Politics & Government

The Commission on Political Reform

The Commission on Political Reform is traveling the country to build support for its plan to end gridlock in Washington. Two of the co-chairs – Dan Glickman and Olympia Snowe – spoke Thursday at “Our Times, Re-imagined: A Distinguished Speakers Series,” organized by The Charlotte Observer and underwritten by Bank of America.

The other co-chairs of the 29-member bipartisan commission are former Senate majority leaders Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., and former Sen. Dirk Kempthorne, R-Idaho.

Democrat Dan Glickman

Democrat Dan Glickman, 69, has watched the American political process from various perspectives.

He has been a U.S. representative from Kansas (1977-1994), secretary of agriculture in the Clinton administration (1995-2001), director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics (2001-2004) and a lobbyist for Hollywood (2004-2010).

He is the executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, a nonpartisan educational program for members of Congress.

Republican Olympia Snowe

Republican Olympia Snowe’s nearly four decades as a lawmaker began at age 26 when she was elected to fill the Maine House seat left vacant by her husband’s death in an automobile accident.

She moved on to Washington as a House member (1979-1995) and a senator (1995-2013) who worked with and sometimes voted with Democrats.

She made headlines in 2012 when she cited a dysfunctional Congress as the reason she had decided not to run for a fourth term.

Snowe, 67, is the author of “Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress.”