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Political Chat: Merkley Takes Aim At NSA, Hales At Adams

The flames of controversy over the Government’s surveillance program were fanned a little by Oregon’s junior Senator this week. At a Senate hearing, Senator Jeff Merkley waved his cell phone in the air, and asked the chief of the National Security Agency.

“What authorized investigation gave you the grounds for acquiring my cell phone data?”

NSA Chief Keith Alexander basically said, sorry that’s classified. Oregon’s two Senators have introduced a bill that would declassify such information.

Meanwhile, six months after the deadly shooting after the Clackamas Town Center, there’s evidence that gun control legislation may not quite be dead in Salem.

And Portland Mayor Charlie Hales faced questions about the behavior and budgetary choices of two prominent city officials.

We dig into these developments — as we do every Friday — with our political guys. Bill Lunch is OPB’s Political Analyst. Jeff Mapes is the senior political reporter for The Oregonian.

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