SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-Oregon's leading victims' right group has rebuked state attorney general candidate Greg Macpherson for his claims that he has "protected" Oregonians from sexual predators.
Macpherson, a three-term state legislator, in a TV ad released this week is attempting to "appear tough on crime," said Crime Victims United of Oregon.
Crime Victims United president Steve Doell said as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Macpherson blocked six important anti-sex predator bills from being heard in the 2007 legislative session.
"He claims to be protecting Oregonians yet there are these six bills," Doell told Legal Newsline on Wednesday.
Among legislation Doell says Macpherson blocked was House Bill 3003, which would have made it illegal for the state to fund and give Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs to convicted sexual predators.
"Why Representative Macpherson would permit using taxpayer dollars to give Viagra to sex offenders baffles me. It defies logic, safety and reason," Doell said.
"It's like the state funding guns for convicted murderers - Macpherson's actions make everyone less safe," he quipped.
Defending his position, Macpherson told LNL he is opposed to the state providing Viagra to sex offenders, but because the state has never paid for the medication for sex offenders, "it was unnecessary to pass a law prohibiting something that doesn't happen in Oregon."
He added, "We simply don't need laws that serve no purpose."
Macpherson said the Judiciary Committee considers hundreds of bills each session, and it's not possible to hold hearings on each of them.
"We focus our efforts on the bills that address the most pressing needs," he said, adding that the six bills cited by Crime Victims United "didn't meet that standard."
Macpherson, an employee benefits attorney at the Portland firm of Stoel Rives LLP, is running against fellow Democrat John Kroger for the Democratic nomination.
Kroger, a law school professor and former federal prosecutor, has been endorsed by Crime Victims United as well as many of the state's district attorneys.
Macpherson, meanwhile, has been endorsed by retiring Attorney General Hardy Myers and Gov. Ted Kulongoski, both Democrats.
Since no Republican in running for the post, the attorney general race in the Beaver State will all but be decided in the May 20 primary.
From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at email@example.com.