Maine lawmakers push post-partisanship -- in DC

It will be no surprise that the Democrats and Republicans in the Maine Legislature can agree on one thing, and one thing only - that any problems they are facing can be fixed in Washington, if only DC politicians would get over their partisan bickering. At least that's the thrust of an e-mail press release from "Divided We Fail," an AARP-backed effort to push Congress to deal with health care and the economy.

Let's take some of their quotes out of context (full context below) and take bets on how many times you think legislative leaders will utter these words about affairs in Maine:

 “This isn’t about party affiliation or ideology,” said Senate President [Libby] Mitchell, “This is about the need for action.  For the health of our citizens, our businesses and our economy, we must work together to address these issues.”

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Raye joined his Democratic colleague, noting that “Nobody gains when partisan gridlock stands in the way of progress on important issues," said Senate Republican Leader Kevin Raye, who went on to say, "I believe Republicans and Democrats have a responsibility to work together in a good faith effort to find common ground."

We should credit House leaders Hannah Pingree and Josh Tardy with being more honest, focusing their comments on fixing healthcare, and not on collaboration.

And we shouldn't buy the crap these folks are spouting. We know better than to expect results from our lawmakers.

 

Here's the full release, for the strong-of-stomach:

Divided We Fail Builds Momentum in Maine

Bipartisan group of legislators commit to breaking partisan gridlock on the crises in health care and economic security

Augusta – Today a bipartisan coalition of legislative leaders announced a resolution urging Congress to take action on health care and financial security as the second phase of the Divided We Fail campaign shifts into high gear. 

“This isn’t about party affiliation or ideology,” said Senate President Mitchell, “This is about the need for action.  For the health of our citizens, our businesses and our economy, we must work together to address these issues.”  Senate Republican Leader Kevin Raye joined his Democratic colleague, noting that “Nobody gains when partisan gridlock stands in the way of progress on important issues like making health care coverage more affordable and accessible.  As a small business owner and as my party’s leader in the Maine Senate, I believe Republicans and Democrats have a responsibility to work together in a good faith effort to find common ground on issues critical to the future security, health and prosperity of Mainers and all Americans.”

Divided We Fail’s combined membership of 53 million, made up of AARP, Business Roundtable, NFIB, and SEIU, spent this past election season making sure that every politician knew just how desperately important health and financial security are to every American. This new level of diversity has garnered the support of millions of  people – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, union workers and CEOs, large and small. This same diversity of support will be critical to breaking through political gridlock and moving the nation toward solutions.

“Access to affordable health care and financial security are completely intertwined,” said Speaker of the House, Representative Hannah Pingree, “If you don’t have access to affordable health care, you don’t have financial security. We need to find compromises that benefit all Americans.”  House Republican Leader, Representative Joshua Tardy agreed, “Businesses can’t compete globally until our health care costs are in check. Employers want to offer quality benefits, but the costs have become prohibitive.”

“We thank our legislative leaders in Maine for not only endorsing the efforts of Divided We Fail, but also for sponsoring a joint resolution to send a message to Congress and President-Elect Obama, asking them to take action on health care and financial security,” said AARP Maine State Director Nancy Kelleher.  “We can’t afford to wait.”

“Every member of our federal delegation in Maine, along with over 360 members of Congress, have committed to put aside partisan bickering and take action on health care and financial security,” added Kelleher.  “Divided We Fail, but together we can do anything.”

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