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January 13, 2008                                                                                            Laura Cadiz, 503-913-6733



Kroger wins first Attorney General candidate debate


PORTLAND -- Attorney General candidate John Kroger laid out a clear agenda for how he will use the Attorney General's office to make Oregon a better place in the first debate between the Democratic Attorney General candidates at the Bus Project's Rebooting Democracy '08 conference today.


Kroger told a crowd of about 300 at Montgomery Park how he plans to solve the state's Oregon meth crisis by pushing for tougher enforcement and treatment, hold polluters accountable by imposing fines and jail time and fight for Oregonians' civil rights by arguing those cases himself in the courtroom.


"I come to this race with a very clear track record of going to court and holding powerful interests -- drug cartels, the mafia and Enron -- responsible for what they do," said Kroger, who is running against Rep. Greg Macpherson in the primary race. "The Attorney General ought to tackle big challenges and get up every single morning and fight as hard as he or she can to protect the citizens of this state."


Kroger said the No. 1 public safety priority the state needs is drug treatment. "That's what's going to lower the crime rates, and if we lower the crime rates, then we're going to have fewer people in prison," Kroger said. Oregon currently ranks 45th in the nation in access to drug treatment.


Kroger is an award-winning Lewis & Clark Law School professor and a former federal prosecutor.  As a prosecutor, he won major cases against mafia killers, corrupt government officials, and drug kingpins. From 2002 to 2003, he helped prosecute the Enron Corporation. In recognition of his work, Kroger won awards and commendations from Attorney General Janet Reno, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the State Department.


Members of the debate crowd believed Kroger's experience and passion for the job will make him a strong Attorney General.


"I thought he was very good. Not only is John very knowledgeable about what's going on, he is very forceful in his convictions and that's why I'm supporting him for Attorney General," said Lew Frederick, a PhD candidate at PSU who has volunteered with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the National PTA board and the Oregon State University College of Science Board of Visitors.


"I thought it was very clear that his style as Attorney General would be aggressive, and he would really go after polluters," said Shannon Mills, 22, a Portland resident. "It was really clear to me that he has the right experience."


In his race to become the next Attorney General, Kroger has already won the endorsements of Gov. John Kitzhaber, the Sierra Club, 11 District Attorneys and City Commissioners Erik Sten, Dan Saltzman and Randy Leonard.



-- Laura Cadiz
John Kroger for Attorney General
503-913-6733 Laura Cadiz
John Kroger for Attorney General