You could almost feel sorry for Rep. Michael Timmons: a first-term lawmaker from Cumberland who’s in a pickle after caving to his leadership.

Almost, but not quite. He’s a grown man responsible for his own choices.

Timmons and five other House Republicans — Rep. John Pichiotti, of Fairfield, Timothy Theriault, of China, Brian Hobart, of Bowdoinham, MaryAnne Kinney, of Knox and Kathleen Dillingham, of Oxford — “took a walk” on L.D. 1649 when it mattered the most.

Timmons omitted that part (“Another View: Column on solar bill distorts legislator’s record,” May 5).

After initially voting to override the governor’s veto, he went missing on the second vote about an hour later. These members figured folks back home couldn’t get mad if they weren’t on the record casting a “no” vote. But dozens of solar advocates witnessed firsthand what they did.

Rank-and-file House Republicans must face extraordinary pressure when their conscience and common sense go against the will of their leadership and the governor. I’ve seen one in tears in such a situation.

Now, Timmons is lashing out at me.

It’s true. We had a second vote because I employed a strategy allowed under House rules, a well-established parliamentary action that dates back to the days of the Founding Fathers. It’s been used about a dozen times this session alone.

If only his leadership invested some time in educating their caucus on procedure, perhaps their members wouldn’t get their feelings so hurt when they don’t understand the rules.

Think of it this way: Would Bill Belichick ever send Tom Brady out unprepared for the defenses he would face? And wouldn’t Tom Brady take some responsibility himself to at least watch film to be at least a bit prepared?

I hope Timmons can let go of his misplaced anger and redirect that energy toward doing what’s right, even under pressure.

Rep. Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, is the House majority leader.

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