Portland’s Fifth Gift to the World: Bob Packwood

This week, Metroblogging sites around the globe are offering up gifts their city has given the world. Portland has thus far gifted The Simpsons, the Suicide Girls, Livejournal, and Death with Dignity.

Often when it’s time to receive gifts, one wonders what they’re going to get from that weird creepy uncle. Portland would like to proudly offer up…well, that weird creepy uncle. Packwood wasn’t the first congressman to be involved in a sex scandal, but he was one of the first ones with such a high level of influence to be implicated in a scandal directly affecting issues near and dear to his heart, and one of the first ones to resign from power.

Packwood was a Portland lawyer who was elected to the US Senate in 1968. He was there for nearly 30 years, rising to prominence and power (including a chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee.) Packwood was Portland’s version of a Republican — pro-choice and in favor of gun control. But despite his stances on women’s rights, it was the way he, um, chose to keep in touch with this particular constituency that led to his downfall.

Packwood had a pair of large issues pressing against him: his repeated harassment of dozens of women over his career, and the fact that he kept a diary of his adventures. Like Mark Foley’s instant messages, a written record requires explanation, and Packwood was unable to come up with a plausible, socially acceptable explanation for quotes from his diary such as “God, was she a good player. I was so fascinated in watching her bid and play that I could hardly concentrate on her breasts.”

He stood firm in his beliefs but eventually resigned after a vote to expel him from the senate for ethics violations. Mr. Packwood was a trend setter for sexually questionable legislators everywhere and we offer him as our fifth gift to the world.

From November 26th to December 2nd, Metroblogging sites around the globe will be unveiling seven gifts their cities can share with the world – one gift a day for seven days.

To keep track, browse the numerous Metblogs, or check in periodically for updates at this post.

Tags: Metblogs7Gifts 7Gifts Metroblogging7Gifts

1 Comment so far

  1. T-bone (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

    Didn’t he end up marrying the woman (Eileen or
    Ellen ) who had been his chief of staff
    and buy a home in Dunthorpe? I never see him around town. I have occasionally seen Hatfield (most recently buying ice cream at the 10th & Jeff Safeway) and Goldschmidt (most recently trying a sample of something at Stadium Fred M’s,
    but never Packwood.

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