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Former U.S. Senator Addresses Political Dysfunction

Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine
Courtesy of Olympia Snowe

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe cited partisanship when she announced her retirement in 2012.

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” the Republican from Maine said in a statement. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”

Snowe will be the keynote speaker at the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ political ethics conference on Nov. 14, where she will address political dysfunction, which remains a problem, Snowe told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday. 

Compromise is a dirty word, she said, as politicians try to carve out their own spaces instead of working together to solve problems.

“They’re more concerned about their re-elections than they are taking a risk by working across the political aisle,” she said. “Ultimately, the American people are victims to this polarization and partisanship.”

Snowe citizens are losing faith in their elected officials.

“The only way that can be reversed is in the hands of those who will be elected in this election year, and whether or not they’re prepared to jettison the politics of the past and move this country forward by being willing to work with the other side.”

Related Event

The Ethics of Political Dysfunction: “What to Do when the System Breaks Down?”

  • When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14, 2014
  • Where: Millennium Student Center, University of Missouri–St. Louis
  • Cost: $45
  • More information

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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