FOR RELEASE: February 29, 2012
CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, firstname.lastname@example.org 
Washington: NETWORK deeply regrets the decision by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to retire from the U.S. Senate. We have been greatly concerned in recent years about the growing partisan divide on Capitol Hill, which has made it far more difficult to pass reasonable legislation. Senator Snowe, as a Republican moderate, gave us hope that some of the polarization might be overcome, and her retirement makes achieving that goal harder.
After learning about Senator Snowe’s decision, Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK’s Executive Director, stated, “Senator Snowe’s retirement is bad news for our nation. Polarization and gridlock on Capitol Hill only serve to undercut our democracy. Senator Snowe was able to move beyond party interests to a concern for what was right for all of us. She will be missed.”
NETWORK has published congressional voting records for almost four decades and Senator Snowe’s score has been consistently higher than most Republicans in recent years. Her willingness to vote her conscience instead of casting each vote in lockstep with party demands was refreshing at a time of such intense partisan rancor.
During her announcement, she is reported to have said, “As I enter a new chapter, I see a vital need for the political center in order for our democracy to flourish and to find solutions that unite rather than divide us. It is time for change in the way we govern…”
At NETWORK, we couldn’t agree more, and we hope that Senator Snowe will do what she can from outside the Senate to help make that happen. We wish her well.