Senator Tim Cullen (D) announced Tuesday afternoon that he will no longer caucus with the Democrats because “he was insulted by not being named chairman of any Senate committees after the Democrats regain control of that chamber,” according to reporters at the Wisconsin State Journal. Cullen’s announcement unleashed a torrent of impassioned comments on social media sites, and for good reason.
Sen. Miller’s decisions are an insult to me and the people of the 15th Senate District. I came back to Madison to do what I could to help the Rock County area recover and make a difference on issues where I have some knowledge based on my background, which includes 20 years in the private health care industry, experience on the Janesville School Board, and service as the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services.
Sen. Miller has made clear that he does not value or need my presence in Senate Committee leadership and, quite obviously, in the Senate Democratic Caucus.
He has made his decision, and now I will make mine. As of the sending of this email, I am no longer a member of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Cullen goes on to explain that Sen. Miller doesn’t value his “independent ideas” and his “support of bipartisan solutions to the state’s problems.”
But a cynic might assume that Senator Cullen feels powerless, and this manuever is nothing more than an attempt to gain some sort of control.
From a July 29th, 2011 article by Clay Barbour of the Wisconsin State Journal:
Cullen and Schultz have a combined 41 years of legislative service. Both men have held positions of authority and power. Now, they are moderates in a world led by partisans. They have little clout, and they know it.
A cynic might also conclude that Sen. Cullen is putting his need for power before the needs of his constituents and therefore doesn’t deserve to serve them at all.
Perhaps there is more to this story than has been reported thus far, but right now, it’s difficult not to become cynical.