“For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” -John Greenleaf Whittier
The active pen here being Jodi Rell’s veto pen. In addition to the high-profile veto of the state’s budget this week, the Governor also issued seven additional vetoes today alone. According to the Courant the bills included, “one that would have required chain restaurants to post calorie counts for their regular menu items, and another that would have, as Rell put it, ‘created yet another commission to deal with environmental issues in the Long Island Sound.'”
All the vetoes have been decried by state Democrats, but I find the one about the calorie counts particularly silly. When I spent some time in New York City earlier in the summer, I found the ubiquitous calorie information as effective as it was unobtrusive. In addition, as establishments are already required to have nutrition information on hand, the argument of costs during a recession don’t hold a ton of water either.
None of these bills seem like issues that state Democrats will be willing to go to war over, let alone issues that will come to overshadow the budget battle. Instead, I think, the vetoes belie and continue to undermine the painstakingly crafted image of Governor Rell as non-partisan, pragmatic politician. While the costs of the calorie bill may have been minor, it had a great potential to provide consumers with valuable information. Suggesting that such a bill represents a cost to “individual freedom,” as the Governor did, rings more than a bit tinny.