|Oregon Attorney General|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2008|
|First elected||November 4, 2008|
|Place of birth||Ohio|
|Profession||President of Reed College|
Although Kroger was born in Ohio, he spent most of his young life in Indiana and Texas. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1983 at the age of seventeen, serving in a Force Reconnaissance Companies (FORECON) unit, a special operations force providing pertinent military intelligence to the combined combat elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). He volunteered to go to Lebanon in the wake of the United States invasion of Grenada, but President Ronald Reagan withdrew United States forces following the 1983 Beirut barracks terrorist bombing attack before Kroger's unit could be transferred.
Upon graduating from Yale University, Kroger moved to Washington, D.C. in order to work as a legislative assistant to United States Representative Tom Foley (D-Washington-5) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York). He was appointed in 1991 to act as Bill Clinton's Deputy Policy Director for his 1992 presidential campaign. Following Clinton's victory, he served as part of the president-elect's transition team. For a short time during Clinton's inaugural year in office, Kroger was a senior policy analyst at the United States Treasury Department.
Shortly after obtaining his law degree from Harvard, he worked as a clerk for a federal appellate judge in Brooklyn, New York. Kroger later joined the United States Attorney's office there as a federal prosecutor. It wasn't long before he obtained his first high-profile conviction, that of New York Mafia captain Gregory Scarpa, Jr. for racketeering and multiple homicides after a five-week trial. He also handled drug trafficking cases, successfully litigating against drug kingpin Juan "La Puma" Rodriguez and Colombian organized crime family boss Alphonse Persico, to name just a few.
In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, Kroger worked extensively with the Federal Bureau of Investigations running down leads on potential New York-based terrorist cells through the allocation of search warrants and subpoenas. A year later he moved to Oregon where he replaced the ailing criminal law professor Bill Williamson at the Lewis & Clark Law School. In his time there, he received the Award for Teaching Excellence three times.
Kroger was also won the Sarah Winnemucca Award for Creative Nonfiction (2009) from Oregon Book Awards.
- Bachelor's degree, Yale University (1990) in philosophy
- Master's degree, Yale University in philosophy
- Juris Doctorate degree, Harvard Law School (1996)
Attorney General (2008-2012)
Kroger was first elected Oregon's attorney general in November of 2008. In an announcement that surprised many of his colleagues in the Oregon Justice Department, Kroger announced October 18, 2011 he would not seek a second term in office in 2012. Kroger had recently been diagnosed with "a significant but non-life-threatening medical condition" and stated, "Though I believe very much in public service, my wife and I agree that my health and our family come first."
Kroger vacated his position on June 29 to become president of Reed College in Portland. After coordinating with Governor of Oregon John Kitzhaber on a plan to guarantee the office's coverage in the intervening period before his successor takes over in January, they decided to appoint 2012 Democratic nominee for attorney general Ellen Rosenblum to serve out the remainder of his term. 
Attorney General John Kroger sent Oregon voters mixed signals in regards to keeping his campaign promise of improving governmental openness. Though he appointed one of his attorneys, Michael Kron, to serve as the public records 'czar' in an effort to facilitate a "statewide standard for releasing government documents," his office suggested that when it comes to criminal cases not only would Kroger not comment on them, he would not even confirm or deny open investigations on civil matters; a significant break with what had been done in the past. Some have said that this move "signals a loss of service for consumers."
Furthermore, an interview Kroger gave with the Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) program, Think Out Loud, in December 2009 questioned his knowledge of the authority his office had to order agencies to do anything related to public records:
"Well, we are the legal adviser...In many cases I won't be able to order a state agency to release something. All I can do is tell them whether under the law whether we believe it should be released or not. In some cases, they may have a very solid argument for not releasing something that frankly I would prefer as a policy matter to release, so ultimately, I don't control the system." 
The Attorney General's Public Records and Meetings Manual, which Kroger made available online for free upon entering office, states without question that any individual who requests public records can appeal an agency's refusal to the attorney general, who "acts not as legal counsel for state agencies, but in a quasi-judicial role." In addition, the manual states further that "if the Attorney General orders the agency to disclose the record, the agency must comply with the order in full within seven days."
Sued by veterans group
Kroger faced a court hearing in November in Eugene after an Oregon-based veterans group brought a case against him. The Oregon War Veterans Association was created in 2003 to “assist other, less active veteran organizations and veterans who do not belong to another established veteran service organization (VSO).”
OWVA works to serve other veteran service organizations in a “team effort to affect some of the systemic problems relating to the government’s benefits and services,” the website says.
The OWVA filed suit for a Permanent Injunction on October 22, 2010 against Kroger, in conjunction with a request for a Restraining Order. The restraining order was denied.
The OWVA said it is pursuing the suit to protect its private donors’ and members’ personal information from being released to the media through an audit performed by the Attorney General’s office.
|2008 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary |
|John Kroger (D)||55.8%|
|Greg Macpherson (D)||43.9%|
On November 4, 2008, John R. Kroger won election to the office of Oregon Attorney General. He defeated James E. Leuenberger (C), J. Ashlee Albies (WF) and Walter F. Brown (PG) in the general election.
|Oregon Attorney General, 2008|
|Democratic||John R. Kroger||72.6%||1,096,507|
|Constitution||James E. Leuenberger||11.2%||168,866|
|Working Families||J. Ashlee Albies||10.7%||161,655|
|Pacific Green||Walter F. Brown||5.1%||76,856|
|Election Results Via: Oregon Secretary of State|
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Kroger's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|John Kroger's Campaign Contributions|
Attorney General of Oregon
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$6,635 (Constitution Party)|
|Top 5 contributors||Oregon Public Employees Local 503||$320,958|
|Oregon Education Association||$50,000|
|The Bill National||$34,496|
|Democratic Attorneys General Association||$25,000|
|Rudy and Linda Kroger||$25,000 each|
Department of Justice
1162 Court Street Northeast
Salem, OR 97301-4096
Phone: (503) 378-4400
Toll Free Phone: (800) 735-2900
- Official Oregon Attorney General website
- John Kroger's Facebook profile
- Lewis & Clark Law School - John Kroger faculty biography
- Project Vote Smart - John Kroger biography
- OregonLive.com, "Oregon Attorney General John Kroger shocks employees with announcement that he won't seek re-election," October 18, 2011
- Oregon Department of Justice, "Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenlbum," accessed June 29, 2012
- The Daily Astorian, "Oregon Attorney General Candidate Visits Astoria," April 26, 2012
- Oregon Live "Kroger appoints public records czar but limits consumer information" 2 Dec. 2009
- Oregon Live "Kroger's "not very clear response" on public records act" 8 Dec. 2009
- Oregon Department of Justice - Public Records and Meetings Manual
- "Veterans group files suit against AG over privacy issues," Oregon Capitol News, November 8, 2010
- Oregon Secretary of State: Elections Division - 2008 Primary Election Results
- Follow the Money.org
Hardy Myers (D)
|Attorney General of Oregon
2009 - 2012
| Succeeded by|
Ellen Rosenblum (D)