A Heavy Hand

“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.

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15 responses to “A Heavy Hand

  1. thepenismightier

    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.

    I bet her hand hurts, that’s the most amount of work she’s done in office so far! I hope she stretched first.

    Instead, I think, the vetoes belie and continue to undermine the painstakingly crafted image of Governor Rell as  non-partisan, pragmatic politician.

    She’s probably over the image thing, she’s just practicing her signature for when she gives autographs for being confused as one of the actresses from the Golden Girls. Seriously, this is absurd. There are some things that make no sense to veto here. Is she leveraging chips for her insane budget? The calorie veto? Maybe the restaraunt she frequents so often while not in her office or working at all took issue? There’s serious inconsistency with the standard wage law veto too – that is thousands of residents who are disproportionately affected by no change in this archaic law. I’m hoping that she decides not to run again, this careful image crafting and political games worked fine when the state was fine, but now that we’re into turbulent times she hides behind these bizarre strategies. Stop politicking and start leading! Calories (that are already required to be disclosed)….Really?!

  2. 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.

    What’s the point of nanny state legislation like this? Does the citizenry of CT not know that the donuts at Starbucks are loaded with calories? This bill doesn’t concern me so much as what the “next logical step” would be. It seems we’re well on the road to greater regulation of things like salt, sugar and other nefarious food products.

  3. While the costs of the calorie bill may have been minor, it had a great potential to provide consumers with valuable information.

    Yeah, it’s next to impossible to find that information now.

  4. atalbot, I guess you and I just plain see things differently. I find the “calorie counts” legislation “silly” and the Governor’s veto to be logical and correct.

    What’s even more offensive is that your liberal friends seem to have plenty of time for crap like this but refuse to work out a budget.

    As Doug pointed out, this information is readily available and I’m sure a smart guy like you already knew where to find it.

  5. Mrs. Doubtfire strikes again. I agree with Brenda, can the libs do some real work?

  6. BristolDem

    What’s even more offensive is that your liberal friends seem to have plenty of time for crap like this but refuse to work out a budget.

    They worked out a budget.

    She vetoed it.

    Pay attention.

  7. palendrone

    I don’t really care about the calorie bill (but I’ll ride some dollars on the fact that it gets disproportionate attention) – although, we have to remember obsesity is a problem – and not everyone is smart enough to know how or where to get that information – especially for the number of things that are marketed as healthy.

    Anyway, what is important here is two things, one the post overlooked completely. The veto count is an all-time record – what is happeneing to our state? The standard wage amendment made a lot of sense – and had bipartisan support. That’s kids being affected there, not cool. I voted for her, but with these recent decisions – I’m thinking Cafero should be the guy to run and its probably time for her to step aside. So are a lot of other informed people I’ve talked to.

  8. palendrone

    The timing bothers me too, right before the holiday weekend and a furlough day. I’m disappointed.

  9. I find the irony here that A Heavy Hand seems to describe the legislation Rell pretty well. She seems to be the only “check” left in the “checks and balances” of government. Ya’ll didn’t mention the one she vetoed that would have raises medical insurance costs, again.

  10. They worked out a budget.

    The budget was not worked out during the regular session. I believe it’s you who needs to “pay attention.”

  11. The budget was not worked out during the regular session. I believe it’s you who needs to “pay attention.”

    That’s using the word “budget” pretty loosely too.

    This seems as good a definition as any:
    A Budget is a plan that outlines an organization’s financial and operational goals. So a budget may be thought of as an action plan; planning a budget helps a business allocate resources, evaluate performance, and formulate plans.

    Note, “allocate resources”.

    That’s certainly not what the “budget” presented by the Democrats did; it simply took the taxpayers and held us upside down to shake every last cent out of our pockets.

    No reduction in Diesel fuel tax (seeing as we’ve exceeded the tipping point on that tax and now realize less revenue than before the last hike, it should have been among the 1st things on the agenda.)

    Nothing out of the box, no grand plans of any kind and a total refusal to aggressively attract revenues from surrounding states which would both save Connecticut citizens money and increase our own revenues.

    That was no budget – that was an attempted stick up.

  12. I spend a lot of time in New York. On several occasions I have actually seen people in the beer and fast food lines at Yankee Stadium make choices based on the calorie information. I wouldn’t have believed it either. On balance, I guess it’s not too much of an intrusion and it does seem to help some people think about what they eat. Of course, we are supposedly the third least obese state in the Union, but I see little evidence of that as I walk around.

  13. I spend a lot of time in New York.

    We’re sorry.

    On several occasions….. at Yankee Stadium

    Scooper and I will agree here – be sure to get your shots.

  14. If your mental acuity is so woefully lacking that you need a calorie count on the menu to tip you to the fact that — say — the Double Whooper with Cheese is loaded with a little more calories than the McWheatGrass ‘n’ Tofu Salad, there’s not enough legislation in the world to help you. You just can’t vote away stupid.

    And, despite years of trying, the Democrats still haven’t found a legal way to make the rest of us fully responsible for it. Oh, they’ve gotten close — but there are still a few lingering bad choices people can make that we cannot (yet) blame on government … yet.

  15. There are some foods that are obvious and some are not. If you did a quick poll, most people would think that to get a low calorie breakfast switch from donuts to either a bagel or a muffins. Seems like a common sense thing. Wrong, at DD a muffin is almost twice the calories of a donut, and a bagel has over a hundred more calories.

    McDonald’s markets it’s snack wraps as a somewhat healthy snack, while in reality two are worse for you than one Big Mac.

    When was the last time you guys were are a restaurant and asked for the nutritional facts. In my experience, if they had it on hand at all it took them forever to find. It’s not like they keep a computer terminal at your table for you to check up on these things.

    I’m all for personal choice, this bill would help personal choice, because the best choices are made when the individual has all the facts in front of the them.

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