SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber wants permission to make a little extra cash on the side. The state's Ethics Commission is poised to sign off on the Democrat's request to earn money through out-of-state speaking engagements.
During the eight years between his second and third terms as governor, John Kitzhaber became a nationally sought-after speaker on health care policy. The governor recently asked the state's ethics panel it would be okay, now that he's in office, to continue to accept such invitations.
Kitzhaber's staff says the governor wouldn't use any state resources to travel to the gigs, and that he wouldn't accept money from groups with a vested interest in Oregon legislation.
A draft response from the Ethics Commission indicates the panel is leaning towards allowing the paid speeches. The governor's salary is around $94,000 a year, making him one of the lowest-paid governors in the nation.
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