Candidates Get Rural Issues Book
This week, each of the Democratic candidates for governor, lt. governor and secretary of state in the September primary were mailed a copy of the 2006 Massachusetts Rural Issues Briefing Book. Compiled by the Hilltown Democratic Coalition, the book is designed to familiarize candidates with some of the key issues and concerns of voters in the small towns of rural Massachusetts. Using press stories and polling data, the book is focused on highlighting issues that need to be a part of the debate in the statewide elections if the rural vote is to be won by Democrats. The bookâs 13 chapters include: Alternative & Renewable Energy, Digital Divide, Education Issues, Food & Agriculture Issues, Gun Issues, Local Services, Party Building in Rural Communities, PILOT, Public Safety Issues, Rural Polling Data, âSmart Growthâ, State Lands and Transportation Issues. A limited number of copies are available for $20 (including postage & handling). Contact email@example.com.
Romney Ravages Rural Massachusetts
Wielding his veto pen, Gov. Romney took aim at some critical titles of the economic stimulus bill that the Legislature enacted this spring that are aimed at rural constituencies. The governor vetoed the rural broadband access provision that is designed to bring high-speed telecommunications to small towns and he also chopped a $30,000 appropriation for Berkshire Grownâs buy local campaign. These initiatives are âporkâ according to Willard. Crafted by Rep. Dan Bosley (D-North Adams), Rep. Steve Kulik (D-Worthington) and other House and Senate Democrats, the economic stimulus bill also contains language to spur more consumption of local farm products by state institutions and define farms as businesses making them eligible for technical assistance and financing from the state Office of Business Development. As Rep. Kulik, who pushed hard for the rural broadband program told the Greenfield Recorder âThe marketplace is not going to respond,â Kulik said. âWeâve got communities that are so sparsely populated and population thatâs spread over such a wide geographic area that itâs going to take some government help to bring equity to high-speed access. High-speed DSL and broadband is a foundation of our future economy, and every community should have it.â Mr. Speaker! Let the overrides begin.
Down on the Farm with Deval
Making his first real foray into the rural hilltowns, Deval Patrick visited a dairy farm in Colrain today and got an earful of feedback on how state government is doing serving commercial agriculture from farmers and farm advocates. Standing outside the calf hutches at Hager Brothers Maple Farm, Patrick listened as Chip Hager described his family dairy operation which is diversified into beef cattle and maple products to help pay fuel bills which have tripled during the last few months while milk prices stay at 1970 levels. The visit, organized by state Rep. Denis Guyer (D-Dalton) and Nathan LâEtoile, communications director for Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, got the candidate up close and personal with some heifers and the chance to learn how the Romney-Healey administration has turned their back on the stateâs 6,100 farmers. Patrick got to meet MFBF members from as far away as Granville and Sherborn and to hear from representatives of: American Farmland Trust, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, New England Small Farm Institute, and UMass Cooperative Extension Service among other ag stakeholders.
If you know rural Democrats (or city slickers) who want to subscribe to the Hilltown Democratic Dispatch please contact Matt L. Barron, Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org