East Oregonian Profiles John Kroger

Attorney General candidate John Kroger visited Eastern Oregon last week for an early campaign tour. Today, Kroger's visit got some attention from the East Oregonian, which profiled Kroger and gave a preview of what his campaign will focus on in the coming months:

When John Kroger declared he was running for the Oregon attorney general's office on the steps of the World Trade Center in Portland, he didn't do it for the view.

Rather, the 41-year-old Democrat chose the site because it was the Oregon headquarters for Enron, and from its space there the company manipulated power costs that affected the West Coast. And Kroger was the prosecutor who indicted more than a half dozen Enron executives.

Kroger - who isn't related to the food-giant family of the same name, but will smile when asked - swung through Eastern Oregon last week on the early campaign trail for the top law enforcement officer in Oregon, with stops in Hermiston, Heppner, Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City and John Day.

He said he had a good conversation with Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo about local law enforcement issues and he earned endorsements from Umatilla County District Attorney Dean Gushwa, Hermiston Mayor Bob Severson and Pendleton Mayor Phillip Houk.

But he said his favorite part of the trip was the hour-long conversation he had with Heppner Mayor Les Paustian, where Kroger learned the mayor couldn't even put up a stop sign at an intersection without approval from Salem.

That kind of government red tape made Kroger shake his head in disbelief. And it may be that kind of attitude that makes Kroger appealing to rural and urban Oregon alike. Already, he's earned the support of the majority of the Portland City Council.

In the article, Kroger disusses some of the issues he will focus on as Attorney General:

He said he wants to bring new ideas and new energy to the office and use it as a bully pulpit to deal head-on with major problems plaguing the state, with the methamphetamine crisis topping that list.

Kroger said meth addiction's dirty hands push up other crimes, from theft to child abuse, and the top lawman in the state needs to address that.

"I think the job of the attorney general isn't to shy away from big problems, but to tackle them," he said.

But Kroger said just putting people behind bars isn't the solution.

"People want to talk about being tough on crime," Kroger said, "... but I want to talk about being smart on crime."

And that includes more drug treatment programs, something Kroger said he believes in fully.

Kroger also wants to take on the issue of child support and getting more parents to pay. He said 40 percent of Oregon families entitled to child support don't receive it on time or at all.

And while 40 percent is the national average, it means 100,000 families in Oregon aren't getting what they need or deserve to raise their families.

"When I get elected, I'm going to do a better job on that," he promised.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • Edward (unverified)

    It's good to see such a positive reaction from rural Oregon. It's also heartening to have a candidate who doesn't shy away from the small towns and the less-than-glamorous issues that most see fit to ignore.

    Go John!

  • Jerry Atlansky (unverified)

    [Off-topic comment posted repeatedly deleted. -editor.]

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    It appears that Jerry is set to "write only." So I'm not sure why I am bothering to respond him except perhaps to set the record straight for others.

    Jerry, John Kroger's campaign manager posted on the last thread you placed your screed on that they had not received any communication from you and provided his email address for you to contact the campaign. Why do you persist in claiming that Kroger won't discuss the issues with you?

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    The East Oregonian article about Kroger assists all of us in getting to know our AG candidates. It was helpful to have the opportunity to read it on BO. Thanks.

    That single issue guy Jerry, who wrote the same thing over and over and over needs an editor.

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    Kari, Jeff, Charlie or Nick,

    If Jerry Atlansky persists in posting this whole correspondence, would it be possible to substitute a link to the original posting? What he's doing amounts to abusive spamming that interferes with discussion.

    Jerry, if you even read this blog, this way of doing things fails to communicate. I would suggest putting this correspondence on a website and posting much shorter messages at places like Blue Oregon with a link. You're right that the Kaady case was a disgrace, and maybe on other things too -- but operating this way discredits you, probably hurts the cause of police accountability by making it look like a crank issue when it isn't, and does little else.

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