Oregon scandal, another special election in the offing?

What is it with congressmen and their evident inability to keep their pants zipped? Now it’s Democrat David Wu of Oregon, who stands accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a teenaged girl:

According to the Beaver State-based outlet, the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor accused the Democratic congressman of pursuing an unwanted sexual encounter said to have occurred last year. The young woman reportedly raised the matter in a voicemail left at Wu’s Portland office this past spring. An unnamed source tells the Oregonian that she sounded “distraught” in her message.

This is not the first time that Wu has come under scrutiny over matters unrelated to his work in the political domain. Earlier this year, the congressman found himself combating calls to resign in the wake of demonstrating questionable behavior. In February, Wu cited a reaction to mental health drugs in resisting calls to step down.

Apparently Wu’s behavior has been so erratic that his staff staged an intervention:

Three days before the Nov. 2 election, U.S. Rep. David Wu’s most loyal and senior staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Their concern had been spiking for weeks in tandem with the Oregon Democrat’s increasingly unpredictable performance on the campaign trail and in private. He was loud and sometimes angry, some of them told The Oregonian. He said kooky things to staff and — more worrisome with a tough election fast approaching — around potential voters and donors.

Most of all, they were worried for Wu, a 55-year-old single father of two children.

Earlier and gentler efforts had failed, so the tight-knit group of high-level staff took other steps, including quiet inquiries about the availability of beds in hospitals in Portland and Washington, D.C., multiple sources familiar with the effort told The Oregonian.

Several staff members confronted Wu for the final time on Oct. 30. Wu’s psychiatrist was brought into that meeting as well, joining the group at the Portland campaign headquarters by speaker phone. The meeting was held after four consecutive days of troubling behavior that led the staff to agree that Wu needed a higher level of medical care, according to people intimately familiar with the events of that period.

“This is way beyond acceptable levels and the charade needs to end NOW,” wrote Lisa Grove, a senior and long-serving campaign pollster, in an e-mail to colleagues that day. “No enabling by any potential enablers, he needs help and you need to be protected. Nothing else matters right now. Nothing else.”

Wu, however, remained defiant, sources said. He left the meeting and said he was going to a movie.

Oregon Live details further bizarre behavior by Congressman Wu. It seems as if he has serious mental health problems and is in need of treatment; his staff surely thought so. Perhaps the best thing for all concerned would be for him to resign so he can get the help he needs, and so the people of his district can choose a better representative.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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One Response to Oregon scandal, another special election in the offing?

  1. [...] Troubled Congressman David Wu has resigned: Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., announced his resignation today following allegations he engaged in “aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior” with a young woman. [...]

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