Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hold your horses, Sam!

Whoh, boy!
Already the calls are coming for Portland Mayor Sam Adams to resign, but what exactly for?

To read the news, it ought to be obvious why.

But when it comes down to the question, "Who did Sam do and when did he do him?" the truth may be far less scandalous than the salacious headlines. For the record, both Adams and his erstwhile boy toy Beau Breedlove, insist that the protegé in question was 18 at the time of their summer lovin' sexual encounter. Adams is adamant he did not break the law.

Without knowing more of the facts (and i don't think i want to know any more) who are we to condemn the intimate relationship between an 18 and a 42 year old. If we're saying that it's wrong then why don't be ban it outright. If you think Sam ought to resign then perhaps you ought to champion a law that would criminalize sex where the difference in age is more that 20 years.

But what would Hugh Hefner have to say about this? After all, the 82 year old entrepreneur is currently dating 19 year old twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon. Maybe you would just want to forbid the middle aged and elderly from fornicating with young adults half their age. But what would Hugh Hefner have to say about this? After all, he's more that twice age of both his girlfriends combined. (And notice, i didn't refer to the twins as "teens"!)

Perhaps Americans should been banned from having sex until they're 21? (But what would Hugh Hefner have to say about this?) Such a law wouldn't sit well with friends of Bush in Saudi Arabia, where their sort of Pope announced recently that it's a sin not to marry off girls once they hit 10. I'm just glad the the self-righteous sex brigade of modern American Christians has evolved beyond their biblical roots. After being spared the brimstone of Sodom, Lot fled to the hills where he sexed up his virgin daughters (on successive evenings). Nevertheless, the New Testament Christians revered him as "righteous." But by God, Sam must burn!

Maybe we're not all hypocrites. It's not the age thing (creepy as it might be - suit yourself) but "Sam took advantage of a subordinate." Well as it turns out, Sam lied about being Breedlove's "mantor." That was just a cover to explain why the abundance of cell phone records and text messages between the two. [U R sooo hot!] It turns out they were dating and that in typical fashion, one thing led to another and they wound up having sex. So, contrary to the bogus comparison drawn by Portland police union boss, Scott Westerman, then Councilman Adams was not engaging in a relationship with a subordinate.

"[Chief Foxworth] didn't even lie about his relationship but was deemed by the mayor and City Council not to be worthy to lead any longer," - WWeek [More...]

So, we may not like it if older adults pursue relationships with younger adults but that doesn't mean that we ought to go around throwing stones at chicken hawks and cougars. And now it seems the kernel of self-righteous indignation has been crystalized down to the undeniable, indeed admitted fact that Sam Adams had sex with an 18 year old guy. Sam lied!

It sounds trite to write, but if we required 100% truthfulness of all our elected officials then there would be a completely different political landscape out there. When a person's version of the truth doesn't quite match reality it merits investigating both the magnitude and mitigating circumstances of the lie. Was having sex with an 18 year old a big lie? That's a matter of opinion. But was it appropriate for Sam Adams, an elected official and potential political candidate, to lie in this instance? I guess i have to admit that i struggle with my answer to this. What i am more certain about is how i would have reacted had i been in Sam's eventual unenviable position.

Remember that the charge at the time of Sam's denial was not merely that of the embarrassing revelation of a single summer romp with a barely legal hunk of love. Bob Ball, himself homosexual and an aspirant to public office had been actively rumor mongering with the added twist that Sam was actually a pedophile and had had under aged sex with a 17 year old boy. In order to fend off the greater lie being bantered about by Ball, Adams - who was himself gearing up for his own Mayoral bid - opted for the counter lie. It's not a "white lie" as such, as the reason doesn't really stem from altruism.

I can't be sure, but i'm pretty sure i would have lied too. So as mad as i am with Sam, i don't want him to resign... at least not yet.

If it turns out that Sam broke the law, then there is a crime for which a just punishment ought to be dealt by a real judge (not the mobs, the press or irrelevant unscientific polls). I'm also more than curious about the hiring by Adams of Mercury journalist Amy Ruiz for the newly created and well paid position (55K/year) of "planning and sustainability policy adviser."

"Ruiz stopped reporting the story in late spring 2008 after she hit a dead end. On Oct. 27, Adams advertised the position, saying he "strongly preferred" applicants with two years' experience in urban planning or a related field.

Ruiz, 28, has a bachelor's degree in communications from Seattle University. She sent in her application Nov. 3 and interviewed for the position twice with Adams' staff, including once with Miller. Miller said he told Adams he wanted to hire Ruiz. Adams' response, according to Miller: "Great. Do what you do." - OregonLive [More...]

I'm just a bit more than uncomfortable with this whole rush to judgment. Certainly there are greater candidates for criticism? Or better put... Criticize him but don't can him.

(At least give him the benefit of a recall. That way we all get a vote - at least those who are interested come July).

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