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Thursday, January 31, 2008

16 DA's

My first reaction to the Kroger-vs-Macpherson Oregon attorney general race was that Kroger would win by a narrow margin in Portland, but Macpherson would take the rest of the state and the election, largely based on name familiarity.

I haven't completely given up on that assessment, but Kroger's got some things that the folks downstate and out east may find appealing. The whole prosecutor-and-ex-Marine thing will probably play pretty well in the hinterlands.

Today we get a press release in which he brags about his endorsements from district attorneys around the state. It says:

Law enforcement officials from throughout Oregon have endorsed John Kroger to be Oregon’s next Attorney General.

Kroger, a former federal prosecutor and award-winning Lewis & Clark Law School professor, has secured endorsements from 19 law enforcement officials, including 16 District Attorneys, the Umatilla County sheriff, Beaverton Police Chief and a former United States Attorney.

"John’s experience as a prosecutor and his track record as an advocate for victims and public safety make him the perfect candidate for Attorney General," Clackamas County DA John Foote.

Kroger’s priorities consist of combating the state’s meth crisis by pushing for tougher enforcement and treatment, holding polluters accountable by imposing fines and jail time and fighting for the civil rights of Oregonians.

“We need an attorney general who is experienced in court and knows how to enforce the law. I am proud to be supported by some many law enforcement leaders in Oregon,” Kroger said.

Kroger’s supporters also include Columbia County District Attorney Steve Atchison and Clatsop County DA Josh Marquis. Atchison is the current president of the Oregon District Attorneys Association (ODAA) and Foote and Marquis are both past presidents of the ODAA. Kroger is also endorsed by Umatilla Sheriff John Trumbo and Beaverton Police Chief Dave Bishop.

As a prosecutor, Kroger 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 U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Department.

The current list of law enforcement leaders supporting Kroger are:
Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo
Beaverton Police Chief Dave Bishop
Former US Attorney Charlie Turner
Clackamas County DA John Foote
Marion County DA Walter Beglau
Clatsop County DA Josh Marquis
Columbia County DA Steve Atchison
Former Coos County DA Paul Burgett
Gilliam County DA Marion Weatherford
Harney County DA Tim Colahan
Klamath County DA Edwin Caleb
Lake County DA David Schutt
Lincoln County DA Bernice Barnett
Tillamook County DA Bill Porter
Union County DA Tim Thompson
Umatilla County DA Dean Gushwa
Wallowa County DA Mona Williams
Wasco County DA Eric Nisley
Wheeler County DA Thomas Cutsforth

Comments (10)

I am very disappointed in Kroger's campaign. I refuse to support MacPherson, but Kroger doesn't give me enough reason to support Kroger. Do the republicans have a candidate yet? Does it concern anyone that Kroger's sole emphasis seems to be his toughness in prosecuting meth and other criminals? I am all for that, but is that the essence of what the Attorney General does? I don't think the "prosecutor and ex-marine thing" will play well at all in Portland or the valley. Isn't the job much much more? Or are people poorly informed on the duties of Attorney General? With this narrow approach to the campaign, I doubt he can beat MacPherson who has a more comprehensive view of the position.

One observation:
Kroger wasn't endorsed by Bernie Giusto.

I totally disagree with 'skeptical.' Even a cursory glance at Kroger and Greg's websites show the stark differences between the two candidates and where they are in terms of their issues and goals for Oregon. When i went to Greg's website and clicked on issues I see a press release announcing his candidacy 'yesterday' the last time he updated it was August of '07. No policy statements, no goals, no ideas. Head over to johnkroger.com and yes, you will see information about meth and crime but you will also see information about women's rights, consumer protections, environmental laws and child support enforcement. I don't think that talking mostly about crime and meth in the context of the DA's and Law Enforcement officials that have endorsed him across the state is inappropriate or makes him a one-dimensional candidate. I started supporting Kroger after the debate a few weeks back and this makes my decision even stronger.

I have heard Macpherson supporters make the "just meth" complaint before, but it just does not hold up. It is all about context. A few months ago, the two candidates were just talking about the environment - Macpherson talked about 49 and Kroger picked up the Sierra Club and Kitzhaber endorsements. For whatever reason, the campaign right now is about meth. Both candidates put out releases about what to do and now Kroger talks about how law enforcement seems to agree with him.

Also, maybe I am wrong but what kind of name recognition does Macpherson really have statewide? I assume he has some in the southern suburbs, but is he really that well known in Lane, Benton, or Tillamook (or even Washington)?

I hope that the sheriffs' endorsements help Kroger. Heaven help us if Macpherson is elected. Pension reform? Greg's your man. Anything else, John is head and shoulders above Greg. Go Kroger.

Macpherson's ancestor, Hector Macpherson, was a serious political player in Salem for many years. I believe he was from Albany. The name is well known down there.

I don't see this race being all about meth at all -- quite the contrary.

Ok, Kroger's site covers a number of policy issues. How many voters will go to the web site? Maybe Kroger's press person needs to put out press releases that cover more than "tough on crime" pronouncements, otherwise some (who only see the rare piece in the Oregonian) may see him as one dimensional. Just a suggestion for Kroger and his supporters.

There was some press stuff about the environment but it does not get a lot of coverage. The media has generally not been covering this race at all. A few endorsements get an OPB clip, but nothing about policy (or even a process story). For whatever reason, the meth issue got a little more traction, but mostly, it has been a media blackout for AG and Sec. of State. Maybe once a Republican gets in there will be more coverage but I doubt it.

I think both Kroger and Macpherson will not play well outside of the metro area on land use issues.

Who cares? The Republicans don't have a viable candidate.

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