Former Vermont Senator Robert Stafford, a strong voice within the GOP for environmental-protection legislation and support of education (Stafford loans are named for him), has died at age 93. Stafford, who served two years as Vermont’s governor, went on to represent the Green Mountain State for eleven years in the House and seventeen years in the Senate; he retired in 1989.
A champion of clean air and clean water laws, Stafford organized a successful override of President Reagan’s veto of portions of the Clean Water Act while serving as the ranking Republican on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.
The AP obituary for Senator Stafford notes that he mostly stayed out of the public eye since his retirement, although during the civil unions debate in Vermont he said publicly “I consider that love is one of the great forces in our society and especially in our state of Vermont. It occurs to me that even if a same-sex couple unites in love, what harm does that do anybody or any society? So I felt compelled to come here and say that.”
Godspeed, Senator Stafford. You were one of the best.