Rep. Stone Headed to PSC

Yet another legislator has announced they will be resigning their office this fall. Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) is resigning his office effective October 14th in order to join the Public Service Commission as its new Division Administrator for Water Compliance and Consumer Affairs. If this announcement has you feeling déjà vu, it might be because this is the second legislator in a month Gov. Walker has appointed to that position.

Former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, resigned his seat to take the job of PSC Division Administrator for Water Compliance and Consumer Affairs in September. However, Suder has since accepted a job as Vice-President of Government Relations for the Wisconsin Paper Council.

In response to Suder’s changing career plans, Gov. Walker has appointed Rep. Jeff Stone to the PSC position. Stone’s departure leaves three vacancies in the Assembly. Special elections will be held Nov. 19 to replace Suder and Rep. Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee), while a separate election will be called to fill Stone’s seat.

Rep. Stone released the following statement regarding his retirement from the Wisconsin State Assembly:

“After 15 years as a state legislator, I am resigning from the Wisconsin State Assembly. I look forward to continuing to serve all of the residents of the state of Wisconsin in my future endeavors. My resignation will be effective Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5pm.

“I am proud of the work that has been done on behalf of my constituents, the greater Milwaukee region and this State. With my Republican colleagues, we’ve eliminated a structural deficit, lowered taxes and helped make the entire state of Wisconsin a better place to work and live. As a member of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Board, I have held WEDC to the strictest of standards. I have pushed WEDC to strive to improve over their predecessor organization the Department of Commerce and grow Wisconsin’s economy by helping create businesses, relocate companies to Wisconsin and improve this state’s job climate.

“Early in my legislative career, one of my biggest highlights came when I was honored with a National Legislative Leadership Award by the National Commission Against Drunk Driving for authoring and passing into law innovative changes to drunken driving laws for the State of Wisconsin. It was the first drunk driving legislation in the nation to be endorsed by both Mothers Against Drunk Driving and major brewing companies.

“While the job is not finished, I have been an unwavering advocate of Voter ID and electoral honesty. I sincerely hope that the legislature continues to carry the torch and ensure that Wisconsin elections are safe and held with the upmost integrity.

“Lastly, it has been an honor and a privilege to represent the 82nd Assembly District. I’d like to thank my friends, family, and constituents from Raymond, Greenfield, Greendale, Franklin and Milwaukee whom I am blessed to have had this unique opportunity to serve these past 15 years and for their unbroken faith and support. A special thanks to my wife Lynn who has supported me since I first decided to run for the Assembly.”

The PSC said this about Stone’s appointment:

Today, Chairperson Phil Montgomery announced that Representative Jeff Stone has accepted the position of Division Administrator for the Division of Water, Compliance, and Consumer Affairs. This transition will take place once Representative Stone has vacated his position within the Assembly.

“Jeff will be a tremendous addition to the Public Service Commission, his service to the state as a legislator whom has served on a number of important committees will be a great asset to Wisconsin’s future” said Public Service Commission Chairperson Phil Montgomery. “Jeff is a solid voice of reason in the State Assembly and will bring that ‘Wisconsin First’ mentality to the Public Service Commission.”

This statement from the Wisconsin Paper Council announced Suder’s new position:

The Wisconsin Paper Council, the trade association representing the pulp and paper industry, announces the hire of Scott E. Suder as Vice President – Government Relations. He will begin his duties on October 7.

“I am thrilled that Scott will be joining the Wisconsin Paper Council in this most important role,” said WPC President Jeff Landin. “His experience and relationships with decision makers in state government will serve our members and the paper industry in Wisconsin well.”

Suder recently stepped down as Majority Leader in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He was first elected in 1998.

“We had great deal of interest in this position but Scott’s skills and experience stood out from the pack,” said Landin. “Even more impressive was the support he received from both Democrats and Republicans. I am confident that he will be able to work well with both sides of the aisle in Madison.”

“It is an honor to join the Wisconsin Paper Council,” said Suder. “I am excited to have the opportunity to represent an industry that drives our state economy by providing thousands of family supporting jobs in Wisconsin.”

This bit of musical chairs is being closely followed by the media, who have criticized Suder’s ties to a now-rescinded budget item granting funds to the United Sportsmen’s foundation.