Friday, March 05, 2010

Blumenthal And The Farmer’s Rebellion

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who is also running for U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s seat in the congress, appears to be stepping away from a measure he supported banning wood furnaces following an announcement that The Connecticut Farm Bureau Association based in Windsor opposes the outright ban, according to a story in the Norwich Bulletin.

The Bulletin reported, “Blumenthal softened his stance after Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, who is vice chairman of the General Assembly’s Environment Committee, pledged to work for stricter regulations short of an outright ban.”

Members of the New London Farm Bureau Association, 691 strong, want bill 126, which they oppose, to be fast-tracked. The bureau feels that farmers, according to the story, “must defend the general public against economic hardship that would result from the bill’s enactment. The bill contains an exemption for farmers, but the farmers are fighting it anyway.”

It is doubtful that the farmers will march on the state Capitol armed with pitchforks to defend themselves from Connecticut’s quick on the draw attorney general and a usually obliging legislature.

However, stranger things have happened in times of overweening government. Farmers have long memories, and some still recall with pride the farmer’s rebellion led by Daniel Shays in western Massachussets.

A captain the the Revolutionary army, Shays led a march on the state supreme court in Springfied, preventing that august body from issuing foreclosures and debt collections. Shays later led a march of 1,200 men in an attack on the nearby federal arsenal that was repulsed by troops. As a result of Shay’s direct action, Massachussets enacted laws easing the economic condition of debtors.

It is supposed that in the present case such a rebellion will not be necessary to force Blumenthal, affectionately known among some of his critics as the Caligula of Connecticut , to beg off, leave the farmers alone and concentrate on his senatorial campaign.
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