The Oregonian’s Politics Blog reported today that SEIU 49 leader Alice Dale, former leader of the Oregon Public Employees Union (OPEU), is considering a run to be Oregon’s next Attorney General:
“I’m actively considering it,” Dale said.
Dale would join state Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, and John Kroger, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at Lewis & Clark Law School.
Dale is the former head of the Oregon Public Employees Union — the state’s largest. She led the union on a strike in 1995 over a pay raise.
“I think I bring a very deep understanding of issues that resonate with the average Oregonian,” she said.
Dale has a range of experience in Oregon policymaking. She sits on the Oregon Health Policy Commission, which recommends evidence-based policy changes to the Governor’s office. She also lobbied the Legislature this last year for passage of a bill that would have capped hospital profit margins and applied fairer billing rates to uninsured patients.
In addition to these policy-based roles, Dale has also worked to weed out ballot fraud. In 2004, she called out the Nader campaign’s widespread use of forgery in their attempt to gain access to the Oregon ballot.
If she runs, does Dale have a good shot at the nomination? What effect would her campaign have on Greg Macpherson’s campaign? Macpherson was key in the 2003 effort to revise PERS–the state’s public employee retirement system (literally)–by trimming benefits and payouts, a move that angered many public employees. Will Dale’s candidacy give these public employees a voice and presence in the race, or will it siphon votes that might have otherwise gone to John Kroger?
These are the initial questions that come to mind. Primary season is in full swing.