January 6, 2013

Michael Cuzzi: Washington's partisan dysfunction a cautionary tale for Augusta

Maine's leaders must stay focused on action and results, and call their ideological wings to heel.

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When the dust settles, the bitterness, distrust and resentment of the campaign trail can pollute the halls of Augusta as easily as it does Washington.

Thankfully, our legislative leaders in Maine have thus far set a generally constructive tone for the coming session. But given the deep fiscal crises facing the state, as well as a governor certain to hurl partisan bombs at the Legislature, it will be both easy and appealing to devolve into traditional partisan camps.

Legislative leaders cannot let that happen.

No one expects the legislative process to be pretty and, increasingly, there is little expectation it will be fact-based or civil. But even with that low bar, Maine's leaders must remain focused on action and results, recognizing that sacred cows often make the best burgers.

By calling their respective ideological wings to heel and reclaiming the virtue of compromise, Maine's leaders can prevent the state from traveling the road to Washington-style dysfunction.

Michael Cuzzi is a former campaign aide to President Obama, Sen. John Kerry and former Rep. Tom Allen. He manages the Portland office of VOX Global, a strategic communications and public affairs firm based in Washington, D.C. He can be contacted at:

mjcuzzi@gmail.com

Twitter: @CuzziMJ

 

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