Olympia J. Snowe

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Olympia Snowe
OlympiaSnowe.jpg
Former U.S. Senator from Maine
From: January 4, 1995 – January 3, 2013
PredecessorGeorge Mitchell
SuccessorAngus King
Former U.S. Representative from Maine's 2nd District
From: January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1995
PredecessorWilliam Cohen
SuccessorJohn Baldacci
Information
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Peter Snowe (deceased)
John R. McKernan, Jr.
Religion Orthodox

Olympia J. Snowe (b. 1947) is a former Republican United States Senator from Maine. She is a liberal on many current issues and calls herself a moderate. She supports abortion, gay rights and amnesty for Illegal Aliens. In fiscal matters and on defense, Snowe is somewhat conservative, though she rejected fiscal sanity, voting nay on Cut, Cap and Balance. She was a supporter of Operation Iraqi Freedom and voted for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2002. In the Obama administration, she was one of only three Republicans to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additionally, voting with Democrats on Carbon Emissions Cap and Trade Plan. She was a member of a group of six Senators trying to craft a socialist health care bill. Snowe stated that she has asked President Obama to "take the public option off the table", and added "I don't support a public option, and none of my Republican colleagues do." [1]

Snowe began her career in national politics in 1978 when she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Since then she has never lost an election. In 2006, she was named one of "America's Top Ten Senators" by Time Magazine. She has high approval ratings in here home state of Maine and is the wife of former Governor John R. McKernan, Jr. National Journal ranked Olympia Snowe's voting record 50.8% conservative, 49.2% liberal. [2]. She ranks very high on RINO's list [3] in the U.S. Senate. In February 2012, she announced that she was not seeking re-election after 22-years in the Senate.

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Early life

Snowe was born Olympia Jean Bouchles in Augusta, Maine, the daughter of Georgia Goranites and George John Bouchles. She is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Olympia Snowe's mother died of breast cancer when she was eight, and her father died of heart disease barely a year later. Orphaned, she was moved to Auburn, Maine, to be raised by her aunt and uncle, a barber and a textile mill worker respectively, along with their five other children. Following her mother's death, Snowe attended to St. Basil's Academy in Garrison, New York from the third grade to the ninth. Returning to Auburn, she attended Edward Little High School, before entering the University of Maine in Orono in 1969, where she earned a degree in political science. In 1973, Snowe's first husband was tragically killed in an automobile accident.

Political career

Snowe has been very successful in politics. She won a seat on the Board of Voter Registration and working for Congressman William Cohen. She ran for the Maine House of Representatives at the age of 26 and won. She was re-elected to the House in 1974, and, in 1976, won election to the Maine Senate, representing Androscoggin County. That same year, she was a delegate to both the state and national Republican conventions. Snowe was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, and represented Maine's 2nd Congressional District from 1979 to 1995. She served as a member of the Budget and International Relations Committees. Snowe married John McKernan, then-Governor of Maine, in February 1989. Snowe and McKernan had served together in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1986.

United States Senate

Senator Snowe with Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut), 02/10/05.
In 1994, when Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell declined to run for reelection, Snowe declared her candidacy for the seat. The Democratic nominee was her House colleague, 1st District Congressman Tom Andrews. Snowe defeated Andrews 60%-36%, carrying every county in the state. Making her part of the "Republican Revolution," where the Republican party captured the House and Senate for the first time since 1954. Snowe was easily reelected in 2000 over State Senate President Mark Lawrence, increasing her winning margin to 69%-31%. And in 2006, Senator Snowe won a third term with 74% of the vote, the second-largest margin of any U.S. Senate candidate in the country. In April 2006, Snowe was selected by Time as one of "America's 10 Best Senators." Time praised Snowe for her sensitivity to her constituents, also noting that: "Because of her centrist views and eagerness to get beyond partisan point scoring, Maine Republican Olympia Snowe is in the center of every policy debate in Washington." She is the fourth woman to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the first to chair its seapower subcommittee, which oversees the Navy and Marine Corps. In 2001, Snowe became the first Republican woman to secure a full-term seat on the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Snowe is the ranking member of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee.

Snowe gave Obama no resistance on any of the flawed candidates he nominated. Snowe voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor & Elena Kagan, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, HHS Kathleen Sebelius. Plus, yea votes on other disasters like Cash for Clunkers.

Gang of 14

On May 23, 2005, Snowe was one of fourteen moderate senators, known as the Gang of 14, to forge a compromise on the Democrats' use of the filibuster on judicial nominees. Under the agreement, the Democrats retained the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an "extraordinary circumstance", and the three most conservative Bush appellate court nominees, (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor), received an up-or-down simple majority vote by the full Senate. The Gang played an important role in the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Political views

Snowe is a self-described political moderate. She worked with Democrats to reduce the scale of the Bush tax cuts but supported the broad principle of cutting taxes as economic stimulus. She joined fellow RINOs, Senator's Lincoln Chafee and John McCain in voting against the tax cut bill of 2003. In 2005, she expressed concerns over President George W. Bush's plans to privatize Social Security. Snowe is a member of The Republican Main Street Partnership and supports stem cell research. She is also a member of Republicans for Environmental Protection, the Republican Majority for Choice, Republicans for Choice and The Wish List (Women In the Senate and House), a group of "Pro-Choice" Republican Women. Likewise, she is supportive of the same-sex "marriage".[4]


Electoral History

1994

  • Olympia Snowe (R): 60%
  • Tom Andrews (D): 36%

2000

  • Olympia Snowe (R): 69%
  • Mark W. Lawrence (D): 31%

2006

  • Olympia Snowe (R): 74%
  • Jean Hay Bright (D): 21%

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References

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