The effort to recall Portland's openly
gay mayor, Sam Adams, has officially begun, the Willamette Week
On Tuesday, the Community to Recall Sam
Adams filed a prospective petition with the city to recall the mayor.
Later in the day, City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade approved the
The group announced the effort in
January, soon after the mayor was sworn in, but city law requires a
six month waiting period after an official takes office before a
recall effort can begin collecting signatures.
Adams' admission that he covered up a
sexual affair with a teenage boy during his mayoral campaign prompted
the recall effort.
The mayor called a press conference
soon after coming clean to a Willamette Week reporter who
confronted him with new evidence about the affair. He then admitted
that his long-standing denial of having a sexual relationship with
18-year-old Beau Breedlove was not true.
During the press conference, Adams
admitted to sleeping with Breedlove as soon as three weeks after he
turned 18 and the two dated for “maybe two months.”
Adams apologized to the people of
Portland, and then agonized for days whether he should step down over
his actions. In the end, the forty-five-year-old career politician
decided to remain in office.
Several prominent Portland newspapers –
the Oregonian, the Portland Tribune and the Portland
Business Journal – asked Adams to resign, saying he had “lost
But at a rally held before Adams
announced he would remain in office, 1,000 people, including openly
gay columnist Dan Savage, urged the mayor to stay put.
Last month, Attorney General John
Kroger concluded that Adams had not broken any laws. Oregon law puts
the age of consent at 18 and even a “sexual” kiss with anyone
younger is considered a crime. And Breedlove, a former legislative
intern, was 17 when the pair met. Critics say Kroger's report
papered over important facts and omitted critical interviews.
Organizers have 90 days to collect
32,183 valid signatures to qualify the recall for the ballot.