This past week saw a major corruption scandal around Oregon’s governor culminating in the governor’s resignation and leading to the state’s new governor—Kate Brown.
Governor John Kitzhaber, of Democratic Party, came under fire after a local paper—The Willamette Week—reported that Kitzhaber’s fiancée used taxpayer’s money to the benefit of her green energy consulting business. A chain of events followed, as reported in this AP report, leading to increased pressure on the governor to resign from his office.
Today News reported on Governor Kitzhaber’s resignation amidst the corruption investigation and the new governor, Kate Brown, replacing him. As the criminal investigation into the ex governor’s case continues, questions have been raised about the seedier side of clean energy. How “clean” is actually this green?
But perhaps the most significant side of this cover-blowing story is the power of local media in bringing about accountability. People usually follow major media outlets, many of whom have been exposed time and again for their political affiliation and corporate influence. The story of Governor Kitzhaber’s accountability draws attention to local media as the champion of pubic good and transparency check on political leadership.