Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in partnership with former Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.) announced today the launch of a new organization aimed at fostering bipartisanship in Washington. The group is the Commission on Political Reform and, as with every outside group trying to effect change, it plans to start a “national conversation.”
Snowe and Glickman write in USA Today:
Our group will hold “National Conversations on American Unity” around the country, starting March 6 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in California, inviting people across the nation to join the dialogue online. Average Americans of differing political and cultural views need to begin talking with one another, just as politicians in Washington must, if we are to bridge the partisan divide and compel action.
Today’s heightened divisions should not doom America to gridlock. The political system has to function despite this divide. To help move us forward, our commission will therefore make policy recommendations in three areas: electoral system reform, congressional reform and encouragement of greater public service.
Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) were named last month the national leaders for No Labels, an organization that promotes “a new politics of problem solving.” Hear anything about them?
Americans Elect is a non-profit that tried drafting an independent presidential candidate in the 2012 election. Its goal was to create “the first nonpartisan, national online presidential primary.” It flopped.
In 2011, former presidents George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton teamed up to help star the National Institute for Civil Discourse. Turn on cable news to see the fruits of that labor.
Snowe retired from the Senate in 2012, citing hyper partisanship and gridlock on the Hill as a big reason for her exit.