Is this the Governor’s Idea of Cleaning House? Kate Brown Hired OHA Smear Staffer to Her Office
Wilsonville, OR – More disturbing details continue to emerge regarding Democrat Governor Kate Brown’s egregious lack of transparency in dealing with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director’s shocking plans to publicly vilify a Portland-based healthcare provider using public resources. Not only did Brown refuse to take any immediate action against top OHA staffers who crafted the plans, it has now been revealed that she has hired one of them onto her own team for an economic development position in Eastern Oregon.
The Register Guard reports:
"Gov. Kate Brown asked Oregon Health Authority director Lynne Saxton to resign last week, after the draft of an aggressive OHA public relations plan to vilify a Portland-area health care provider became public.
But the governor chose not to take or request immediate action against the health authority’s top communications staffers and lobbyists who back in January actually crafted the plan, emails released under Oregon’s public records law show.
In fact, Brown hired one of those staffers, Courtney Warner Crowell, to her own team earlier this year for an economic development position in Eastern Oregon. Crowell started working for Brown’s office in mid-July, after The Portland Tribune first reported on the controversial communications plan and while the newspaper was appealing a public records request denial for the full document.
The widely denounced OHA public relations plan called for the OHA to try to plant negative news stories about FamilyCare, a coordinated care organization providing Medicaid coverage that OHA was in a legal dispute with over funding...
Crowell is a longtime Oregon Democratic political staffer, having worked for U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley between 2010 and 2016 and for Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski before that.
She’s now working as a ‘Regional Solutions’ coordinator for Brown in seven Eastern Oregon counties, with an annual salary $97,092. The position involves working on local economic priorities. The governor’s office hired Crowell on April 27; she started in the new position on July 10.”
"Governor Brown not only seems incapable of restoring Oregonians’ trust in state government, but now we are finding out that she is staffing her office with the very same ‘dirty tricks’ operatives implicated in the OHA scandal,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier. “Is this the Governor’s idea of cleaning house?"
“For a Governor taking office promising accountability and transparency in the wake of disgraced Democrat Ex-Governor John Kitzhaber’s scandalous resignation, Brown is proving to be at the heart of Salem’s Dirty Government corruption problem.”
“Every week brings more stories that suggest that Kate Brown’s leadership is just a continuation of her party’s corrupt insider culture to further their own ends,” added Currier. “It is becoming more obvious that she is unfit to serve another term as Oregon’s chief executive.”
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