Rubbing Elbows with Chummy Right Wing Squaker Sykes, Stone Makes Clear His Anti-Worker Rights Agenda

MADISON-Speaking at a friendly right-wing frolic Monday night in Waukesha hosted by GOP standard-bearer Charlie Sykes, Republican insider Jeff Stone presented yet another version of his support for anti-worker rights legislation, stating clear support for Scott Walker's divisive power play to end collective bargaining for public employees.

The remarks are a departure from comments Stone made just days ago, when in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and at a candidate forum, Stone said he supports collective bargaining rights.

In an interview Thursday, Stone told the Journal Sentinel he voted for Walker's budget-repair bill in the Assembly last week even though he would have preferred to leave the current collective bargaining rights intact. At Friday's forum, Stone said he wanted to clarify those comments. He said that often lawmakers have to vote for budgets even when they don't agree with a few provisions.

Stone's stunning reversal raised eyebrows since he stood with Scott Walker when the Governor introduced the union-busting bill, voted for final passage of the bill, and most telling, helped defeat about 30 amendments during Assembly debate on the legislation that would have restored collective bargaining rights either broadly or specifically. 

But on Monday, being gently questioned by his backer Charlie Sykes, Stone went back to his position FOR ending the right to collectively bargain for public employees, saying clearly "I supports what's in the bill" and "that is where I stand."

"Jeff Stone either lacks the courage of his convictions, or he is a typical politician who says one thing to one crowd and changes his tune in front of a different audience," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. "Even if he is now avoiding his public embrace, Jeff Stone looks more and more willing to play the cynical partisan politics of Scott Walker that have brought Milwaukee County to ruin in the first place."