Has a fleebagger broken ranks?
posted at 10:12 am on March 2, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Has one of the fleebaggers returned to Madison, Wisconsin? A series of Twitter messages last night claimed that Wisconsin state Senator Tim Cullen had returned from his flight to Illinois that brought the state legislature to a standstill in its budget crisis. John Hayward at Human Events (formerly Doc Zero here at Hot Air) thinks Cullen has broken the united fleebagger front:
It appears that one of the 14 fugitive Wisconsin Democrats has returned to the state capitol, heeding Governor Scott Walker’s ultimatum.
A flurry of Twitter messages late Tuesday night heralded the return of Democrat State Senator Tim Cullen, who represents labor union interests in the 15th Senate District surrounding Janesville, Wisconsin.
So far, though, there has been no confirmation at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which has provided excellent coverage of the budget impasse during the crisis. Twitter might provide the quickest communication of breaking news, but if Cullen has returned, one would presume that other media would follow up and report on it. The television news stations in Madison thus far have nothing on the rumors, so I’d be a little skeptical of the reports.
However, as John notes, it looks as though Cullen has broken ranks rhetorically on the budget, at least incrementally:
Cullen calls Walker’s budget address a good speech, and the goal of getting Wisconsin moving again is shared by everyone. He does have a lot of questions about the details though. The Democrat wants to know how it will affect schools, municipalities, and health care. He says the sticking point is still the proposal to strip public workers of most of their collective bargaining rights.
That’s a better reaction than many Democrats still in Wisconsin gave the speech, as the JS Online reports:
Democrats described Walker’s proposal in apocalyptic terms, with Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) calling it an “absolute annihilation” of public education.
“He does this under the guise of fixing the budget, but what he’s really doing is waging war on Wisconsin,” Grigsby said.
The effects on Milwaukee, she said, would be a “blow that I don’t think we can stand up to.”
Ironically, even if Cullen is still in Illinois, he might be closer to the Governor’s position than his Democratic colleagues in the Assembly.
The RNC has spent some money in Wisconsin defending Scott Walker and blaming Barack Obama for the outsized influence of public employee unions in this 30-second spot. It’s been viral on the Internet for a week, but the RNC made its announcement of TV buys this morning: