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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 10, 2009 6:40 AM. The previous post in this blog was Thank heaven. The next post in this blog is So much for the principle of the thing. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John Kroger isn't running for governor yet...

... is he?

He's raised more than $22,000 in "campaign" contributions since he took office in January, most of it from out of state. And his "campaign" is showing more than $26,000 in cash in the bank. He's got three years before he's got to run for re-election -- why pile up dough so early? Does he just want to give it to other candidates in the meantime, or is it about him?

Comments (11)

Nothing is more central to the job of a politician than being able to explain why money changed hands. This political contribution from the lawyers in San Diego? No problem:

"Kroger says it's just because he has attracted the interest of a lot of law firms - the one in San Diego specializes in class-action lawsuits against corporations - that like his aggressive stance against corporate malfeasance."

Oh well. That's a hell of a lot more plausible than Kroger's explanation for why Sam Adams left envelopes full of cash for Beau Breedlove at city hall just prior to an investigation.

Hey, maybe Kroger should have gone with a similar explanation as this one for the law firm in San Diego:

Beau had just attracted the interest of Sam with his aggressive stance.

Okay, I'm sorry - that was weak. But here's what is really reminiscent of Sam Adams in Kroger's explanation of the political contribution:

He turns it into an opportunity to brag about himself. That's exactly how Sam would have handled it. One of the most egomaniacal things about Sam is how he takes nearly every opportunity - even when it hurts him - to turn something into a bragging moment.

Remember, he was just trying to help Beau because he was concerned about the problems gay teenagers face. He couldn't just deny the story - he had to take the opportunity to brag about how noble he was being. To hear him tell it he was concerned about the suicide rate in this group of young people so he was reaching out and possibly saving Beau's life! What a guy!!!!!

And now we have Kroger turning this into a bragging moment:

"They gave me the money because they just admire me so darn much, and can you blame them?"

Beware of politicians who can't conceal their ambition and ego better than this. It's a real sign of their true skill level.

Kroger will not run for governor and he definitely will not run against Kitzhaber. Not saying he won't run in the future, but he will not run after being in office for less then a year. Why wouldn't he start fundraising now? Elections are expensive and a politician needs to start building up a war chest early, especially if that politician expects to go after powerful corporate interests.

Kroger will raise a fair amount of cash out of state because he has a lot of contacts out of state from his time at law school, family, and work experience in NYC and D.C.. A politician normally hits up their friends, family, co-workers, classmates and anyone connected to those people for donations. Campaigns are expensive.

I saw Kroger promoting his book at Powell's, and he talked about the gubernatorial election,then added, parenthetically, that he is not running for Governor.

I don't think they are all lawyers who are impressed with Kroger's Atticus Finch act.

Georges St. Laurent, Jr. ($10,000): Real estate developer and board member of PremierWest Bancorp and PremierWest Bank. St. Laurent is former chairman, CEO and controlling shareholder of Western Bank, which was acquired by Washington Mutual.

Providence Heart and Vascular Institute ($500).

What really takes the cake is the more than $10,000 from the same law firm, Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP.

These guys partnered up with local class action lawyers Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Schlacter, PC to sue a local ATM sales firm. The case got tossed, but the the ruling allows them to refile.

Typically if class action attorneys cannot get a class action to stand on its own legs, the firms will work out a deal with the state Attorney General to file a complaint on behalf of the state. The class action attorneys then piggy back off the taxpayer funded complaints to file their own complaints. In the past, plaintiffs' firms have been hired by the Oregon AG to collect damages on the state's behalf. It's very cozy.

Here are the donations from the Coughlin gang. Note, all the donations were made on the same day.

Patrick Coughlin ($3,000)
Helen Hodges ($1,000)
Michael Dowd ($1,000)
Paul Geller ($500)
G. Paul Howes ($500)
Eric Isaacson ($500)
Keith Park ($500)
Tor Greenborg ($350)
John Grant ($300)
Andrew Brown ($300)
Matthew Montgomery ($250)
Theodore Pintar ($250)
Chris Collins ($250)
Kevin Green ($250)
Leslie Hurst ($250)
Joseph Daley ($250)
Thomas Egler ($250)
Jeffrey Light ($250)
Stephanie Schroder ($250)

All the donations were made on the same day? If that's true, let's be fair. Maybe Kroger did something particularly noble that day to battle corporate malfeasance. You know...something so extra-noble that all these lawyers thinking independently just happened to come to the same conclusion that integrity like this MUST be rewarded.

It's kind of like the way Sam Adams slid Beau some cash - not to keep him saying the right things in the upcoming investigation - but just to help a friend who needed to move. Sam is just that wonderful. In fact, given his own financial problems leaving cash envelopes for someone who could be testifying against him under oath, was even more wonderful than that. See, Sam knew how it would look but he was willing to help his friend anyway. What a magnificent guy!!!

Of course Kroger didn't put anybody under oath because...well, why ruin a heartwarming tale of generosity. Is there no end to the world's cynicism?

What's happened to trust anyway? Maybe there's some other good explanation with the lawyers' contributions. It's possible. I know! Kroger helped save some children that day but he can't mention it to protect their identities! But how did these lawyers find out all the way down there? Hmmm......

Uh oh, are you suggesting that they had a meeting and decided to slide Kroger some cash for the good of their firm? That it could help them do business in Oregon?????

Give me a second. I need a moment here. This is a little tough to bear.

Note, all the donations were made on the same day.

All the donations were made on the same day? If that's true, let's be fair. Maybe Kroger did something particularly noble that day to battle corporate malfeasance.

Or, maybe... just maybe... they had a fundraiser!

Oh no! A fundraising event! With lots of people! All giving money! All at once! Oh noes... Oh noes!!!!!

(Personal to Bill: This is where you regale us with another awesome tale of working as a caterer at one of those scandalous "fundraisers".)

That must've been one heck of a fundraiser. Coughlin bringing in employees from San Diego, San Francisco and Boca Raton just to help out little ol' John Kroger because of his go-get-'em reputation. Kroger's ah-shucks explanation sounds too much like Sally Field at the Academy Awards: "You like me, you really like me!"

I wasn't a caterer - I was a banquet captain, waiter and houseman. You know, the type of person the Democratic Party used to represent before they sold out to the corporate interests.
Since you brought up the subject, you made a comment about the convention hotel that encapsulated everything that's wrong with your profession.
You said you were for the government plunging into the hotel business: "If we're losing out on tourism dollars because the private sector can't get its act together to build a hotel there, well, maybe the public should."
Kari, do you know how many hotels have been built in this country since the convention center opened?
Never mind the arrogance of talking about the private sector like that. There's a reason the private sector hasn't gotten to a gold-plated opportunity like this.
And if I was a political operative for the Democratic Party, I would worry about getting my own act together.
And every now and then, think about ordinary working people who could be affected if your little central-planning committee rams through a hotel and then taxes the other hotels in the area to pay for it.
Try being a progressive more than a corporate hack.

In closing let me say that I waited many times on your hero Ron Wyden and always found him to be quite nice. We had a good talk when he grilled the tobacco executives and I could tell he was impressed with my knowledge of politics.

You should try putting on a waiter jacker for a few shifts. There's a real world out there that would give you a nice break from politics.

I tell you what: My cable access co-host, the late great James Shibley, was President of Local 9. Maybe we can get a union meeting together and invite you down to explain your snotty attitude to the waiters and hotel workers of Portland.

Hmm. Well, I didn't bring up the subject of the convention hotel, and I'm going to respect Jack's commenting policy by refraining from further comment.

You brought up the subject of my "catering" career which consisted of working in the Portland hotel business. Since you seemed to belittle it, I took the opportunity to remind you of a time when the unions mattered more to the Democratic Party and they weren't as fixated on the special interest cash flow from fundraisers and the like.

I realize you are beholden to the Democratic establishment, and it's good business to defend them. But it's bad business to belittle Local 9 as I'm sure any of your politician clients would tell you.

Maybe that's your point: Stories from when people actually worked in union jobs don't belong in the rarified atmosphere of the blogosphere. Maybe my stories don't interest you, but I can guarantee you the waiters at these banquets are often a lot more interesting than you probably imagine.

Next time you go to a fancy convention and build an anecdotal case for a government-funded hotel based on talking to the head guy from the group, talk with some working people.

All the best politicians I've met seem to enjoy it. It's a nice break for them from all the people around them angling to build their website or whatever.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2012
Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2011
Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010

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Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
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William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 69
At this date last year: 110
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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