Rep. Wu's resignation goes into effect
August 3rd, 2011
02:00 AM ET
7 years ago

Rep. Wu's resignation goes into effect

(CNN) - The resignation of Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon officially went into effect at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday night. He stepped down after he was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a fundraiser's daughter.

Wu announced last week he would resign but postponed his formal resignation until after the House voted on the debt-ceiling bill Monday.

According to a statement released Wednesday, Wu notified Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and House Speaker John Boehner of his resignation effective Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET.

"Serving as a U.S. Congressman has been the greatest honor of my life," Wu said in his handwritten letter to the governor. "There is no other job where you get up each day and ask, 'How can I try to make the world a better place today?'"

Last month, Portland newspaper The Oregonian reported that the daughter of one of Wu's fundraisers accused him of unwanted sexual advances in May.

Citing anonymous sources from inside the congressman's office, The Oregonian said the woman, whom it declined to name, left a voice mail message at Wu's Portland office alleging aggressive advances.

According to the newspaper, the woman was 18 when the alleged incident took place in November and it was never reported to police.

With House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi seeking an ethics investigation after that news and calls for his resignation mounting back home, the congressman's spokesman said last week that he would not seek re-election and was "considering all options" regarding the rest of his term.

A day later, Wu announced he would step down.

"I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations," Wu said then. "The well-being of my children must come before anything else."

The 56-year-old congressman, who separated from his wife in 2009, disclosed in February that he had sought "professional medical care" after dealing with campaign stress, his responsibilities as a single father and his father's death. The Oregonian reported that campaign aides had confronted him about his erratic behavior and use of medication during his 2010 re-election bid.

"I fully acknowledge that I could have dealt with these difficult circumstances better, and I remain focused on being a good father to my children and a strong representative for the people of Oregon," he said at the time.

Wu's Portland-area district is heavily Democratic, and he won each of his races by double-digit margins.

Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said his party has long dominated elections in Oregon's first congressional district, adding that "a Democrat has held this seat in Congress since 1975, Senator John Kerry won this district in 2004 and President Obama won this district with 63 percent in 2008.

"We are confident that a Democrat will continue to represent the families in this overwhelmingly Democratic district."

Kitzhaber has said he will call for a special election.

Republican businessman Rob Cornilles said he will announce his candidacy for the vacant seat Thursday. He ran unsuccessfully against Wu last year.

"While deliberating this very important decision with my family, I was constantly thinking of the amazing people that gave their time and energy last year," he said. "I thought of the people that gave up their Saturday mornings to walk in parades, the people that came in and made phone calls after work and on the weekend, and everyone that made a contribution to our campaign in their own special way."


Filed under: Congress • David Wu • House • Oregon
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    He has done a lot of good for Oregon, but obviously needs to step down and seek help. I hope he succeeds in both his own rehabilitation and in making sincere, lasting amends to all those he has harmed, especially his family and friends.

    August 3, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. Donkey Party

    Why is it that Democrats that are involved in any scandal resign, while Republicans involved in scandals hold fund raisers off the scandals?

    August 4, 2011 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    That's what happens when you think with your woo woo, Wu.

    August 4, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  4. Get a job Hippies

    So sorry so see Wu's wang lose his job. Will he be getting 99 weeks of unemployment???

    August 4, 2011 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  5. Terry - Indiana

    Empty the trash and turn out the lights.

    August 4, 2011 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Good riddance - now, let's get rid of the LIARS - ALL OF THE LIARS - BOTH SIDES.

    August 4, 2011 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  7. Wu A. Wiener

    I am so over all you nasty men in politics. You are becoming hypocrites of your own demise. Can’t you Wu something else without using your Wiener?? I can’t believe we vote you people into office only to watch you screw it up…almost literally.

    August 4, 2011 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  8. Dean

    Why do Democrats suck so much?

    August 4, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  9. Mike

    Not that I disagree with his vote on the debt ceiling but seriously? Waiting just so he could vote before resigning?
    Should we let murderers stay out of prison a few extra days just to tidy up their lives? No they go straight to prison.
    You're either a perverted sicko or you're not. He was and should have resigned immediately and face the consequences.

    I guess his idea of "making the world a better place" is to hit on your fundraiser's kid.

    Our political reps, on both sides, have become the joke of the world. They have now sunk below lawyers and the tax man on the pathetic and disliked list.

    August 4, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  10. fred

    yes mr. wu, you are right. Only congressmen like yourself can make the world a better place. Doctors, nurses, our military, etc etc can't make the world a better place, but congressmen can. You are absolutely right, Mr. Wu. You know what else is true? The world is completely 100% flat.

    August 4, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. Carlton

    You cannot legislate morality or ethics, this can be done by an inward work of God's Holy Spirit, which obviously many of our politicians don't have!!!

    August 4, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  12. jt_flyer

    Only 239 to go.

    August 4, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. Ed

    Another one bites the dust.

    August 4, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. NetNinja

    Bye Bye Tiger.

    August 4, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. sf

    I bet anything it was probably just a casual compliment or he may have found her attractive and repubs convinced her to call it sexual harrassment...the lengths these idiots will go to! if it wasn't true, i'd stick to my guns and not move an inch!

    August 4, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. JOE

    Still better than lying to the American people about WMD's and murdering so many of our troops.

    August 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If only the GOP would follow this example, then we'd have a slightly better Congress. We need people who will think for the good of the country and not with their base desires.

    August 4, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. doug

    In the Congress, the mighty congress the Demo libs ain't right...

    Ah Weiner Wu Ah Weiner Wu Ah Weiner Wu Ah Weiner Wu....

    sf is your average Democrat here, whenever one of their god does anything wrong it always 100% of the time the Republicans faught. Don't you know, not a single Democrat has ever done wrong or been wrong, the mainstream media tells sf so.

    August 4, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. doug

    libbot "He has done a lot of good for Oregon"

    No, he is a Democrat, he only cares about doing good for his own organ. I guess you could say that every American who actually pays taxes has been involved in a sexual scandal with every Democrat in Washington, since as Democrats they are screwing all of us who actually contribute to society and are not lib leech selfish takers.

    August 4, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Rose

    Yet David Vitter still presides.

    August 4, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Now if we could just get all of the "progressive"/socialist Democrats to resign the country would be all that much better!

    August 4, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. Mindie from India

    Hey Doug – who said Wu was a god? Oh you did. There are plenty of sex scandals on both side of the political aisles so one party simply cannot condemn the other while their own people have had many many sex and other unscrupulous acts. And you wonder why people call Republicans hypocrites – and we all wonder why you call yourself Christian.

    August 4, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Another Democrat pervert bites the dust... really make you wonder how many more are out there, lurking in the dark, watching to jump and expose themselves as socialists aiming to destroy the country. Pelosi claimed to have drained the swamp... well it seems she was as incompetent at that task as she was at running the House.

    August 4, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Embarrased Conservative

    So Weiner and now Wu. Neither has committed a crime. But the Dems apparently believe in a thing called integrity and pushed both out. Then you have my party and you look no further than Vitter who actually committed a crime which was solicitation of a prostitute all while pumping out family values nonsense and was married himself. Did he get pushed out? No he returned to a round of appluase. Let's not forget that Ensign resigned only when a committee pushed to investigate not the Republicans. This is another example of why I am an embarrased conservative. What has happened to my party?

    August 4, 2011 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Know It All

    We need to develop training for congressmen to cover a few basics:

    1. Don't send nude pics of yourself even if you like your looks
    2. Don't fondle the donor's daughters even if they ask for it

    August 4, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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