There ought to be a law.
Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, is up with a television ad in the Albany market saying that the federal government shouldn't create "stupid" regulations. But his Nov. 6 opponent, Republican Matt Doheny, questions whether Mr. Owens really has all that great of a record on government requirements on private enterprise.
At issue in this story is really one about jobs. The more regulations, the fewer jobs, both men appear to be arguing. So who really is more anti-regulation?
“My opponent was smart not to take credit in his commercial for ending any of these 'stupid' rules,” Mr. Doheny said in a news release. “One was imaginary. One prompted a collective outcry. And the third was already being settled before he took office.”
The three regulations named in the news release were: A regulation to outlaw "farm dust," which Mr. Doheny concludes wasn't actually a problem; child farm labor regulations, which Mr. Doheny said was settled without Mr. Owens' help; and spilled milk regulations, which Mr. Dohen also said Mr. Owens didn't lend much of a hand in.
And Mr. Owens supported burdensome regulations a few times, too, Mr. Doheny said. That includes cement manufacturer regulations, lightbulb regulations and the REINS Act. The REINS Act would have required Congress to take an up-or-down vote on any significant regulation proposed by the executive branch. But Mr. Owens argued that it would have too dramatically changed the balance of power.
Mr. Doheny also names a couple of union-friendly measures that Mr. Owens supported as evidence that he's not all he's cracked up to be on regulations.
The only regulation I can think of on which Mr. Doheny is more aggressive than Mr. Owens is ship ballast. Mr. Doheny thinks the current regulations don't go far enough, while Mr. Owens, citing concerns of Alcoa in Massena, thinks they do.
Here's the ad, which includes Mr. Owens kicking over a bucket of milk.