It’s getting pretty comical for Democrats and labor unions in Wisconsin. Remember how NEA and the Wisconsin Education Association Council tried to cushion the blow of the loss in the gubernatorial recall by lauding the victory of John Lehman and the restoration of the “balance of power” in the state senate? It was bad enough that the senate isn’t scheduled to meet until after the November elections. Now even their tiny victory has been snatched from them.
Senator Tim Cullen, one of the 14 Democrats who fled the state during the height of the protests and won accolades as NEA’s 2011 Friends of Education, announced he will no longer caucus with the Democrats and may become an Independent. The ostensible reason was being assigned to the small business and tourism committee by the Democratic majority leader, instead of (hmmm….) the education committee.
You may recall that Cullen was briefly in the recall race against Gov. Scott Walker. His most noteworthy accomplishment during his campaign was to reveal that the unions had asked each Democratic candidate to pledge to veto the state budget if collective bargaining provisions were not restored. WEAC-endorsed candidate Kathleen Falk was the only one to do so.
“I said I could not make that promise and I did not think any serious candidate for governor could or should make that commitment,” Cullen said of a veto of the state budget. “It’s a $60 billion document.”
One Republican senator is expected to resign in the next two weeks to serve in the Walker administration, which would restore the Democratic majority. Since holding the senate majority has no practical effect right now, there is no reason for hime to postpone his resignation.