Mike Simpson is running out of friends in his own Republican Party.  The Nez Perce County GOP has issued a blistering 8 page denunciation of the Idaho United States Representative.  Over the weekend of May 8th, he may face censure by the entire state Republican Party Committee.

Simpson is proposing removing four dams from the lower Snake River.  He believes it will increase returns of salmon and steelhead from the Columbia River.

Nez Perce County is home to the Port of Lewiston, which could be devastated by any such move.

Nez Perce County is home to the Port of Lewiston, which could be devastated by any such move.  There are also other concerns across Idaho about increased costs for electricity and a potential water shortage.  At the very time much of the state is experiencing long term drought.

One of the drafters of the statement from the Nez Perce Republicans is an outfitter and guide.  He explains salmon and steelhead runs were actually higher after construction of the dams for a 50 year period.  Then over the last two decades it tailed off.  Suggesting the presence of fishing boats dragging in international waters is the cause for a drop in fish populations.

The dams have a series of ladders to assist fish returning to spawning grounds and making seasonal runs.

There is increasing chatter within the GOP about Simpson facing a primary challenge next year.  If he doesn’t choose to announce his retirement.  A loss in a primary in 13 months could well derail his plans for tearing out the dams.  He would be forced to leave office by the end of 2022.

 

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