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Dem Sen: Form a Panel, Strike a Deal



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An on-the-run Democrat speaks out from Illinois. The Janesville Gazette reports:

[State Sen. Tim] Cullen [D., Janesville] said the senators were to meet again Monday night to discuss their situation.

“Right now, everybody is solid. I don’t think anybody wants to be the one person who provides the 20th vote,” Cullen said. “But we are not oblivious to political opinion, and we shouldn’t be oblivious to it. I think there’s a shelf life to staying here. …I didn’t run for Senate to spend the rest of my life in Illinois.”

In the interview, Cullen argues that an appointed panel could strike a deal:

Cullen did not sound pleased at the prospect of staying away for a long time. He has suggested a way out that might save face for both sides, he said.

Cullen recalled a tactic used by Gov. Tony Earl in 1983 when it was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who controlled the lawmaking process.

Cullen was one of the two Democrats who were appointed along with two Republican leaders to resolve a funding crisis for the state’s unemployment compensation fund.

The committee came up with a compromise that made neither side happy: an increase in business taxes along with a freeze on unemployment benefits. Earl accepted the deal, and it was passed.

Walker could do something similar, Cullen said.

Cullen said he suggested the process to a couple of Republicans on Monday. He said he has been talking to colleagues across the aisle and had a talk with Walker for 30 to 45 minutes Saturday.

More here.



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