What do an airport bathroom in Minnesota, Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) and the wild salmon have in common? The future of each depends on what may have happened in that airport bathroom and what that means for the Idaho Senator's political clout in Washington D.C. Already Craig's relinquished his powerful committee seats in the U.S. Senate.
Civil engineers have developed great aids to salmon migration from ocean to headwaters in western American rivers. Fish ladders of various kinds have been installed. You can go here to watch migrating fish, in season, as they pass up the Columbia past the huge Bonneville Dam. But the tech aids for salmon don't work without water. Conservation groups now say Craig's self-inflicted predicament leaves him with less power and that's good news for the salmon who need more water.
One salmon support group specifically cites Craig as an obstacle to salmon conservation because of how he influences federal regulations about western rivers. Apparently Craig's favorite salmon-saving idea is to cut off federal efforts, leaving it to the states who have little money and are more pro-timber and pro-rancher. Here's the federal government's own site describing salmon recovery efforts.
BTW, here's the latest on Sen. Craig's effort to take back his guilty plea to lewd conduct in that infamous bathroom in that Minnesota airport. Craig's hoping to stick around the Senate and continue batting down those uppity salmon-lovers and protect America's true interests from those damned fish.
That's Sen Craig's official Senate photo, taken in plumier days when he ruled, and salmon got the dry shoulder.