Maine Legislator Leaves The GOP Over Health Care Reform

December 21, 2009 4:44 a.m.

Democratic leaders in D.C. weren’t the only legislators frustrated by Republican party efforts to block health care reform last week. After watching his party promise to stonewall any Democratic reform efforts, Maine state Rep. Jim Campbell decided it was time to drop the (R) from his title.

From Campbell’s statement announcing his decision to leave the GOP and become an Independent (h/t Ben Smith):

I have been very frustrated with the Republican Party in Maine, and nationally, for their failure to address the health care crisis in a meaningful way. Nobody has all the answers, but the Republican Party has none when it comes to health care reform.

Campbell says he’s a public option fan, and Politico described him as a “liberal Republican,” whose votes on issues like gay marriage have often broke with the GOP’s national platform. In his statement, Campbell said the party switch “has been a long time coming” for a man who feels increasingly alienated from the GOP, but he makes it clear the obstructionist tactics his party used in the national health care debate were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The same can’t be said of the two GOP senators Maine sent to D.C., Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Both of them briefly flirted with joining Democratic-led heath care reform efforts before choosing to join the GOP line of attack against them over the weekend.

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