This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 25, 2012 2:31 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tri-Met to use condemnation muscle for Mystery Train . The next post in this blog is Keepin' it weird, episode 4829. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's a small town, cont'd

We're fascinated by the timeline of Oregon attorney general John Kroger's latest career move -- out of public office and into the cushy president's chair at Reed College. According to a Reed spokesman quoted by the O yesterday, the transition was put into motion late last summer or early fall:

A 12-member committee of faculty and board members began searching for a new president shortly after Diver announced he was leaving last summer. Reed invited Kroger to consider the presidency sometime in later summer or early fall, a spokesman said.

That's got to be of interest to the Reed community, because as late as last November 22, they were being told that candidates were just then being invited to throw their hats into the ring:

The search process now moves to the active solicitation of candidates. Over the next few months, we will use the position statement, national advertising, the resources of our search firm, Isaacson, Miller, and our own networking to attract the largest and deepest possible pool of candidates.

Kroger's mysterious illness, which supposedly forced him out of public office, was announced on October 18. "Later summer or early fall" probably would have preceded that date. If so, Kroger knew that he was a candidate at Reed before he announced his retirement from politics. Fascinating.

Also mind-bending is the fact that one of the two candidates to succeed Kroger in Salem, Ellen Rosenblum, is herself the daughter of a former president of Reed. Victor Rosenblum, who died in 2006 at age 80, was Reed's leader from 1968 to 1970. Before and after his time at Reed, he was a law professor at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Meanwhile, Ellen Rosenblum's opponent, Dwight Holton, is a close personal friend of Kroger's.

It doesn't get much more incestuous than this, people.

Comments (16)

Y'know, it shows there really is a category (they likely call themselves a 'class') of persons who always are, spend their lives in, Politics. People who start, endure, and end, in Politics as (if it's) a 'career'. 'Union' politicians. Persons separate and different from, (not a part of), The Public; as clearly as Doctors or Engineers or Teachers or any other career-label category of trained skilled workers is considered a special separated subset within, yet different from, The Public 'at large' and 'in theory'.

There is an inherent problem with 'career politicians' segregated out of The Public in that they are supposed to be representative of The Public, or anyway 'normal' or 'average' figurative of public civilian citizenship.

The only way (I know) to take the work of governance and its power away from them, out of their hands and them empty-handed into the unemployed looking-for-work real world, IS: Do the task ourselves. Take the duties of governance and dump it on The Public, on their shoulders, in their lap. Individuals each one of us must suspend his or her life, give it a rest, have a 'time out', and be conscripted and assigned for a tour of duty in public employment. Like jury duty. Kinda like the Peace Corps.

Don't leave self-governance to specialist (privileged?) careerists out of touch with us. Rather, take it upon ourselves like our founding preceptors took the governing work away from King George II. 'We'll take it from here, Kingy, you go look for other work.'

I wonder if Kroger will do anything toward moving Reed's nuclear reactor into decommissioning and out of there, the same for ALL nuke placements in America and the planet, as represents the purpose of The Public. I doubt Kroger does. I say categorically the Politics careerists occupy an 'escapee' bubble of their own device, in which their single purpose is to continuously make work for themselves inside it ... inordinately and sociopathically averse to making themselves work.

The mysterious disease has been diagnosed as imminent sinecure.

Why do you care so much if Kroger only wants one term as AG, and then become president at Reed? I'm not a fan of Kroger's, just wondering why you view this so cynically.

What else is new? Politicians around here are so closely bred they're strating to get two thumbs on their right hand.

Just get used to another 50 years of the same old tired ideas - at higher prices.

"care so much if Kroger only wants one term as AG, and then become president at Reed?"

Since Kroger has 0, nada, zilch, experience running a university. Add to the fact he has privy to a lot of uncomfortable secrets at the capitol level and it begins to reek of payoff or go-away money, albeit at a 400% raise.

THis happens all the time in this state, people get quiet and then get set for life at cost to the taxpayers.

So, I run the UO Matters blog. It's mostly about UO sleaze, with occasional public records, OUS and Nike spillovers. Check it out at http//:www.uomatters.com. About 800 unique visits a day. Anyone got any idea what sort of offer I should accept for shutting it down? Jack, what has the Goldschmidt crowd offered to have you go away?

why you view this so cynically.

Cynicism deserves cynicism. John Kroger, champion of the little guy -- not. John Kroger, victim of a debilitating illness -- not. What's next?

I think Kroger came to a revelation that he really doesn't have a stomach for politics when the outfall from the Cylviagate prosecutorial abuse allegations hit the fan. He pretty much blew it on that one, and the timing of all of this seems to point to his realization that it was time to pack up his bags for the greener and calmer pastures at an elite private liberal arts college. The well timed mystery disease that prevented him from running for a second term is quite interesting to say the least.

The choice for Kroger to head things at Reed is also interesting in light of his "law and order" background, and the institution's reputation as a hotbed for 60's style counter-culture radicalism and drug experimentation. They had a major drug bust involving two students who got caught two months ago with a couple pounds of weed, along with other illegal drugs, in their dorm room. The campus police/administration were involved in the bust under the pretext of a complaint about noise violations. http://wweek.com/portland/blog-28248-two_students_arrested_in_drug_bust_at_reed.html There are also the tragic cases of the Reedies who died from heroin overdoses in the past two years. http://www.kgw.com/news/local/heroindeathrattlesoregoncollege-89959847.html Perhaps Reed is having an intervention with itself of some sort, and Kroger is the man they chose to rule the roost with an iron fist. It could make for some interesting drama if some of the faculty and student don't want to go along for the ride to Betty Ford.

I'd be quite surprised if the "law and order" rhetoric is ever heard at Reed, unless and until it pertains to some future career opportunity.

One hypothesis: Rosenblum loyalist knows that she is interested in running for A.G. and -- in order to facilitate her first mover advantage -- lets her know that Kroger was offered a better job at Reed.

It's no different than the Fireman asking Steve Novick to kiss his ring, and then giving him a head start to form a campaign.

Even if Oregon had an honest Secretary of State, it's not likely to be investigated. Clearly, we don't have any laws that guarantee a level playing field for all candidates. Some are more equal than others.

If the time line is as I suspect, Kroger was approached with the Reed president's job, told it was not a guarantee, there was a process that had to be followed, but a high likelyhood existed he would get the job.

Kroger looks at the money differential and the foulups in the AG's office that he would have to answer for publically in a re-election bid (who knew the Republicans were so weak they couldn't field a candidate -- or maybe they'd be able to field a candidate against Kroger given the foulups).

But, apparently Kroger couldn't bring himself to saying, "I want to spend more time with my family," or something to that effect (too obvious an admission of political failure for a man with a huge ego) and couldn't say, "I got this inside lead on the Reed President's job, as a way out of politics (given my foulups), but it's not a sure thing and I'm worried a good challenger could put my administration of the AG's office to public shame and humiliation -- I don't want to go through that, it would ruin my reputation -- my political ego can't handle that."

So, "my health won't allow me to run again."

This allows him to clear the decks for the Democratic Party to field respectable candidate(s) (don't want to foul that up as well and give an opening to the Republicans, however remote that might be).

Question, why was he approached about the Reed president's job?

Remember, private university presidents are about raising money for the university, the rest is required, you know, "life of the mind," and all that, but where the rubber meets the road is fundraising.

What contacts back East or here does Kroger have that would help him raise non-political big money for Reed College?

(Is Reed that connected to the Democratic Party's insiders, that the president's job could be arranged to give Kroger an out because he fouled up the AG's job to the point where he was a political embarrassment and might lose a state-wide office to the Republicans, however remote?)

But if my suspicions, yes, speculations, are correct, Kroger was disingenuous about what was going on -- par for the course with politicians, but wasn't Kroger supposed to be better than that, a real straight-shooter?

Yet, this smells of political gamesmanship.

Hey, I can't blame the guy wanting $300,000 more a year and, likely, much less hassle.

But why couldn't Kroger simply decline running for re-election by just saying he wanted to do something different?

Nothing wrong with that.

Or given Kroger's reputation for being a political animal with the governor's office in his sights, he had to have a reason to take himself out of politics which wouldn't admit the failure that his tenure at the AG' office had become and give an opening, however remote, to Republicans?

Questions, questions, questions.

Sometimes I consider it a miracle that Erik Sten hasn't surfaced in the continuing education system somewhere.

Sorry Jack, but once again you are letting your conspiracy mindedness get the better of you.

The search committee was only formed in mid August. I know because I know when the meeting occurred where members were chosen. The first meeting of the committee was August 26. The search firms had not yet been chosen--again I know because my opinion was solicited regarding the firms in mid September.

Once a firm is chosen, the consultants typically contact their "rolodex" to see who among their potential contacts might be potentially interested, as well as following up on suggestions from search committee members and community members. Again, I know this is the timing because two of my friends were contacted in the September - October period as part of the INITIAL inquiries.

This is the earliest that Kroger would have been contacted. It is possible that it preceded the Oct 18 announcement, but even if he had been, it was very, very early in the process.

Jim Evans, you have no idea how the process works here or at most schools. No one is contacted by a firm and told "the job is yours but we have to go through the motions." Really, you have no idea how academic institutions work.

What's hilarious about all these conspiracy connections is that most of the trustees on the committee are non Oregon residents, including a number of East Coasters. The faculty members are not politically connected or attuned, either, and proud of that fact. Speculate as you will about this, but suggesting it was some sort of Democratic party power play also shows a really lack of insight into the process.

It is possible that it preceded the Oct 18 announcement

No kidding. It is very, very possible. And something that your precious headhunter consultants obviously misled your community about.

Paul, your conflict of interest is so comically obvious. I may not know what I'm talking about, but at this point your perspectives have zero credibility. I don't blog, or comment, about my workplace. You should adopt the same principle. But with all your superior inside information, if you ever find out what the mystery illness was, please do let us know. As the kids say, LOL.

Jack, if you wish to point out the comically obvious, please do so. I have no problem correcting misinformation about my workplace.

You, on the other hand, automatically dismiss anyone who disagrees with you as obviously corrupt, misguided, or naive. It's awfully easy to criticize from that perch but as I've pointed out to you before, you seldom say anything productive. It's too bad.

Don't run out of the tinfoil! I'll call my buddies and crank up the old reactor!

Paul, I'm sorry that my matter-of-fact coverage of the hiring of your new boss has disturbed you so deeply that you have descended to the level of an internet troll. Personal insults won't distract my readers from the odd timetable of Mr. Kroger's assuming the helm at Reed, and it's a sad statement about you that you would resort to such tactics. Enjoy the Kool-Aid while you can still breathe.

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