The activity isn't illegal but it is inappropriate for an elected official. That is why they ran to California instead of saddling up to a stage in Portland. Wingard's threat of blackmail wouldn't carry much water unless there's more to their weekend in Palm Springs.
Where's there is smoke there is fire. Sarah Mirk still does investigative work, right?
Voters have a right to know.
Let's be honest. This program is all about celebrity, not about jobs. The rare movie or TV show will draw tourists to the filming location. Most of the time these productions have little impact on Oregon's economy.
So, the first law of bureaucratic physics: an agency that has created a mess tends to spend more energy covering up and defending the mess than cleaning it up.
Fire ODOT director Matt Garrett and spokesman Patrick Cooney for burying the truth about the CRC Project. $100 million in PE spent to date and ODOT is no closer to construction.
Fire Garrett and OBDP Manager Tom Lauer for mishandling OTIA funds. The program replaced repairable bridges just to stuff bundles for consultants. Bridges were built so quickly that some were built incorrectly and now are under further repair (bundle 508).
Fire Garrett and Cooney for burying the nepotism between Heather Catron, OTIA III Bridge Delivery Program Manager and Mike Wolfe, Statewide Project Delivery Manager (until it ultimately led to Wolfe's divorce and could no longer be hidden). Catron worked as an ODOT consultant for Parametrix and JD White before managing the Oregon's single largest statewide transportation package, the repair and replacement of $1.3 billion in state-owned bridges. She quickly returned to the consultant world once the money was divided.
Fire Garrett and Lauer for selling the public on context sensitive solutions (aka CS Cubed) until the money ran out. Now that OTIA debt service will empty the agency's construction budget for the next 5-10 years, Garrett and Lauer are shilling a new solution, practical design (i.e. embrace cheap design unless there are matching funds).
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