PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Congressman Earl Blumenauer called for a boycott of all hotels owned by Gordon Sondland, a Portland businessman and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
Sondland has been involved in the Ukraine controversy surrounding President Donald Trump.
His personal attorney, Jim McDermott, responded Thursday in a statement to FOX 12, saying it would hurt Oregon workers.
Sondland founded Provenance Hotels, which has six properties in Portland. Among those are The Heathman Hotel, Hotel Lucia, and the Sentinel.
There has been plenty of social media reaction. People are tweeting and posting on Facebook to say they’re done staying at the hotels, and finished going to happy hours at their bars.
One woman told FOX 12 she’s removed Hotel Lucia from her list of wedding venues.
Another woman said she doesn’t plan to go to any of the six properties, including their restaurants, and she’s also encouraging businesses to cancel events or conferences scheduled at the hotels.
“Certainly, people who are working on tips are going to be hurt by any boycott. They may end up having to lay people off, but those people are also working and making money for Gordon Sondland,” Amie Wexler, who supports a boycott said.
A man staying at The Heathman Hotel, who’s from Texas, said he’s aware of the controversy, but that won’t stop him from spending money at hotels owned by Sondland.
He believes Sondland should testify, but said no matter what Sondland reveals, it has nothing to do with The Heathman Hotel, or any other properties, he says.
“It’s a nice hotel. Has nothing to do with my politics. That’s pretty simple. [People boycotting Provenance Hotels are] hurting the workers. If they wanna do that, then that’s up to them. I don’t do that.”
Sondland’s personal attorney, Jim McDermott, responded Thursday in a statement to FOX 12:
"Congressman Blumenauer’s irresponsible attempt to hurt a homegrown business that supports hundreds of jobs in our local economy is just shameful and ought to outrage all Oregonians.
I am one of the lawyers representing Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who founded Provenance Hotels but has not been a company executive since he became US Ambassador to the European Union in early July 2018.
Ambassador Sondland has requested that the Department of State allow him to testify as soon as possible.
Precisely because no one is above the law, Ambassador Sondland has turned over all relevant documents sought by Congress to the Department of State, as the Federal Records Act requires.
It is for the Department of State, not Ambassador Sondland, to produce these records to the Committees of the House. The Federal Records Act prohibits federal employees such as Ambassador Sondland from sharing or disclosing documents concerning their official business.
Congressman Blumenauer would do well to learn and understand the laws that Congress has passed before he makes reckless and destructive threats that would only economically injure hardworking Oregon employees.”
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