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Dams, Caucuses And Harassment: The Week's Top Political Developments

Copco dam, on the upper Klamath River, is one of four PacifiCorp dams slated for removal.

Copco dam, on the upper Klamath River, is one of four PacifiCorp dams slated for removal.

Amelia Templeton/EARTHFIX

The week in politics was dominated by reports from the Iowa caucuses, the first step in selecting delegates to the major party conventions. New Hampshire will hold a primary next Tuesday.

In the Northwest, we use both primaries and caucuses. Oregon has a primary, though it isn’t until May. Washington holds caucuses, starting soon, but it has a primary too.

Also this week, an agreement in principle was reached on bringing down four dams on the Klamath River, even without Congress.

And in Portland, the highest-ranking woman in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office is preparing a lawsuit, charging Sheriff Dan Staton with harassment.

Bill Lunch, OPB’s political analyst, and Jeff Mapes, OPB’s senior political reporter, talk with Morning Edition host Geoff Norcross about this week’s political developments. Here is a look at some of the questions that came up:

  • Congress couldn’t agree on a plan to bring those dams on the Klamath down. Who made this deal, and how did they do it?
  • Why has the dam removal piece of the agreement been such a poison pill on Capitol Hill?
  • Meanwhile, Linda Yankee highest-ranked woman in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office is charging that Sheriff Dan Staton has harassed her — and others — in that office. She’s about to file a lawsuit. What has she alleged and what has the reaction been?
  • These charges bear a resemblance to those made against former Oregon Senator Bob Packwood, starting in 1992, that eventually led to his resignation from the Senate. Is that a fair parallel?
  • The 2016 legislative session is underway. What’s the tone of the legislature this time around?
  • This week, the results of the Iowa caucuses got a great deal of attention, at least among political junkies. The New Hampshire primary is coming in a few days, on Tuesday. Oregon has a primary to select delegates to the national party conventions, while Washington uses caucuses and also holds a primary. How can we make sense of all of this?

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