Monday, January 31, 2011

Jeff Stone's Alarming Lack of Moderation

In my most recent column in the Wisconsin Gazette, I presented a case that Representative Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) is not a moderate. He is all-too-often described as such but many of his positions and votes defy most definitions of a political "moderate". In the column I touched on a variety of issues but today the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reminded me of yet another less known example.

Monday's story in the Journal Sentinel reported on the new carbon monoxide law that takes effect on Tuesday. It requires that all one and two family homes install carbon monoxide alarms. This law was a common sense extension of the current requirement of having them in apartment buildings and hotels. When this legislation came up for a vote in the state Assembly a year ago, it was not only supported by the Professional Fire Fighters and the Hospital Association but also by the Wisconsin Builders Association and the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

With the broad base of groups that were lobbying in support for this bill one would think that it would be a public safety slam dunk for any self respecting moderate. And I guess that is the point, because Jeff Stone was one of only 27 in the state Assembly that voted against the legislation. A bipartisan list of groups and legislators helped to overwhelmingly pass the carbon monoxide legislation. Seventeen of the 69 Reps that voted for it were Republicans. Unfortunately none of those 17 were named Stone.

Rep. Jeff Stone didn't speak about his opposition to the bipartisan legislation but at least one of the 27 gave us a possible reason for the vote. Robin Vos declared the carbon monoxide requirement as part of some imagined "nanny state" agenda. I don't know if Jeff Stone is willing to own Vos' paranoid description but he certainly was willing to own the same vote.

The closer I look at Stone's actual record, the more that I discover an alarming lack of real moderation.

UPDATE: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a very supportive editorial of the new carbon monoxide law.

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