Sam Adams is a mayor under siege. Adams is under fire for lying about a 2005 sexual relationship with an 18-year-old legislative intern, Beau Breedlove, while he was a city commissioner.
Adams was beginning a run for mayor in 2007 when rumors of the affair began to surface. At the time Adams denied any sexual contact with the intern. Adams, the first openly gay mayor of a top 40 US city, now admits the lies he told about the affair were a mistake. In addition to apologizing to the city at large, Adams went out of his way to apologize directly to the Portland gay community. Nevertheless, the question remains: Should Sam go?
Most agree that it is not the homosexual nature of the affair that is troubling. Rather, it is the deceit around the affair; and, to a lesser extent, the age of Beau Breedlove at the time of the affair. Rumors persist that the affair began before Breedlove turned 18, although both the Mayor and Breedlove deny this.
Should Sam go? The political truism holds true: the cover-up is worse than the crime. Why did Sam lie? Why did he not simply utter a “no comment”? Why, oh why? Now Portland is left with a mess. What looked to be a young, dynamic Mayor, with enthusiasm and ability; is but now another dirty politician, awash in scandal. And Portland weeps for what might have been.