Following the lead of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has now unveiled the sanctions he proposes to levy against what the Hartford Courant calls “defiant travelers.”
We all know that where there are no sanctions, there is, practically speaking, no law. A law without teeth is a paper law that easily can be defied, much in the way that Antifa-infected Black Lives Matter protests evolve into mini-riots, stretching limbs into every powder-keg urban community in the U.S. –when defiant rioters meet no resistance from those who enforce constitutional laws written by legislators.
Police enforce laws. Police are the enforcement arm of legislators rather than governors. Without an enforcement mechanism, all laws are dead laws. And that is why Antifa and elements within Black Lives Matter dearly want, with assistance from sympathetic legislators trolling for votes, to defund police departments. When police departments have been disabled, leftist anarchy sits on the throne.
Lamont has been threatening air passengers from coronavirus-impacted states for some time. The governor has now, he thinks, put sharp teeth in his frequent executive orders.
“You go to a hot spot, you come back to this state, you either have a test that shows you tested negative or you must quarantine for 14 days,” said Lamont during a media availability on July 21.
Connecticut, the paper reminds us, has since late June “required visitors from states to voluntarily quarantine, but there was no enforcement.”
Now, Lamont said, “we are giving an option of having a $1,000 fine for people who refused to fill out the form.” What can it mean to give an “option of having a $1,000 fine?” Does it mean that enforcing the fines will be optional; and, if so, what is the legal standard of enforcement? Lamont issued an executive order that “requires anyone traveling from a state that has a new daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven day rolling average to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the rime of last contact within the identified state.”
And, as an added disincentive bonus, Lamont has promised that the rules he has laid down “apply to those traveling to Connecticut by car as well as by air.” Lamont has said there are “no plans” to begin issuing fines right now. Does this mean Connecticut may restrict car traffic coming from New York should testing show the state has experienced a spike in coronavirus test rates?
Someone whose live contacts with Democrat operatives stretch back four decades — and who for obvious reasons shall here remain nameless — wonders, tearing at the remaining hairs on his balding pate, “Does this guy ever talk to leading politicians within his own party before he borrows his politically toxic prescriptions from Cuomo?”
We know that Lamont, whose family tree is firmly rooted in leftist soil, is a protégé of former U.S. Senator and Gov. Lowell Weicker, but even Weicker, at his most outrageous, mingled his political sweat with the sweat pouring off the brows of Democrat leftists who could lead him through the state’s sometime confusing political labyrinth. Then too, Weicker had been during his decades in the U.S Senate in good odor with national Democrat Party operatives; his progressive Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) rating was higher upon his leaving the Senate than that of U.S. Senator Chris Dodd’s .
But Lamont is, politically at least, The man from Mars – a highly imitative governor without a clue. Of course, fortune, in the form of a politically inspired coronavirus business shutdown, has favored Lamont. The other two branches of Connecticut’s tripartite form of government, the legislative and judicial branches, having been clipped from democracy’s trunk, The man from Mars is the only show in town. Weicker, whose buzz-saw politics gave the state its income tax, must be jealous. How much easier it might have been in 1991 to install his income tax by means of executive orders.
The well entrenched operative mentioned above wonders whether Lamont even wants a second term. Favored by the politician gods and a propitious and profitable marriage – Lamont’s capable wife is far richer than he – Lamont easily might retire after a first term to his family’s estate, Sky Farm, on the island of North Haven, Maine, bidding a good riddance to the problems in state government he has caused.
He notes that ambitious politicians, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz among them, are crouching in the wings, ready to attribute to Lamont’s all too evident ineptitude the inevitable consequences of yet another prolonged Connecticut recession.
Donald Pesci lives in Vernon and is the writer of the Red Notes from a Blue State blog.