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Political Reporter

Dirk VanderHart


Dirk VanderHart covers Oregon politics and government for OPB. Before barging onto the radio in 2018, he spent more than a decade as a newspaper reporter—much of that time reporting on city government for the Portland Mercury. He’s also had stints covering chicanery in Southwest Missouri, the wilds of Ohio in Ohio, and all things Texas on Capitol Hill.

Dirk’s byline has appeared in USA Today, The New York Times, The Houston Chronicle, The Columbus Dispatch, The Oregonian, and more. He’s got a journalism degree from Michigan State University.

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Recent Articles

'OPB Politics Now': Special Legislative Session Nixed, Rose Quarter Project Moves Forward

The Oregon legislature will not come back for a special session to deal with COVID-19 — at least not yet.

Economy | Health | Politics | local | News

Oregon Gov. Brown Suggests Special Session To Address Coronavirus Is Not Imminent

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wants to figure out what federal aid can accomplish before drawing down the state's uncertain funds. 

Business | Economy | World | News

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Bans Commercial Evictions, Strengthens Protections For Residents

The order is among the strongest actions Brown has taken to limit economic consequences for those impacted by the ongoing public health crisis.

Health | local | News

Oregon Health Lab Runs COVID-19 Test For Governor, Contradicting Guidelines

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown exhibited none of the symptoms state officials say they're prioritizing for limited public health lab testing. Her test came back negative. 

local | Politics | News

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Has A Cold

Brown's husband, Dan Little, tested negative for COVID-19 last week. The governor has been told she doesn't require a test, her office says. 

Health | Politics | local | News

Here's How Oregon State Lawmakers Want To Handle COVID-19

A legislative committee in Oregon has recommended temporarily banning all evictions and foreclosures, increasing homeless shelters and more to address the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics | Health | Election | local | News

'OPB Politics Now': The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Effect On Campaign Politics

This week, we look at how the coronavirus pandemic is changing your May and November ballots.

Health | local | News | Business | Politics | World

Can Oregon's Best Salespeople Convince Residents To Stay Home?

Gov. Kate Brown's office is tapping preeminent Portland ad firm Wieden+Kennedy for help communication the urgency of the coronavirus.

Business | local | News

Oregon Delays Personal Income Tax Deadline Until July

The decision mimics a move announced by the federal government last week. 

World | local | Politics | News

Oregon's Legislature Knows They Have Big Problems, But Answers Are Unclear

Lawmakers stress that they must act quickly, but no one knows how much money the state will have to spend. 

local | News

Gov. Kate Brown Issues Order Directing Oregonians To 'Stay Home'

The order allows Oregonians to venture out for essential errands and for some exercise. It takes effect immediately. 

Health | local | News

Gov. Kate Brown Halts Oregon Evictions, As Calls For Action Grow

Under the governor's order, residential evictions for nonpayment of rent will cease for 90 days. 

Nation | Health | World | local | News

Governor, Portland Mayor, Multnomah Chair: Stay At Home, Stay Healthy

The leaders of Oregon, Portland and Multnomah County say they want Oregonians to stick close to home except for essential functions. 

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Swift Action To Address Virus Outbreak

An eviction freeze, no-interest loans, and to-go cocktails are on the table. 

Family | Health | local | Communities | Nation | World | News

'Sounding The Alarm': Lawmakers Hear Of Dire Toll COVID-19 Is Having On Oregon

In its first hearing, a legislative committee addressing the pandemic heard a dizzying litany of challenges the state faces. 

Nation | Health | local | News

Oregon Orders All Restaurants And Bars To Restrict Access, And Bans Groups Larger Than 25

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday she is banning seated dining at the state’s bars and restaurants and banning gatherings of more than 25 people.

Health | Politics | local | News

Former Gov. Kitzhaber: Oregon 'Behind The Curve' In Expanding Hospital Capacity Amid Virus

In a five-page statement, the former emergency room doctor says Oregon must act more urgently for the expanding crisis.

Health | Politics | local | News

From Confidence To Deep Concern: How 2 Weeks Changed Oregon's Coronavirus Response

Gov. Kate Brown's administration was certain it could handle the coronavirus — then the pandemic arrived. 

local | Politics | Environment | News

Gov. Kate Brown Orders State Action On Climate Change

The executive order Gov. Kate Brown issued Tuesday contains similar provisions to a cap-and-trade bill that failed this month. But it adds more sweeping steps, too. 

Health | Politics | News

After A Dud Session, Oregon Lawmakers Agree On Emergency Spending

Republicans and Democrats unanimously supported funds for flood repairs and the coronavirus —  but money aimed at climate change was different.