Jeff Stone steps in it again on 'right-to-work' | WisCommunity

Jeff Stone steps in it again on 'right-to-work'

Jeff Stone, the Republican state rep and Milwaukee County exec candidate, has put his foot in his mouth on union and collective bargaining issues for the second day in a row.

On Thursday Stone, who cast a middle-of-the-night vote for Walkler's union-busting budget repair bill, tried to say he didn't really support the union-busting,but voted for the bill anyway. Trouble is, he voted against every amendment that would have fixed that problem.

That got him a newspaper story that no doubt gave Chris Abele's campaign a boost; Abele supports bargaining rights for public employees, and the contrast was clear.

On Friday,  Abele and Stone were asked at a candidate forum for two yes-no answers to questions on collective bargaining.  Two simple questions: 

Do you agree with Gov. Walker that union members should have to vote every year to keep their union?

Do you believe that Wisconsin should be a right-to-work state?

Abele went first and simply said, "No and no," drawing applause from the audience at the forum, held at Independence First, a non-profit group serving people with disabilities.

Stone tried to wiggle around the questions.  "I agree with the concept of people voting to have their unions," he said, although that was not the question.  The question was whether they should have to vote every year, a Walker proposal designed to make it much harder for unions to operate.

"I also believe that everybody has a right to work," Stone said.

"Yes-yes," someone in the audience is heard to say about Stone's answers to the yes-no questions.

Reporter Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel followed up with Stone.  Does he think Wisconsin should be a right-to-work state? 

"That's not what I said.  Write down what I said," said Stone, a little testy.  Didi he understand the question,  Schultze asks.  Yes he did, Stone says.  "What's not about that?" he says of his answer, walking away from the reporter.

Schultze reported: In response to a question on whether Wisconsin should become a "right-to-work" state, Stone said: "I also believe that everybody has the right to work." He declined to clarify the statement.

So-called right-to-work laws forbid union shops, in which all workers pay union dues.  Such laws allow workers to enjoy union wages and benefits negotiated by the union but refuse to join the union or pay dues.

Such laws make it much more difficuly for unions to operate, and union membership is usually much lower in states with such laws.  Twenty-two states, mostly in the South and conservative western states, have riht--to-work laws in place.  Unions call it "the right to work for less."

You can see Stone's answers and interaction with the reporter in a very short video.

Walker clone Jeff Stone tries to erase his union-busting record.


March 5, 2011 - 7:42am