Key Boehner ally goes out swinging against polarized House

Posted Aug. 02, 2012, at 6:15 a.m.
Steven LaTourette
Steven LaTourette

Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, a key ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and one of a dwindling number of GOP moderates in Congress, issued a broadside against an increasingly polarized House this week as he formally announced that he will not seek a 10th term.

News of the Ohio Republican’s decision had leaked Monday, and he acknowledged at a news conference in his Painesville district that he was leaving local Republicans in the lurch by stepping out only 100 days before the November election.

But he said he had come to believe that the personal toll of holding office outweighed his ability to get things done in a divided and bitter Washington.

“I have reached the conclusion that the atmosphere today and the reality that exists in the House of Representatives no longer encourages the finding of common ground,” he said.

He told reporters that to rise in party ranks, politicians must now hand over “your wallet and your voting card” to party extremes and that he was uninterested.

LaTourette is one of a number of lawmakers who have announced their retirements this year and voiced similar concerns about increasing partisanship.

They include Sens. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

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