Meet Congress’ newest playboy… 56 year old Oregon Rep. David Wu (D).
A lawmaker from the northwest who has done nothing for motorcyclists or motorcycle issues is the latest to be accused of sexual misconduct. Reportedly a woman, who is the daughter of one of Wu’s high school friends and a donor to his campaign efforts, is accusing the Oregon congressman of an unwanted sexual encounter. Mr. Wu who is being treated for an undisclosed mental health condition stated the encounter was consensual.
Mr. Wu defined the encounter as “consensual”? Uh, right… everyone knows that 18 year old women are always searching for 50+ year old men for a ‘hookup.’
It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to speculate that Mr. Wu was a bit delusional on that consensual part. In fact it’s been widely reported he had become an increasingly unpredictable person whose senior staffers were so alarmed over his erratic behavior during last November’s election that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment. At least six staffers left his team in protest. Some of them, including the chief fund raiser had been with the congressman for more than a decade.
Allegedly this “consensual” incident happened around the same time — Thanksgiving 2010 — and was recently discovered when the woman left a scathing message on Wu’s phone, and the message was heard by aides in his office.
It wasn’t but just a few months ago that Wu attempted to explain his erratic behavior on KGW’s “Straight Talk”. He insisted that he didn’t know whether the painkillers he accepted from a donor were prescription oxycodone or over-the-counter ibruprofin. He claimed he was just clowning around when he sent e-mails in his childrens’ names to staff members asking them to lay off “his dad” when he was wasted. He cautioned people about sharing photos of themselves in Halloween costumes. His talking points, delivered in a Prozac-like zombie calmness behind an unflinching smile, kept returning to how he was in a “really good place.” After listening to the interview, I wondered just exactly where that place is.
Hey we’ve all been there before, right? Who hasn’t gotten a little tipsy and sent out early-morning e-mails to subordinates and signed them with our childrens’ names? Who hasn’t popped a couple of pain pills offered by a friend without asking what they were?
So with pressure mounting and a looming ethics investigation Mr. Wu announced he would resign. No, wait. In keeping with his unpredictable status he then decided he wouldn’t resign but instead would not run for re-election again in 2012. Oh joy. Rather than admonishing us to wash our hands to avoid the flu, as he did in his taxpayer-funded public-service announcements leading into the last election, now he’ll be able to record new ones with a mental health theme. Maybe a “no means, NO” video for the youth?!
Let’s provide some perspective. Riding out these rough waters for awhile means that Wu would continue to qualify for a pension worth about $851,000 over his lifetime. This number was calculated by the National Taxpayers Union and reported in the USA Today. Congressional pensions are 2 to 3 times more generous than those offered to private-sector workers who earn the same salary. In addition, unlike most private-sector plans, a cost of living adjustment is applied to the congressional benefit. More information on congress’ disproportionate accumulation of privilege is HERE.
Yeah, Wu is in a very good place indeed.
After 13 years in DC Wu’s lack of effectiveness is clear (485 co-sponsored bills (ranks 72 of 440; 14 made it into law (ranks 172 of 440). Even during the KGW interview Mr. Wu didn’t dispute his poor ranking. Why should we expect results from an Oregon politician? Besides, Wu’s transgressions are extremely pedestrian compared to Portland’s illustrious borderline-pedophile mayor – Sam Adams.
Makes me so proud, I think I feel a tingle up my leg.
Photo re-mix by editor and courtesy of Kellogg’s and Wu.