No sooner was Democratic Senator John Lehman from Racine sworn in -- tipping the hotly contested Wisconsin Senate in favor of the Democrats 17-16 -- than a new spanner is thrown into the works. Democratic Senator Tim Cullen announced he was leaving the Democratic caucus to serve as an Independent.
Cullen is considered by many to be on the conservative end of the Democratic caucus, but he joined colleagues in leaving the state when Governor Scott Walker introduced his anti-collective bargaining bill in February of 2011 and stayed out of the state even though Walker admitted to calling him to cajole him back.
Last week, the Democrats celebrated their new majority by swearing in a new Senate President (Fred Risser) and Majority Leader (Mark Miller) and moving into new Senate offices. As per tradition, the party in charge gets the larger 1st floor Capitol offices while the minority party is relegated to the attic.
The dust had barely settled when Cullen made his announcement, miffed that he was the only member of the Democratic caucus who had not been appointed to chair a committee.
Wisconsinites are wondering, will Mark Miller send flowers? Will Scott Fitzgerald have Cullen for dinner? Will there be more shuffling of the chairs on the deck? Stay tuned.
You can read Cullen's letter here.