Published On: Fri, Feb 27th, 2015

Conservative Website Links Tom Steyer to Oregon Governor’s Downfall

MediaMatters said linking Steyer in the scandal is "fiction"

Farallon Capital Management Founder Tom Steyer Interview

While environmentalist and philanthropist Tom Steyer’s fingerprints might not appear in the mess, the organization he funds, the Clean Economy Development Center (CEDC) might have played a role in the downfall of Oregon governor, John Kitzhaber, or so says right-wing website, Townhall.

Democratic Governor  of Oregon John Kitzhaber resigned when it surfaced that his then fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, received $120, 000 from environmental groups located outside the state. The CEDC paid her $30, 000 in 2011 and $88, 000 in 2012. This is in addition to the $120, 000, and Hayes was listed as a trustee on the website before the page listing her name was deleted. The sums she has received don’t match those listed on her tax forms. During Kitzhaber’s term, the two married and Hayes became Oregon’s first lady.

As controversy ensued, Kitzhaber said his wife would not serve in the government in any capacity, but many Democrats were calling for his resignation, and he eventually stepped down. MediaMatters criticized the Free Beacon and Townhall for implicating Tom Steyer in the Oregon governor’s scandal. There is no evidence, according to these sources, that Steyer directly funded the work of Cylvia Hayes through the Energy Foundation, and declare the allegations a “fiction.”

Settling this issue is pretty important for Tom Steyer, not only for his charities, but because there is chatter he might consider a Senate run to fill Barbara Boxer’s seat when she retires. Steyer told Los Angeles Times, “I haven’t made a decision yet. Either way, I’ll be working full time to find a solution to the problems I care most about.”

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