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AG Myers Won’t Run Again; Kroger vs. Mac? August 21, 2007

Filed under: Executive 2008,Primary 2008 — taoiseach @ 11:37 am

The Associated Press via Oregon Public Broadcasting finally discloses what most already thought true:




SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers says he won’t run in 2008 for a fourth term as the state’s top lawyer.

The 67-year-old Democrat cites his age as a key factor in his decision, noting that he would be into his 70s during a fourth term. He says the Oregon Department of Justice, which he oversees, deserves fresh leadership as well.

Myers’ announcement leaves a wide-open field in next year’s attorney general’s race.

Some of his harsher critics have dubbed him “Hardly Matters”, but I think they’re just tired of having the same top law man for 12 years. Recently, he’s made the news for suing Purdue Pharmaceuticals for the widespread advertising of the addictive pain drug Oxycontin.

In any case, Myers’ announcement is the final trigger that will probably catalyze the primary campaigns of two well-regarded Democratic lawyers.

Representative Greg Macpherson, Democrat of Lake Oswego, has made it no secret that he’s in if Myers is out. Macpherson accomplished much during this last legislative session as chair of the House Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the committee that sent the Measure 37 fix (Measure 49) to voters this November. Should Measure 49 pass, Macpherson will probably have a good part of the environmental community behind him.

Lewis and Clark professor John Kroger has also talked with interest about the Attorney General job. Kroger is the kind of candidate that excites the party base. Like Steve Novick, he’s taken on tough and mean corporations in the courtroom for the public and come away as the victor.

The Kroger resume? From BlueOregon again:

U.S. Marine Corps, Yale undergrad, Harvard Law School, Deputy Policy Director on Clinton’s ’92 campaign and senior policy analyst at the Treasury Department. Also he received the Director’s Award from AG Reno in ’99 for his mafia shut outs.

Tough to call at the outset. But for the history, Portland law firm Stoel Rives has helped its alumnus, Hardy Myers, retain the AG office for three terms. Macpherson, in addition to his legislature gig, works for Stoel Rives as an expert pension attorney. I’m not sure how the legal community flexes its political muscle, but it seems like they may already have a favored candidate.

As for electability? If Kevin Mannix is the best the GOP can do statewide these days, the race will be over after the Democratic primary.

UPDATE:  Rep. Greg Macpherson announced today that he would seek election to the Attorney General post.  Visit his website here.  John Kroger is expected to announce his entry on next Thursday, August 30.



8 Responses to “AG Myers Won’t Run Again; Kroger vs. Mac?”

  1. David Says:

    I like The DA from Clatsop County If He Runs I will Vote for him.

  2. WashCo_Blue Says:

    “Macpherson, in addition to his legislature gig, works for Stoel Rives as an expert pension attorney.”

    Well, I don’t know about you, but Kroger won a conviction of a big-time New York Mafia boss and a special commendation from then, Attorney General Reno.
    Kroger and his team won indictments against seven
    men, including Ken Rice and Kevin Hannon, Enron’s top two broadband executives. They pleaded guilty in 2004 and became government witnesses, helping to secure fraud convictions against Enron chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

    I don’t know about you, but I would want a tough guy like that as attorney general, rather than an expert pension attorney.

  3. Liz Says:

    At my age, I am inclined to trust people I have met or formed a good opinion of over people that have lots of supporters but I hadn’t heard of until recently (or knew about and didn’t trust).

    Which is why I remain to be convinced about Kroger, and wouldn’t support Josh Marquis.

    As far as “tough guy”, does that mean an activist with an agenda rather than someone who will be dealing with the various parts of the Justice Dept. which has criminal, civil, consumer protection, election, and many other aspects of the office?

    I’d be more inclined to vote for “elect me and this is what I would do in the various areas of the Justice Dept.” than “elect me because I am a tough guy” or “tough on crime”.

    I say that as the grandchild of a state AG who had been a crusading prosecutor during Prohibition. He had a lot more going for him than “elect me, I’m a crusading prosecutor who is tough on crime”. I know that because I inherited his clippings and have read all about his AG campaign.

  4. David Says:

    Right On Liz

  5. Rose Wilde Says:

    I agree that “tough on crime” isn’t the best qualification. I would be more interested in “committed to justice” as a slogan. Justice is what we really want. And more than Justice, we want compassion, but have to settle for justice.

    I know that under Hardy Myers, Oregon had to make some major changes to our Child Welfare system. As AG, his opinions regarding state child protection policies were quite influential.

    Furthermore, the Dept of Justice enforces child support orders. This is a duty that many states do not adequately address. Thousands of mothers and fathers struggle to support their children while their absent co-parent shirks from their responsibility. I’d like an AG who, instead of jailing deadbeat parents, uses the criminal justice system to ensure both parents have the best ability to provide for their children (while also protecting public safety through rational law enforcement).

    But we should really be talking about measure 11 — something the AG can’t really change (it would take a referendum or legislative action). Why have we moved the responsibility for making fine distinction and difficult choices away from judges and juries, and assigned inflexible jail sentences for a range of crimes, considered largely out of context under the law?

  6. mrfearless47 Says:

    There are 50 + thousand PERS retirees who remember MacPherson’s role in getting the “pension” reform passed in 2003. This “reform” has resulted in 16 lawsuits and more to come. The Supreme Court struck down key provisions in laws Macpherson helped write. Among those are provisions that would have taken away about $800 million from current retirees. The SC didn’t agree with the legislature and struck down those provisions. However, it has taken 5 more lawsuits to get PERS to pay up what they owe. PERS has parsed every lawsuit and is hellbent on not paying. I don’t think I want Greg Macpherson (the “pension” expert) being the legal advisor to the PERS Board anytime soon. I am campaigning hard against Macpherson (see my blog) and consider Kroger a worthy opponent. The best result we could possibly ask for would be for Macpherson to be deflowered in the primary, thus losing any chance at the AG position and giving up his House seat at the same time. Sweet revenge and that’s what almost every PERS retiree wants. Macpherson is a big target and PERS retirees (and even some of the unions) will paint a very large bullseye on him. Bye, Bye, Greg. Nice hair though.

  7. Geri Says:

    You really even want to consider Clatsop County, Oregon, DA Josh Marquis for the AG job? Visit and and then take another good look at what this man will do to the state if he has that kind of power.

  8. the gackster Says:

    Should’a been Macpherson–Kroger is a slimeball

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