Attorney General Kroger seeking second term

John Calhoun

While you wouldn’t know it by reading the Oregonian, Kroger has lived up to his campaign promises.

Attorney General John Kroger is announcing today that he is running for another term. He ran last time as the candidate of both the Republican and Democratic parties. While it is likely that the Republicans will find an opponent this time, Kroger has a campaign organization in every county in the state with co-chairs that include Democrats, Republicans, and independents and strong support from the law enforcement community. Senator Ron Wyden is one of his three state co-chairs.

While you wouldn’t know it by reading the Oregonian, Kroger has lived up to his campaign promises to vigorously take on environmental, consumer fraud, and corporate criminals. He formed a new environmental crimes unit that has won numerous criminal pollution cases. Since his election DOJ has taken successful legal action against more than 140 major companies that broke Oregon’s consumer protection laws and in the process collected $75 million in fines and settlements. He set up a new Mortgage Fraud Task Force to protect home owners which resulted in criminal convictions and restitution for victims of mortgage fraud as well as the banning from Oregon of eight foreclosure relief firms that were scamming Oregon citizens.

Kroger has also fought to make the department more effective and efficient in other areas. He personally obtained a federal grant to keep the sex predator and child pornography unit at DOJ running resulting in the conviction of dozens of predators and child pornographers and the rescue of two children held sexual captives in another state. Another federal grant obtained by Kroger created a new Rural Drug Crimes Strike Force which helped in the dismantling of four major illegal drug trafficking organizations in Oregon. He accomplished all of this while cutting $9 million out of the DOJ’s legislatively authorized administrative budget so it could be used to meet other public priorities.

John Kroger ran three years ago on a platform that promised to shake up DOJ and change it from a department primarily responding to the needs of its clients, the Governor and other state agencies, to an independent force fighting crime, protecting crime victims, and protecting Oregon consumers. He has accomplished that, but in the process upset those who preferred the traditional approach at DOJ. You can count on the Oregonian and the Republicans to focus, not on his accomplishments, but on their disagreement with these changes. The voters last time said yes to his message of change and gave him an overwhelming victory. I for one am delighted in his priorities and the change he has brought. The coming election will now determine whether the majority of Oregon voters agree. I predict they will.

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    John Kroger is literally on the move today! He began his day in Portland before heading to Eugene, Roseburg, Medford at 5:30 pm, and then on to Klamath Falls.We're looking forward to his visit!

    Thanks John for a great column.

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    He needs to be clear about OR's position on the "Miller settlement" on banking fraud. He's been strangely quiet and so far has not answered direct questioning on it, despite actions by judges in Oregon declaring a significant problem with fraud and other illegalities. I hope he will be; I'm otherwise very satisfied with John.

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    As someone who supported his primary opponent last cycle, I've been generally pleased with Kroger's performance. His high level of activism in the job has been refreshing.

    Of course, if there is a criticism (other than the predictable bleating from the right) it's that the ethos of activism in the office has sometimes been taken too far by overenthusuastic subordinates.

    Certainly, those incidents have earned Kroger a healthy amount of criticism within the legal community.

    It will be interesting to see if any of his critics actually do anything with their criticism - or if it's just so much bitching.

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    Generally he has done what he said he would do. How refreshing in a politician. Unfortunately his staff blew a few high profile cases and this may become a point of contention as he seeks reelection.

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    Today Attorney General John Kroger was in Klamath Falls to kick off his campaign for reelection. He attended a house party with Republicans:

    The Klamath County Democrats were not notified he was coming. We aren't even listed as part of his 36-county co committee, even though almost ever other counties democratic party chair is listed. For Klamath County they list Ed Caleb, David Groff, and Tim Evinger. To my knowledge David Groff is the only registered Democrat of the 3. Prior to arriving in Klamath Falls he was in Medford with the Jackson County Democrats.

    It's a rarity when I encourage any sort of push back against one of our elected Democrats, but to have a Democratic candidate come to our town/county as a campaign kick off and not inform us and only attend a house party of Republicans seems like a public slap in the face. I would encourage any of you that are willing, to hold Kroger accountable and remind him he has to earn our vote, by writing his campaign a letter

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    The only complaint I have gotten from people thus far is on child support. They love what he's done in some of the other areas, but feel that he spent a lot of time talking about this during the campaign and has not done much since.

    I thought it was pretty remarkable that this was the only complaint that people were able to come up with that had any merit to it (everyone else was the typical "he's a Democrat and has to go").

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