December 20, 2012
Along those lines, Tim Cullen’s 2011 return to the Wisconsin Senate after a couple of decades’ absence placed a notably crafty practitioner among minority Democrats’ otherwise pedestrian lineup. Blame for the current Legislature’s failure to approve job-creating reforms of Wisconsin’s iron-mining law has been rightly directed at sporadically Republican Senator Dale Schultz. But don’t underestimate Cullen’s role abetting Schultz’s primal instinct to pose for bipartisan holy pictures.
Schultz needn’t be a factor in the 2013-14 Senate, where the GOP margin won’t depend on any single member. But Republicans are openly expressing their aversion to partisan combat—on the 2011 scale, at least—so the potential of Cullen’s skills to make mining go away for good with some empty compromise is not to be underestimated.
On Sunday, Cullen falsely told Milwaukee TV host Mike Gousha the current session’s bill would exempt mining companies from meeting Wisconsin environmental standards, tossing in the Democrats’ old standby diversion that mining “isn’t going to be creating any jobs in Wisconsin any time soon.”
Sound familiar? Remember “Drilling in the Arctic isn’t going to get us any oil for ten years,” twelve years ago?
The Assembly came up with a pretty good mining bill in the two-year session now ending, and it ought to be reintroduced next month and passed by a more secure Republican majority. People on the other side will howl. So what? They will howl at whatever is done, or not done.
Billions in economic growth and thousands of jobs are at stake. Let the howling begin.