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Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland: Please resign

January 20th, 2009

Sam Adams, the Brave New Mayor of Portland, gave a little press conference this afternoon. It gave me a raging headache, which is better than a raging something else, I suppose, which appears to be Sam Adams’ problem.

1) His press conference interrupted my Obama-thon and really, there is no excuse. He is Obama, Sam. You are just some idiot.

2) Well, the rumors were flying during the Adams’ campaign, about his “mentoring” relationship with a young intern. Did he screw a minor? No, of course not. He waited until he turned 18. Oh, sure. I feel a lot better about it now.

I don’t care if it was consensual. What I care about is that he was a kid. Eighteen is still a kid. What I care about is that when grown-ups sexually abuse children and young adults, whether it’s taking advantage of a situation (one extreme) or going in for the kill (the other extreme), they damage something in the other person.

You can damage a person’s heart and soul. You can damage their bodies. That body is not yours to take — it is theirs. May we be clear on this? It is not your body to take.

This is true of adult-on-adult situations, too. (And by “situations,” I mean the whole gamut — from taking advantage of someone because they’ve had too much to drink to doing serious bodily harm to a person.) You can harm another adult, and I might hate you for it, but when you harm a kid, you are a special kind of bastard to me.

Now you want… what, Sam? Forgiveness? You made sure you lied, you made sure that the other person lied, you made sure you got into office and now you want forgiveness? You’re not at church on Sunday morning, hon. Don’t pull a Jimmy Swaggart here, “I have sinned,” etc.

Don’t be that fucked up. You need to figure things out, and I need my city run by someone who’s not in some kind of midlife crisis, thinking he’s a teenager, having some hott teenage sex. You are a grown man. You are my age.

The Brave Little Toaster is much, much braver than our allegedly Brave Little Mayor. So. So, so, so. A note:

Dear Sam,

You said in your press conference that if the people of Portland asked for you to resign, you would. I’m asking, and I’m not the only one. The 900 cops in this town are asking you, too. Politely.

Love and kisses,

Wacky Mommy

Sgt. Scott Westerman, president of the Portland Police Association, tells Willamette Week that Adams’ admitted coverup of the 2005 affair with Beau Breedlove revealed “a dramatic lack of integrity.”

“What would happen if a police officer befriended a 17-year-old cadet, or a high-school girl, and waited until the second she turned 18 to nail her?” Westerman says. “This is the mayor of our city. This is supposed to be the person who dictates the culture.”


Honey. Get to stepping.


  1. notagoodqueer says

    I do not like what Adams did to Robert Ball, I do not like liars, and I have mentored teenagers. I think looking at these young adults as a sexual opportunity is wrong. As an activist who won two civil rights cases with the state of Oregon was refused over and over for help from Adams. I would of loved a lunch but I guess that I never was given an invitation. I wonder why? The situation is gross due to the wake of the cover up of Goldsmit follies. The longer that he takes to resign, the more pressure will be on him to face criminal chargers. He should get out while he can, because he seems to be digging himself in a whole everytime he tells the truth about his relationship.

    Not a Good Queer .com

    January 20th, 2009 | #

  2. LIB says

    I TOTALLY! WHOLEHEARTEDLY! agree with you!

    January 21st, 2009 | #

  3. zipdodah says

    Step away Sam. You can not recycle yourself into an honest man.

    January 21st, 2009 | #

  4. Ash says

    Really, seriously… this is all the better you have to do with your time and life. My suggestion to you, get a job. Let Sam Adams do his and stop worrying about other people’s bedrooms… for the love of Christ…

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  5. WackyMommy says

    Ash, even though yesterday was No Arguing with Assclowns on the Internet Day, I’ll make an exception for you and extend it ’til Thursday.



    ps — where’s the *real* Ash, by the way? Cuz you, sir, are not her.

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  6. Liberal Mama says

    He’s gotta go. I think people like “ash” need to spend some quality time figuring out where their moral compass is. Admas’ behavior is appalling.

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  7. icek says

    “I don’t care if it was consensual. What I care about is that he was a kid. Eighteen is still a kid.”

    But…the age of consent is the age of consent regardless. In some parts of the world it’s 16, which may make Beau look like an old maid by compare. Anyway, the point is, if we make that the magic line, regardless of whether you think he’s a kid or not, he’s a consenting adult in that respect. The mentoring aspect sounds pretty casual too, this was not an intern in Sam’s office.

    But in the end, you and I agree … Sam should resign, for the orchestrated lie he fed the city, and the implied character assassination of Robert Ball in the process.

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  8. Juniper says

    Age of consent is a little vague in terms of when a young person is able to decide what is best or even desired for one’s self these days. BUT! What bothers me is that a young man was pressured into lying about the relationship, which can make even the most tender of protege/mentor sex transform into a subversive dirty little secret. This is abusive and no wonder the young man is terrified to speak out. This is what you created Sam Adams, own it and step down!

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  9. Lee says

    Sam Adams has just lived the worst stereotype of gay men: That they are predatory toward young men. I nominate him to be the next spokesman for NAMBLA.

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  10. Mike Hall says

    Sam Adams needs to resign. His office also failed to investigate a very serious lawsuit last year involving Oregon Entertainment Corporation/Fantasy For Adults Only a local retail chain, as he knows the owner and has met with him per his public calendar.

    The lawsuit involved serious safety issues for public and employees and was filed in Multnomah County and Federal Court.

    His office and public advocate failed to address the serious issues and this latest is the icing on the cake. RESIGN Mr. ADAMS….

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  11. Gregory says

    I just discovered someone (you) blogging about this, and thanks. You see, I’m looking for the web site that’s rallying the citizens to sign a petition for Mayor Adams’ resignation. I just learned of this (busy working, traveling, etc.) and it interrupted my witnessing the beginning of a new chapter in American History Tue. Let me be clear: do I believe he is perfectly qualifed to run the city? Sure. Do I believe this is a matter of gender preference? NoT! Do I believe his veracity is the issue? Bingo. As far as I am concerned, he demolished all his credentials to lead this city with his dishonesty. I don’t give a flyin whip about his sexual interests or pursuits. I only care that we as constituents need to put our collective foot down and say ENOUGH. If you’re going to be a politican and a leader then YES, yes damnit you’re going to be held to a higher, a much higher standard of behavior on matters essential to your ability to lead. Gender preference is not one of them; sexual pursuits (as predatory or abusive as they might be) is not one of them. HONESTY IS, full stop. And now Sam Adams has tossed it all (read: trust in his honesty) in the toilet. Remember when we over ran the budget for the tram? Now I wonder where the money went ’cause I’m no longer convinced he told us the truth. Heard about that billion dollar bridge across the Columbia on the drawing board? Same problem. I consider myself a “pragmocrat” that is, a middle of the road person; fiscally conservative, and socially progressive. And for the record, I am a registered “D” and voted for the “O.” But I have this “1% theory” for politicians: if there is even a 1% chance you’ll be dishonest again because you have before, then OUT with you. So, if there is a petition drive to demand Mayor Adams resignation, then clue me in, please (gam1357@gmail.com). I’m all over it, I’ll sign it, support it, help fund it, whatever. But its TIME we SENT A MESSAGE. No person is so qualified, so critical, so essential to running our government that we can somehow explain away (let alone tolerate) veracity. I believe that if you’re to be in elected office that honesty is a zero-tolerance matter. This has (or should have) nothing to do with gender, sexual pursuits, or any of it. I respect Wacky Mommy’s concerns in that regard. I just believe there is a higher order, more imperative issue for political leadership: veracity. Once blown, once contaminated, failure of veracity is a terminal cancer on a political career. And the particularly frustrating part of this is that there is no way I can ever believe that his lie was not intended to protect his political career. And that seals the deal for me. Sadly, Mayor Adams had a chance to be as successful as Gavon Newsom in S.F. CA; Sam could’ve gone places. The only place he needs to go now is back into private life. I’m sure he’ll be a brilliant political consultant, lobbyist, or other operative. And I respect those who wish to be loyal to him and somehow find a way to “move forward.” But I’d respect them more if they support him, but ask him to leave office for the sake and sanctity of veracity. So please let me know whose leading that resignation charge. And count me in. I’m terribly disappointed, and Portland needs to heal this quickly and move on. Mayor Adams cannot be the only qualified seasoned politically astute leader capable of leading Portland in these challenging times.

    January 22nd, 2009 | #

  12. ragua says

    Politicians lie, that’s what they do, no big deal. Not to mention it’s just his personal life and he didn’t break any law. Those screwing with the citizens’ benefits and lives should resign, not those who don’t feel like sharing their sex life.

    January 23rd, 2009 | #

  13. BlackFriend says

    I am actually shocked that so many people are trying to keep him. I guess ethically bankrupt is the new “black”. Enough white hipster cred will hide a multitude of sins.

    WM and I will be at the Derrick Foxworth rally.

    January 23rd, 2009 | #

  14. gracie lavendar says

    What is interesting to me is not that Sam had sex with a younger person; it is the realization that underneath all that hipster gloss, Portlanders are still Puritans.

    That’s right, People. Puritans! And to everyone who claims that it isn’t the sex they are upset about, its the lying–get real; it is the sex, and you know it.

    Sam did nothing wrong. Please remember that it was Beau who sought Sam out with the pretense of asking Sam to mentor him. Turned out to be a ruse, but haven’t we all committed a white lie to get close to someone we think is hot?

    Beau was 18, a legal adult. He was not an employee, intern, or even a constituent. I wouldn’t want to fuck an 18 year old, but that doesn’t mean Sam is evil because he did.

    But the real issue here is this frickin’ prudishness I see in this town. What’s up? You people hate sex, hate that other people are getting it, or what?

    I am no fan of Sam and didn’t vote for him (or Sho either), but to recall him over this nonissue would be very stupid. Get real, people and take a look at your judgmental, holier-than-thou attitudes because they stink.

    January 23rd, 2009 | #

  15. rose says

    Black friend has it right.

    Derrick Foxworth was our black chief of police. He got all naughty with a fully grown, very adult, very consensual white woman. Off with his head! (the big one, I think, not the little) everyone cried, and down Derrick went.

    And now Gus Van Sant and the lets-romanticize-pedophlia crew want to defend Sam. Fine. Lets pretend the victim was 18, and we all know he was hot. But Sam was 42. Its gross. It is embarassing. You think I want my teenage son or daughter volunteering at city hall now? No thanks.

    The only people in this town who still want to think that 40 something gay guys screwing teenagers is hot made Mala Noche. Trust me, sex with people your own age is way, way, hotter. And even going there with a teenager speaks to a deep lack of maturity.

    And that is what breaks this issue. There is an aspect to Portland gay culture that legitimizes this crap. People are tired of it.

    January 23rd, 2009 | #

  16. ragua says

    rose, ageism is your own problem, shut up and get over it. If you can’t, a shrink could help.

    January 23rd, 2009 | #

  17. graham says

    Adams ought to be run out of town as well as the City Hall for the way he mishandled PDOT while it was in his City Council portfolio: PDOT squandered precious funds on dangerous traffic circles and curb extension while neglecting simple street maintenance and even traffic light timing. The cost of holding routine transportation system chore of light timing hostage to a “green” streets bill? Significantly more gas in stop and go driving. The benefit? Publicity for City Councilman Sam Adams — ironically posing as a “green” candidate — boosting his profile for a run for mayor. That sort of dishonesty bothers me far more than his affair with a teenager, lies about it, pressuring the teen to lie, maligning a political opponent with more lies…

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  18. LIB says

    My beef with Sam Adams has NOTHING to do with sexual behavior and EVERYTHING to do with lying and encouraging others to lie.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  19. Steve R. says

    Portland’s glitterati desperately want this to be about sex and sexuality. Then anybody who questions Adams is a prude, a Victorian or a hypocrite (or all three).

    I see the whole thing as more about a politician motivated by personal ambition above all else, who is willing to lie, encourage others to lie, and betray his political allies to advance his political career.

    Thomas Lauderdale and Storm Large (and Gus van Sant!?!) may appeal to the “young white people on bikes” in Portland who eat up the “sustainability” line with a spoon (and remain ignorant of the high-end developers supping at the “green” trough of public subsidy), but they don’t call the shots in Portland.

    Whether or not Sam is hounded out of office has much more to do with how his patrons like the odds of Adams getting their agenda through the city council now. Until Homer Williams comes out in defense of Sam Adams, or Randy Leonard says all is forgiven, his future in city hall is dubious.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  20. rose says

    Steve, I think sex is part of the issue here.

    Sam’s supporters are making it the issue because they want a bizarre double-standard where it is okay for gay male politicians to screw teenagers, but they would never defend the same behavior in a straight male politician.

    Where were Sam’s supporters when Goldsmidt was accused, or Packwood? I sure didn’t see Storm Large singing Stand By Your Man then.

    Personally I think it reflects poorly on his character (what 40-something guy attends birthday parties for teenagers?) but it is the lying that matters. If he would have fessed it up in the beginning no one would have cared.

    I agree with you that these hipsters have no political clout. You could fill a thimble with their influence in city hall. If anything I think they are hurting Sam’s chances by making him look like an insubstantial hipster darling, and not a person of integrity.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  21. Steve R. says

    You’re right, rose, when they cry about Sam being held to a “double standard,” what they’re really saying is there’s a different standard for age differences in gay culture.

    I accept that difference without prejudice; I’ve known happy gay and lesbian couples with 20+ year age differences.

    But it’s ludicrous to say that Sam is being held to a higher standard than straight pols. A higher standard than in gay society, yes, but certainly no higher a standard than Tom Potter would have been held to if he had banged a teenage girl and lied about it.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  22. BlackFriend says

    Yep, I must be a prude. That tickles me to no end.

    The Sam Adams koolaid drinkers emind me of the rabid post 9/11 “either you’re with us or against us”. It defied any logic. People have still tried to explain to me how the Foxworth thing was “different” and he had to step down cause of sexual harrassment.

    People are tying their thoughts and tongues in knots to make this okay. And I can help but think of the ultra right who also often leave logic and reason by the door.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  23. rose says

    Yup. You know it is bad when Gus Vant Sant steps forward to defend your taste for barely legal teen sex.

    Who is next? Walt Curtis? The guy who ran Baloney Joes?

    Gays have long fought for the right to take trusted roles with younger men and boys, whether as teachers, cops, coaches or Boy Scout leaders. If you want that right you have to be held to the same standards as everyone else. And if you goof, it is not okay to lie and engage in smear campaigns. Period.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  24. Kevin says

    This whole thing says more about Portland, and the way it’s run, than it does about the ambitions of a gray little man who seems to be able to mesmerize a large percentage of a city by the simple act of being photographed riding a bike.

    Chicago has dirty smashmouth machine politics; New Orleans has entrenched generational corrupt politics; but Portland’s politics are those of a junior-high student council, complete with all the rivalries, the petty backbiting, the who’s-cool-who’s-not factor, and a level of self-righteous discourse normally associated with 14-year-olds who have just discovered the concept of Injustice.

    That pro-Adams rally was just bizarre. Certainly in a place like San Francisco you’d have some of the same circus sideshow, but it would be counterweighted by a grownup or two. In Portland, it was all sideshow and no counterweight, from the reality-TV singer to the aging sex columnist who parachuted in from Seattle like Al Sharpton.

    The gobsmacked reaction of the city council seems to reflect all this; they clearly have no idea what to do without their putative leader and they’re not sure whether they should still be supporting him without someone telling them what to do. Portland runs on consensus and abhors open conflict (passive-aggressive conflict, on the other hand, is the biodiesel of social relationships), so it’ll be damned curious to see how the city’s “leaders” behave when the town has no consensus and is in open conflict.

    Whether he steps down or stays, there’s going to be a yearslong rending of the social fabric in Portland, and in Consensusville that’s going to be traumatic. In the final tally, though, that’ll be Adams’ gift to the city, not streetcars or a dumb tram.

    January 24th, 2009 | #

  25. rose says

    My favorite parts of the rally were when Thomas Lauderdale said he didn’t think sex with minors was wrong, and Storm Large reminded everyone how Important she is. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    But I think its important to remember these people don’t represent Portland. They are simply a very loud minority in a city of quieter adults. There are foster parents here who quietly parent dozens of kids, and cops who sit on ledges to talk suicidal people down. A retired teacher in my neighborhood gets up in the dark every morning to drive across the city, picking up homeless kids to take to school.

    These adults aren’t represented in the local press because the media themselves are infatuated with the self-congragulatory, self-annointed creative class, where decorating your bike somehow amounts to social goodness. You have to remember a lot of these people socialize and date each other, as Sam Adams dates an Oregonian reporter.

    I fully respect Beau feels he consented. But as a parent of teenagers, I am not comfortable with the idea that City Commissioners are sticking their tongues down the throats of 17 year old interns in the bathroom.

    The Oregonian could be doing lots of good reporting on this issue, from going out and getting the read on citizens to an analysis of Portland’s sordid history of chickenhawks, from our heyday as the country’s boy prostitute capital in the early 1980s to how we treat gay pedophilia with our glitterati with a wink and a nudge. But I doubt that will happen.

    January 25th, 2009 | #

  26. gracie lavendar says

    My My, the hysteria is flying. You people may want to time-travel back to the Massachusetts Bay Colony where they tar and feathered miscreants. Again – for the slow-witted amongst you: Beau was 18; he initiated (by his own admission) the affair; and not one child was harmed. To compare this nonissue with Goldschmidt’s rape of a 13 year old is disingenuous.

    Portland has serious problems, along with the rest of the country that go way deeper than a mayor having sex with a consenting adult.. I suggest that you neo-Puritans focus on the big picture, if you are capable.

    January 25th, 2009 | #

  27. Lilly says

    Oh, OK Gracie Lavendar, you’re so gosh darn right! We’re all focused on his sex life and nothing else…sorry…my bad!”But why aren’t you and your ilk focused on Adam’s carefully orchestrated, sanctimonius hoaxes that he clung to for so long? Oh wait, it’s all about the sex…I forgot! (If he had the presence of mind to lie his ass off, why didn’t he have the presence of mind to craft a few sentences to reject the original rumor to the press? Because the actual truth, whatever it is, wasn’t able to spring to his lips?) I hope he’s recalled.

    January 25th, 2009 | #

  28. ANDREW says


    January 26th, 2009 | #

  29. Andrew says

    They were consenting adults, end of story.

    Hysterical much, wacky Mommy?

    January 26th, 2009 | #

  30. Steve R. says

    Andrew… have you seen an advance copy of the AG’s report, or is this just wishful thinking from the passionately credulous?

    Last I heard, the matter was still under investigation for criminal wrong-doing.

    January 26th, 2009 | #

  31. RG says

    Please join us Friday January 30, 2009 in front of City Hall to ask our Mayor again to step down. Rally begins at 11:00am let your voice be heard, we need you!

    January 27th, 2009 | #

  32. gracie lavendar says

    This is so interesting. Are you folks Christians, or what?

    January 27th, 2009 | #

  33. marcia says

    leave sam alone. he didn’t even have a cigar

    January 27th, 2009 | #

  34. WackyMommy says

    OK, I gotta make this quick. Gracie, no, we’re heathens. But thanks for asking. Marcia, what?

    January 28th, 2009 | #

  35. woogie says

    We all lie. If we were approached with a question about our private sexual life we would have the same reflex reaction and lie about it. I can understand why the original lie occurred.

    What I can’t understand is the concerted effort to perpetuate the lie. That goes beyond reflex and becomes a well thought out campaign.

    Once he approached Breedlove to lie he crossed the line.

    Once he had his staff coach Breedlove on how to lie to the press he crossed the line.

    Once he used the false claim of a smear campaign to start his own he crossed the line.

    Once he used the real issue of homophobia and discrimination to justify his lie he crossed the line.

    Once he made a concerted effort of interviews and open letters to the people of Portland to perpetuate the lie he crossed the line.

    This wasn’t about a lie, it was about a political machine perpetuating a lie to gain political office.

    January 28th, 2009 | #

  36. Terry says

    Hi Wacky!

    Me, I don’t care. I mean most politicians are scumbags on some level or other, so why is everybody so worked up about Sam doing some eighteen year-old, even if he was only seventeen?

    But I love Thomas Lauderdale. He’s a CONCERT, not a cocktail, pianist. And there was even talk about him running for MAYOR at one time. Ironic, eh?

    BTW, Gus Van Sant got an Oscar nomination for his flick about another gay politician.

    Ironic, eh?

    Steve, I forgive you.

    And Marcia, you go girl!

    January 28th, 2009 | #

  37. WackyMommy says

    Terry, I’m not “worked up,” I am pissed because Sam Adams is insincere. And also a liar. I did not vote for him, by the way, so I’m not the one who got us into this mess.

    Concert, schmoncert. Go listen to some Exile on Main Street or something, would you?

    January 28th, 2009 | #

  38. Steve R. says

    Stones? Nah, Terry needs to listen to Latin music as performed by Latin musicians, not some local court musician. :)

    How about a little Poncho Sanchez for starters…

    January 28th, 2009 | #

  39. Terry says

    Well, he did play a gig with the Oregon Symphony. Thomas Lauderdale, that is.

    Hey, I love Pink Martini, especially the Forbes/Lauderdale originals. And what in the world is Exile on Main Street?

    January 28th, 2009 | #

  40. b says

    exile on main street: rolling stones album from 1970s;big hit: Brown Sugar

    February 8th, 2009 | #

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