Snowe joins bipartisan center, will focus on political reform

BDN photo by Kevin Bennett

Recently retired Sen. Olympia Snowe is joining a group founded by her predecessor, Democrat George Mitchell, to co-chair a commission focused on recommending reforms to bridge the partisan political divide.

The Bipartisan Policy Center on Wednesday said Snowe, whose three terms in the Senate ended early last month, will serve as co-chair of the center’s Commission on Political Reform. The commission’s 30 members will conduct a series of “National Conversations on American Unity” and develop specific reform recommendations, the center announced in a news release.

Mitchell founded the Bipartisan Policy Center in 2007 along with fellow former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle, a Democrat; Bob Dole, a Republican; and Howard Baker, a Republican.

Snowe’s former adviser and chief of staff, John Richter, is also joining the Bipartisan Policy Center as a senior adviser, the group said.

Snowe, a Republican, announced last winter she didn’t plan to run for re-election to her Senate seat, citing an atmosphere of hyperpartisanship and gridlock in Washington, D.C.

In addition to working with the bipartisan center, Snowe is writing a book in her retirement. She’s also using her remaining campaign funds to start up a leadership institute for young women and a political action committee that she says will support centrist candidates from both parties.