by Andrew Walden
After years as the Congressional chief of staff for Rep Wu (D-OR), Julie Tippens this January quit to take a job as chief of staff for Rep Colleen Hanabusa (D-Oahu).
During her time as Wu’s chief of staff, Tippens helped Congressman Wu through a 2004 sex scandal. But Tippens left shortly after a November, 2010 incident—only now coming to light—in which the Congressman is accused of forcing himself on the teenage daughter of a campaign donor.
Tippens’ scandal management abilities should be very helpful to Hanabusa, who is owned by Jeff Stone, married to John Souza, has dealings with the Pali Shooter’s mob, and of course is tied to the acquitted Waianae Toilet Bomber via the Kalaeloa Raceway Deal.
Here is our coverage from earlier this year—before the latest sex charges came to light: Hanabusa’s new Chief of Staff helped hide “kooky” Congressman’s mental illness
Here is what the Portland Oregonian now has to say:
Oregonian July 22: Young woman accuses Oregon Rep. David Wu of aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter
…the young woman accused Wu of aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior, according to sources with direct knowledge of the message and its contents.
Reporters could not verify the young woman's age. Notes on Facebook over the past 18 months indicate she graduated from high school in 2010. California records show she registered to vote in August.
Wu, 56, did not respond to repeated questions from The Oregonian over the past four days….
In February, following unexpectedly large staff turnover, Wu acknowledged extreme stress last year, which he attributed to the campaign and problems in his marriage. He and his wife are in the process of getting a divorce. He said he sought counseling and has taken medication for an unspecified mental condition.
The Southern California incident allegedly occurred a little over three weeks after the election.
In 2004, The Oregonian reported on a 1976 case when Wu was a student at Stanford University and was disciplined for trying to force an ex-girlfriend to have sex.
Oregonian Feb 26: Oregon Democrat David Wu and his troubled career in Congress
Wu was usually a reliable vote for the Democratic leadership, so he faced little political trouble from the party base. He relied heavily on a chief of staff, Julie Tippens, who was widely praised in political circles for keeping his office on track.
Several observers said that in meetings, Wu would wander off onto subjects that grabbed his fancy. But Tippens made sure to follow up on whatever concerns a visitor had. Separately, three sources jokingly used the same phrase in saying that she worked for him for so long because she had Stockholm syndrome, a reference to the sympathy victims can feel for their captors. Among political insiders, it was a sign that something significant was up when Tippens joined five other staffers in leaving after the last election.
Tippens now works for a newly elected Hawaii congresswoman and refused several interview requests from The Oregonian.
POLITICO: Wu at center of sex allegation
UPDATE Oregonian July 25: Rep. David Wu won't resign, won't run again, will face ethics investigation