My view: Hype of private life fueled by hypocrisy, bad journalism
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following commentary by Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam was first published in the Sandy Post. It follows the news that Pulliam, a Republican candidate for governor, and his wife were once members of "Swinger Facebook Group PDX." Willamette Week first broke the story. The Sandy Post published an online story on Monday, Feb. 7, detailing Pulliam's response to the then-breaking news.
It's been less than a week since my personal life and family have been exploited by local and international media for cheap laughs and righteous indignation. The overwhelming response from Oregonians is that it's simply not news, nor should it be.
I understand people's curiosity. It doesn't match the stereotype the media would like everyone to believe about Republicans — that we're all bigoted, judgmental puritans. I can tell you it was certainly surreal to see ancient history from my private, consensual sex life being bantered about on "The View" this week — perpetuating this caricature of conservatism.
While the hosts of "The View" cackled over their assumptions about who I am based on their own bias — the story spread across news outlets known for salacious journalism, ending up at The Daily Mail UK and The New York Post.
This fueled a surge of traffic to the Portland newspaper that first reported it. Make no mistake, traffic equals impressions, which equal dollars. Now the junior political reporter from that outlet has been keeping the story alive by gleefully soliciting quotes from political opponents who can't earn headlines on their ideas.
I don't have any control over what Joy Behar tells the world about me. So let me set the record straight on three points for the people of Oregon:
I believe what you do in your bedroom is your business. I've never done or said anything against any group's personal lifestyle. There is no hypocrisy here.
Our marriage was strong then, and it's strong now. The brief experience in our past is not an indication that our commitment to our marriage and each other was ever a question. This is not a path we would walk again but the truth is, we came out of this stronger than ever.
Lastly, I am a staunch supporter of Donald Trump's agenda, and believe the country was a much better place under his leadership. Since the Willamette Week was unable to find hypocrisy with their first story, they're now pushing a partial quote I gave them verbally months ago meant to convey that President Trump could have done more, sooner, to put a stop to the riot on Jan. 6. This doesn't make me anti-Trump, or show any flip-flopping. I voted for him and literally flew the flag for him.
You won't find many of my Republican opponents talking about Trump because they never supported him. They're the same ones who continue whispering this story to the media while insisting there was nothing suspicious about the 2020 elections, or refusing to support Second Amendment rights.
If your idea of a conservative Republican is in favor of liberty and freedom, has led the charge against lockdowns and mandates, is staunchly pro-life and medical freedom, supports police and the rule of law, and has a strong track record of supporting infrastructure projects that keep things moving — then here I am. I have the receipts to prove it.
These are the things that matter. Not trashy gossip encouraged by political operatives offering up self-interested sacrifices to corporate media like Willamette Week.
Oh, and the fourth thing I need to mention:
There is no quit in me. I'm here to stay and plan to win so I can bring great ideas to life for Oregonians. I hope you'll join me.
Stan Pulliam is mayor of the city of Sandy and is a Republican candidate in the race for Oregon governor.
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