Sen. Cullen to Wisconsin Dems: No clout, no caucus

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.

In an email addressed to his Senate Democratic colleagues, Cullen stated:

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.

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  1. I hope Lori Compas moves to SD-15 to primary Cullen in 2014 if she doesn’t run statewide. Cullen is nothing more than a crybaby because he didn’t get a committee chairmanship.

    Tim Cullen is basically Wisconsin’s version of Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

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  2. “A cynic might also say that politicians who place their need for power over the needs of their constituents don’t deserve to serve in the first place.”

    Anyone with common sense would say that. But common sense ain’t so common anymore.

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  3. Interestingly, this won’t affect balance of power, because Sen. Zipperer from Pewaukee quit to take a 6-figure job in Walker’s Administration, so it becomes 16-15 Dem.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Timmy. Weasally “centrists” like this hurt Dems more than wack-job right-wingers do. Cleaning out the Plales, Deckers and Cullens of the world makes the Dems stronger long-term, not weaker.

    This is also a good reminder that we need to get ourselves out to the polls 3 weeks from today, and not only elect more Dems, but elect BETTER DEMS that don’t sell out to bad actors.

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  4. Well best of luck to Cullen on what must have been a tough decision, certainly it’s courageous as I’m guessing he will take a lot of flack from former friends.

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  5. This is gonna hurt him more than he thinks. Dems are gonna find someone better and not someone who is going to act like a teenager over a stupid committee appointment. If I lived in his district, I’d run on the democrat ticket against him in a heartbeat but I cannot since I live in Prairie du Sac.

       1 likes