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Friday, July 27, 2012

 4:19 PM 

Cullen to stick with Dems, chair two new committees

Sen. Tim Cullen will chair two new Senate committees under an agreement announced today to keep the Janesville lawmaker in the Democratic caucus.

Cullen had announced earlier this week he would leave the caucus -- and was considering becoming an independent -- following a disagreement with Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller over committee assignments.

But Miller, D-Monona, announced at a press conference this afternoon that Cullen will remain in the new majority caucus, serving as chairman of a Special Committee on Mining and a Committee on Small Business and Venture Capital.

"This is another example of Democrats finding solutions by working together," Miller said. "Senator Cullen is a valued and respected member of our caucus by virtue of his experience both inside and outside the Capitol."

In addition, Cullen will replace Sen. Tim Carpenter as vice-chair of the Health committee and retiring Sen. Jim Holperin on the Transportation Projects Commission.

Cullen said his only regret about the spat with Miller "was that it dragged out a little bit," saying he now feels wanted in the caucus.

"We Democrats, we legislate in public, we develop legislation in public, and occasionally sometimes we disagree in public," Cullen said. "But I think that's a better way to be; it's a better party to be a part of."

Miller said he took some responsibility for the spat.

"I'm new at this job, and I maybe could have dealt with this better," Miller said. "But the plain fact is Senator Cullen is a valued member of our caucus."

Listen to the press conference

Comments: 1

At July 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM, Blogger Brad said...

The entire incident reminded me of the days I filmed with Tim during the standoff between Walker and the Dems. I was in Illinois with him and he wasn’t with the caucus. He was focused on a deal and pretty much ignored all of the drama around him. You see a little bit of this in our film, AS GOES JANESVILLE, which will be released starting at the end of August. I think you can trace tension between Mark and Tim at least back to the collective bargaining standoff because Tim was convinced that they stayed in Illinois too long and that there could have been a deal. Some call him a pragmatist. Some call him a sell-out. I think, frankly, it makes our movie all that more interesting. You can see the trailer at http://asgoesjanesville.com and join our facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/AsGoesJanesville.


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