately after he turned 18 (one month certainly counts as immediate), while still maintaining his position as mentor. Or does it not count because the other party in this case is male?

Self-righteous, not so mention. Questionable ethical conduct? For sure. Coupled with a 4-year cover-up campaign? Another check. Hiring unqualified reporters from Adams' favorite Portland rag? Even worse.
posted by nonmerci at 9:19 AM on January 23, 2009


Wow, not so mention? Or, not so much. But the former is more fun.
posted by nonmerci at 9:21 AM on January 23, 2009


Beau Breedlove's Statement
"The past day of news coverage regarding my brief 2005 relationship with Mayor Sam Adams has been stressful, to say the least. I would like to publicly apologize to those who were negatively affected by my mishandling of the situation during the 2007 mayoral campaign. Reflecting back, I regret misleading anyone about the nature of the relationship. When the subject first surfaced during the campaign, I was living out-of-state and I did not anticipate the impact it might have on Portland's mayoral campaign. While my first instinct was to tell the truth, I also wanted to protect Sam Adams' reputation, considering our valuable friendship. Sam Adams has always been a positive influence and friend to me. He has many outstanding qualities to bring to his position as Mayor of the City of Portland and I wish nothing but the best for him. I hope this subject can ultimately be put to rest and I sincerely believe in Sam Adams and what he can do for the city of Portland as Mayor. Again, I truly apologize to those were affected by my mishandling of the situation in 2007. Sincerely, Beau Breedlove."
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on January 23, 2009


Even though I voted for Sam, I agree with nonmerci on this one. I see it as an example of how one acts under adversity. Sam had a choice when the issue first came up. I think if he had been open and honest then, he'd still be mayor and life would move on. He chose to lie, to use it as an attack, and to cover it up. That's not how I want people I vote for to act. Sure, we all make mistakes but it's how we respond to them that matters.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:01 AM on January 23, 2009


Little known fact, nominative determinists, but "Beau Breedlove" is actually what he changed his name to.

He was born Ryder O'Geimeirs.
posted by rusty at 10:11 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


KirkJobSluder: Just about every employer I've ever worked for has had a pretty strict ethical code in place in regards to sexual behavior among employees. People who are sexually involved off the clock should not be put into a position of supervising each other on the clock.

Which makes sense. But, as it's been pointed out several times, Breedlove NEVER WORKED for the City of Portland, even as an intern: he worked for the state legislature down in Salem.

Redgrendel2001: we're talking about a sexual predator of young boys

Breedlove was 18, not 8. Way back in journalism school I learned that anyone 18 or older is referred to as a man or woman, not boy or girl. I'm not denying that this relationship was borderline questionable, but trying to bring pedophilia into this is far beyond the pale.

nonmerci: Hiring unqualified reporters from Adams' favorite Portland rag? Even worse.

The Mercury has only started doing serious political coverage in the past few years, but it's consistently tough on all the elected officials around here. Amy Ruiz was a pretty intreprid reporter and writer, from what I read over the last year. I wouldn't call it Adams' favorite rag. The Mercury's blog has been pretty clear-eyed about both Adams and Ruiz since the story broke. This entry shows her job application. It seems she was at least somewhat qualified for the job, which entails lots of communications skills and a working knowledge of city policymaking, which she'd covered for years.

(If anyone outside of Portland is confused about the newspapers here, I'll sum them up:
The Oregonian: daily newspaper, increasingly irrelevant, called for Adams to resign after WW broke the story
Willamette Week: established alt-weekly, broke the Adams story this week, won a Pulitzer a while back ... for the same reporter, covering another sex scandal [though that one involving a 14-year-old girl and the former governor/Portland mayor]
The Portland Mercury: scrappier alt-weekly, somewhat goofy but doing a lot more serious municipal reporting in the past few years, former employer of Amy Ruiz
Just Out: the gay newsweekly, called for Adams to resign this week
The Portland Tribune: another weekly paper, also called for Adams to resign this week)

Blazecock Pileon: And who names their kid "Beau"? I'm outraged!
bonecrusher: Lloyd Bridges?

And Joe Biden!

Sigh. I'm disappointed in Adams, but this is totally being blown out of proportion, and I hope he doesn't resign. I just wish he'd taken a page not from Bill Clinton but from Barack Obama, who, early in his political career, said: "Yes, I've taken cocaine and other drugs. I don't anymore." If he'd lied about it, it WOULD have came out later in a big scandal, and he wouldn't be president now.
posted by lisa g at 10:35 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I'm a creepy chickenhawk!" doesn't really have the same cool.
posted by Artw at 10:39 AM on January 23, 2009


In San Francisco, straight Mayor Newsom had a 19 or 20 year old girlfriend a few years ago who was (underage) drinking in public with them. Then he had an affair with his campaign manager's wife. Those mini-scandals blew away quickly and he was overwhelmingly reelected. Now it turns out the openly gay mayor of another liberal West Coast city had an affair with an 18 year old guy (certainly no worse than anything Newsom did). I hope Adams isn't held to a stricter standard just because he's gay and that this "scandal" too blows over quickly.
posted by mahamandarava at 11:30 AM on January 23, 2009


Yeah, but Gavin Newsom gets a pass because he's the (2nd) cousin of freak-folker Joanna Newsom.
posted by msalt at 12:21 PM on January 23, 2009


Really? I've heard quite a Newsom backlash recently, especially from gays who blame his show-boating for some of the Prop 8 votes, and hold his personal behavior as evidence that he's reckless and arrogant.
posted by klangklangston at 2:10 PM on January 23, 2009


Newsom backlash

Yes, but I think the real issue is that Ys was overblown and pretentious (string orchestra, for god's sake). Hopefully, Bill Callahan can refocus her on simple, quirky, personal songwriting.
posted by msalt at 3:48 PM on January 23, 2009


I loved Ys!

Back on topic, Dan Savage has gotten into town for the pro-Adams rally. Also see here. (Note to those who only know Savage as a sex columnist: he's also the editor of the Stranger, Seattle's sister paper to the Mercury.)
posted by lisa g at 5:12 PM on January 23, 2009


*shrieksobs hysterically* LEAVE SAM ADAMS ALONE! YOU'RE LUCKY HE EVEN MAYORS FOR YOU!!!

/voted for Adams, don't care.

here is an (tired) exercise:

next time you: drop your car off to be repaired. go to the dentist. have a medical operation. get your taxes done. etc. ask the individual responsible for said task if they: are/have always been faithful to their spouse/s.o.? enjoy porn? have sex with people you think are too young/old or wrong sex? etc.

tell them your continued business and that of your community depends upon their answers.

then, after you have the answers, have a gaggle of "investigative" reporters look for any holes or cover-ups in their stories.

then, when it is uncovered that they have "lied", ostracize them, reject any attempted apology or redemptive gesture, and self-righteously demand that they quit their chosen profession.
posted by secondhand at 9:23 PM on January 23, 2009


Portland Mayor Sam Adams to Return to Work: Won't Resign.
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on January 26, 2009


The Great Gay Hope (Timothy Egan in the NYT)
posted by msalt at 10:24 AM on January 29, 2009


In other news, I was eating dinner at Higgins last night with a client and some folks from work, and a drunk lady came up to me and said "Excuse me, aren't you Sam Adams?" Part of me wanted to yes just to see what happened, but I didn't want to get screamed at or slapped, so I just said "Uh, no."

The client, who is from out of town, just thought she was crazy; he made some remark about her thinking he was Johnnie Walker or Jack Daniels until my coworkers helpfully enlightened him about the mayor and the sex scandal, at which point our client just cracked up. And, really, who can blame him.

Here's the thing-- I don't the fuck look like Sam Adams at all. We're both white males with glasses, but that's about it:

Adams.
dersins.
posted by dersins at 1:35 PM on January 29, 2009


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