They just break them as soon as they get them.
Madison - State Sen. Tim Cullen quit the Senate Democratic caucus Tuesday, saying Senate Democratic leader Mark Miller had snubbed him by refusing to give him a meaningful committee chairmanship.
"It's an insult to my district," Cullen of Janesville said. "I'm going to leave the Senate Democratic caucus. I will be bound by nothing they decide."
Cullen said his relationship with Miller has long been rocky, and that at one point recently, Miller hung up on him when they discussed committee assignments.
Miller declined interview requests but issued a statement saying he was disappointed in Cullen's action.
"Senator Cullen turned down the chairmanship of the Committee on Small Business Development and Tourism," Miller said in his statement. "He told me that if that was the committee offered to him, he would rather chair no committee at all. It was an important committee as small business is the economic engine for Wisconsin."
First of all, Miller's full of garbage. Small business is notoriously one of the worst committee assignments in the Legislature because everything important to small business can (and will be) routed to another committee with overlapping jurisdiction. Health care? To Health. Health insurance? To Insurance or Health. Job training? To workforce development. Tax policy? To Finance. Regulations? To JCRAR.
Tourism is the better end of that deal because then you get access to their lobbyists. But given Cullen's district, what does that get him?
Second, could Miller really not keep Cullen happy? As I talked about last week, every Senate committee is like a church potluck of random, unrelated goodies. How hard is it for Miller to say "you know what, let's work with your interests and see what we can do?" If Miller couldn't fix this situation it's because he was choosing not to fix it.
The thing that blows my mind is that during my time in the Legislature, Miller always seemed like a smart and reasonable (albeit progressive) guy. Is he getting browbeaten into making these idiotic decisions by the intractable and obnoxious loudmouths on the fringe of his party? Or is he coming up with this stuff on his own?