If you missed last Tuesday's Assembly candidates' forum in Ogdensburg, you missed the powerful oratory of incumbent Parker Space, who delivered a rousing speech supporting farmers and touting his own farming experience.
Unfortunately, Mr. Space could point to no actual legislative accomplishment on behalf of farmers, other than his vote against a bill banning coal rolling, which entails modifying a diesel-powered vehicle to belch thick, black, blinding, and toxic smoke onto other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, thereby intimidating them while demonstrating contempt for common-sense clean air regulations.
Oddly, Mr. Space thinks coal rolling is some sort of agricultural activity or a harmless rustic amusement, instead of the health-threatening, dangerous, and illegal practice that it is. In voting against the ban, he was joined by only one other legislator Alison Littell McHose. Seventy members of the Assembly and every state senator voted in favor of the ban, which was then signed into law by Gov. Christie.
Farmers are far better supported by Mr. Space's challengers, Assembly candidates Jacky Stapel and Michael Grace, who propose thoughtful policies to help small and family farms, promote rural agriculture research and development, and create rural enterprise zones.
The choice is clear. If it's a farmer you want, Parker Space is your man. If you want smart, effective representation in Trenton for farmers and all other residents of the 24th legislative district, then vote for Stapel and Grace in November.
Frank A. BrinckaWantage