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Archive for February 2011

One fish, two fish, red fish, Wu fish…

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Taken 10/2/2010

With apologies to Dr. Seuss, there’s just something fishy with the ever-changing explanations Rep. David Wu (D-OR1)  has given for the sudden departure of six staffers weeks after the November 2010 elections.   Odd as the behavior reportedly was, it doesn’t explain too many known facts to be credible.


In fact, it kind of smells like a cover-up.  And, with excuses as flimsy and unpalatable as he’s given, if it is a cover-up you can’t help but wonder what would be so much worse that these look viable as alternatives.

Staffers leave Congressional offices for greener pastures all the time, and to have six or seven switch jobs in and of itself isn’t at all unusual.  What’s striking about this particular changing of the guard is the timing.  Apparently, the staffers left sometime in late January or early February and, more specifically, after the opening of Congress.  The time to make transitions is, well, during the transition period between the November election and the inauguration in late January.

This abnormal timing becomes even more striking when you realize that the  Congressman’s odd behavior – a weird speech or two, pushing past TSA to greet incoming passengers and the notorious tiger costume photo – and the “intervention” that supposedly formed the foundation for the exodus – all took place before the election.

Why resign after the plum jobs had been taken when you knew you were upset before the openings even occurred?  These aren’t stupid people and, after serving a sitting and recently re-elected Congressman, some of them for a decade or more, they could have written their own ticket.  Sure, they’re loyal, but when cash is on the line and you’re no longer quite so enamored of your boss, that loyalty doesn’t have a chance of winning out.

Then there’s the strangely growing nature of the explanations, not to mention a really poorly-done TV interview.  The conventional wisdom dealing with scandals is to get the word out, control the message, and make a strong presentation in the media to shore up support.  Wu did this masterfully in 2004, when The Oregonian revealed a quashed sex scandal from his days at Stanford.  He waited until his Republican opponent committed herself on it and then covered the airways with a sincere sounding mea culpa.  The result; what had been a horse race became a rout in his favor.

Speaking of the 2004 revelation, this may provide a hint as to what’s really going on.  At the time, most insiders knew there was more to the story than the press was able to release.  A similar but much more recent story floated to the surface in the summer of 2005 but was also successfully stifled before it was able to grow legs.  When you note that most of the folks who left are young women, it’s natural for a suspicion to arise.

It looks like, should just one woman decide enough was enough, brave the loyalist brickbats and media slings and arrows, and let her story be told, there would be a parade of women to rival that which took out Bob Packwood.  That’s an eventuality that, in the mind of Representative Wu, could be seen worth a cover-up involving a mental breakdown and inappropriate drug use.

For the time being, we have just that lackluster and bullet point-laden interview (seriously, how many times do we need to hear he’s taking care of his kids, his mother and himself before it becomes obvious he’s not really dealing with the actual issues) and some shallow press releases keeping us from finding out what’s really going on.  Despite a poor record when it comes to investigative reporting, a number of state newspapers are calling for him to resign.

Considering just how fishy this whole thing seems, that’s probably the most appropriate thing  for both them and Congressman Wu.

Follow this story, it’s history and the interview mentioned at:


Written by Jeffrey S. Smith

26 February 2011 at 10:54 am

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