In his two terms in office, Democrat Hardy Myers has been a champion for consumers as attorney general. His record of service has been solid.
Republican challenger Paul Connolly, however, ups the ante with his call for the office of attorney general to not only protect consumers from unscrupulous corporations but to protect businesses from the bureacracy of the executive branch.
State agencies write administrative rules to implement the laws passed by the legislature. Connolly wants the attorney general to review those rules with an eye towards limiting unintended side effects of implementing new laws.
It's a novel approach for the state's law firm to not just defend state agencies but to restrain them from adding to the state's dizzying array of administrative rules.
But in an era where Oregon has achieved a reputation as a state overly rich in regulations, review of rules in search of excessive regulations or over-reaching of the law's goals is a worthy goal for the attorney general's office.
Connolly's also a good fit for Baker County. He has won endorsements from the Oregon Farm Bureau and AG-Pac, as well as the National Federation of Independent Businesses. In a county where agriculture remains the number one industry, having an attorney general who has represented farmers and ranchers in his private practices looks like a bonus to us.
Oregon won't lose with another term of Myers. But Connolly delivers a vision for the office of attorney general that is more aggressive in its approach not only to companies that prey on consumers, but government agencies that impede our economy through unnecessary regulation.
For Baker County, at least, that tips the scale in Connolly's favor.