Fall-Out From Topless Bar Visit Not Clear

Aug 13, 2012

Reaction has been muted to news that several high-ranking Oregon House Republicans visited a topless bar while on vacation. It does explain why one GOP leader stepped down mysteriously. But as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, additional implications are not yet clear.

The Oregonian newspaper reports that seven Republican House members visited the topless bar during a golf vacation in southern California. Former House Republican leader Kevin Cameron says he was afraid a fellow GOP lawmaker would go public about the visit, and that’s why he stepped down from his leadership role.

That other lawmaker was Matt Wingard. He was reportedly angry at his colleagues because they pressured him to not seek re-election. Wingard admitted to a sexual relationship with a young woman who worked in his state capitol office.

Long-time Oregon State Rep. Dennis Richardson is one of the highest ranking House Republicans who wasn't on the strip club visit.

He calls the revelations a "disappointment," but he says, "It's much ado about nothing because it's just something that some guys did. They went to a topless bar. They went one time. It's not a big deal."

So far Democrats are mum on the issue. The controversy comes at a time when the Oregon House is evenly divided and both parties are trying to wrestle control from the other.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network