Friday, January 16, 2009

John Kroger is going to be worse than we thought

Our new Attorney General John Kroger is going to be a nightmare. Many of my friends in the conservative movement supported him, and I told them all at the time that they would rue the day.  

I realize they did it because of Greg MacPherson's work to get Measure 37 repealed by Measure 49. I get that. But Kroger is going to do tremendous harm to what's left of our economy  through his environmental activism. He can't wait to make headlines. 

Just this week he spoke at the anti-LNG rally on the capitol steps along with all the enviro-loonies. Word is the governor's office is steamed that he would basically take sides as an advocate when Kroger's office will be very involved is certain aspects of the issue. For one, the governor has indicated he will be suing FERC for its approval of the Bradford Landing LNG site license. Guess who litigates the suit on "behalf" of the state? Kroger.

How can Kroger, in his role of AG, fairly apply the law concerning the LNG proposal when he has already publicly chosen sides on the issue? He can't. 

Word also has it that Kroger marched into the Guv's office last week and demanded that he get $100 million more in the AG's budget for his enforcement division. The Guv reportedly told him to go jump. He explained the facts of life to him: The AG's office is UNDERNEATH the governor, and does not have autonomous budgeting authority. The AG's budget was proposed by Hardy Meyers, and was rolled into the Governor's budget proposal. Not only was this not the right time to go adding ANY amount to the AG budget-  but the fact is that by the time the May re-forecast is revealed, it is likely that the AG budget will face CUTS from the guv's current budget, not a $100 million increase.

And Kroger left with his tail between his Napolean-length legs. 

I'm telling you - this guy is going to be a nightmare.


OregonGuy said...

I don't think we've rationally reviewed our commitment to green issues. In fact, I would suggest that our support of the Governor's and the AG's Green Agenda has fallen hideously short.

We are standing at a moment of epochal change. And both of us have, till this point, failed to take up the cross of this new epoch. This is our failure. Or, at least yours. I have taken up the cross of the new Epoch of Change. And I'm afraid I'm going to be a little harsher as a task master than even the Governor or the AG.

I propose we mandate that all new state construction be created from renewable resources and green materials.

From the Governor today comes these words, “While the facts of the economy continue to shift, we cannot shift our focus from doing all that we can to protect investments in the foundation on which our economy rests – children, education, health care, renewable energy, green technology, and transportation."

Our economy's foundation rest on children. And education. And health care. And renewable energy. And green technology. And, uh, transportation.

Well, it's time to put up or shut up. We need to mandate these things. No government funds should be spent on anything less. Either we use this opportunity to prove the value of the Governor's agenda, or we allow him to fail.

And it would be a failure we would all share in.

We need to mandate that all building materials are either 100 percent recycled or contain no carbon. Same with the fuels that run the equipment used to build these projects. No fossil fuels! Only Green Fuels!

And electricity from hydro or coal fired plants.

We need to make the change the Governor wants. And, we need to do it now.

Or, let's not spend a penny.

Anonymous said...

Okay, help me out. Is Oregon guy being sarcastic? If he is I like it, if he's not he needs to get a better grip on the issues and facts.

Rob's right about Kroger. For gosh sakes why is the Attorney General even talking about something like this? Most attorneys keep their mouths shut lest they something stupid. Kroger has taken his first public notice and made a fool of himself.

Honestly, how do we get such people in position of power like this?

Steve Plunk

Anonymous said...

Anyone else hear the rumor that Kroger canned two DOJ attorneys from Hardy's staff because of differences over land use issues (m37/49)?

It may be that Kroger doesn't just have union debts to pay off.

Anonymous said...

Kroger hired Brent Foster as his lead attorney on environmental law enforcement. Foster's previous job: head of Columbia Riverkeepers, the main group opposing LNG. Direct conflict of interest? As deep as it gets! The state of Oregon is going to get slapped down bad and the governor is going to is, unfortunately, going to take the heat on it. He has come out in support of the need for LNG. He sees it as a necessary bridge fuel until greener energy sources can be developed. The governor is an attorney and loves to exhaust legal protections, however the statements by the new AG will blow up on him and the state.

Anonymous said...

Kroger's green agenda is only half of it. Look at who bankrolled him. He will be a total stooge of the unions. Of course, in their disarray,the Republicans could not even field a candidate. I think the "conservatives" who blew off the Constitution Party candidate, Jim Leuenberger, will be experiencing some buyer's remorse.

Conservative in Southern Oregon said...

I am a conservative that was at the rally on Tuesday at the capitol and found it interesting how the media misquoted what attorney general, John Kroger said. He made the statement that it did not make sense to become dependant on more sources of foreign energy when we can see what our dependency on foreign oil has done to this country.

The gas and oil industry has been in control and even changed energy policy for their benefit. They are trampling over our state and the law to ramrod their projects through while the Bush administration is in power. Kroger stated he would defend the law.

Kroger was elected by a grassroots effort and owes no one but the people that elected him any favors. It's about time we had officials in office that will stand up and do what is best for the people, not just the corporates and their money that have bought most of them off getting them elected.

I for one am looking forward to some of the corruption in this state being dealt with by a new attorney general who gets it and is not afraid to do what is right for all the people in this state.

Don't Take My Property said...

I'm for private property rights and anyone who supports LNG is for the taking of private property through eminent domain for a FOREIGN ENERGY COMPANY. Kroger wants to stop this, and I support him for that.

Rob Kremer said...

First, the company behind the Bradford Landing LNG facility is not a foreign company.

Second, if private landowners who dont want the pipeline through their property, the company can route it only through willing landowners and public property.

Third, Kroger's opposition has NOTHING to do with property rights.

Conservative: I'm not buying your argument. So Kroger is against more "foreign sources" of energy? So then of course he would support offshore drilling in the US, right?

Please. He is an enviro extremist, as evidenced by his hiring of Brent Foster.

Jack Roberts said...

I'm sorry, but the exteme anti-eminent domain position is a little hard to fathom. The right to eminent domain has been recognized in our Bill of Rights from the inception. Government must pay reasonable compensation, but it may take property for public use.

Historically, that has not been limited to public ownership. It's how we got railroads, gas lines, electricity . . . you name it.

Rob is right: Kroger's opposition to LNG, like that of other environmentalists, has nothing to do with private property rights.

Rob Kremer said...

Jack -
You are correct in that the railroads were examples of eminent domain used for private sector projects. But I am still uncomfortable with governments using eminent domain for private companies - maybe because I think it will be abused, much as governments regularly abuse urban renewal.

In the case of a pipeline - well, that certainly seems pretty much the equivalent of transportation infrastructure, so I bristle a heck of a lot less with the notion of eminent domain being used, even though the company is private.

But I still am uncomfortable with the government being able to condemn private property for use by private entities, because it won't always be for true infrastructure projects like pipelines - it will be used like Salem did for Keizer Station: condemned land sold to developers to build projects favored by politicians.

Is there any way to limit abuses of this government power?

OregonGuy said...

Something lost in the discussion of LNG is the existence of our current natural gas pipeline network.

I, like thousands of others living in Clatsop County, use natural gas to heat my home.

Surprised? It seems the opposition crowd wants to parse the existence of current pipelines from the argument. In the City of Astoria there isn't a street that doesn't have this dangerous substance running beneath.

In a December 8, 2006 article, which is now hidden behind a subscriber firewall, it was reported that the building of the proposed pipeline would have substantial benefits for area residents.

(Excerpts here:

There are residents in the county that understand the importance of development. Perhaps the Governor's plan to spend us into jobs will repress the mature understanding of how economies work for those who continue to resist development. There are, as always, winners and losers that are determined by market forces. And market forces will always be more robust than government mandates.

Unfortunately, many of those who purport to embrace Change! actually support greater stasis. They fail to see that the less things change, the more things change. And not for the better.

Anonymous said...

If the media were straightforward in their coverage of Kroger, they would point out that after the unions elected him, well financed his campaign as payback to McPherson for supporting PERS reform at Kulongoksi's request, Kroger appointed union lawyer Margaret Olney as his head of his initiative efforts.

Hiring Kroger is the equivalent of Kulongoski's hiring of Trehune, Nesbitt and Wentz, the three union activists to whom he handed over his office after the unions elected him.

Nigel Jaquis, if the O won't cover this story and chronicle the obvious conflicts of interest this creates, you should. The ex-governor of Illinois is a saint when compared to the crass way Kulongoski and Kroger have sold their offices to the unions who funded their campaigns.