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July 18th, 2012 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Kroger’s Legacy and Occupy Still Making Waves

City to Occupy: Why don’t you do it in the road?

murmurs_kroger_3837KROGER - IMAGE: Leah Nash
  • Ex-Attorney General John Kroger has left for Reed College, but his legacy at the Oregon Department of Justice continues. On July 2, the Harrang Long Gary Rudnick law firm sent the state a $431,000 bill,  having won a public-records battle with the DOJ related to a 2010 investigation into the Oregon Department of Energy. The bill reveals Harrang Long lawyer Dave Frohnmayer, former AG and ex-University of Oregon president, bills at $550 an hour. Kroger’s successor, Ellen Rosenblum, who was aided in her primary election by Harrang Long lawyers, is appealing the judges’ ruling that the DOJ pay Harrang Long. Meanwhile, Rosenblum has yet to make the office her own. More than two weeks after she was sworn in as AG, callers to the DOJ still get a voice mail that says, “You’ve reached the office of Attorney General John Kroger.”
  • You don’t spend a lifetime in politics without recognizing fundraising opportunities. U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer was on C-SPAN July 10 when a Vietnam veteran called in and said anti-war protesters had thrown urine and feces on him when he came back to the U.S. A caller identifying herself as “Marilyn from Gearhart” apologized to the man and blamed “leftists like Mr. Blumenauer, no doubt.” Blumenauer fired back that her statement was “outrageous”—and then took about five minutes to exploit the incident in a fundraising letter. “I won’t be afraid to fight for our values when challenged,” Blumenauer wrote to supporters that day. “Will you stand with me by offering a generous contribution of $5, $25, or $100 to help fight back against these false allegations?” Blumenauer, in Congress since 1996, faces token opposition in November.
  • Justin James Bridges got momentary attention last fall when he claimed Portland police “brutalized” him while arresting him during their  Nov. 13 clearance of Occupy Portland’s camps in Lownsdale and Chapman squares. Bridges, who was hospitalized, said police aggravated his injured back when they arrested him, and now he’s using a wheelchair. On July 15, he sued the city in U.S. District Court for $3 million in damages. See video police released of his arrest here.... Meanwhile, camper-in-chief Cameron Whitten plans to mark the 50th day of his City Hall hunger strike with a July 20 rally attended by mayoral candidates Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales. The place might be spiffed up: The City of Portland last week told protesters outside City Hall to stop piling up their belongings, quit smoking pot and refrain from having sex on the sidewalk. The letter followed by one day WW’s report (see “Ratlandia,” WW, July 11, 2012) that officials link the brown rat infestation in nearby Terry Schrunk Plaza to the detritus left by Occupiers.
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