Martha the Farmer May Have the Last Laugh
Martha Boneta, the Virginia farmer at the center of the Pitchfork Protest in August that gained national attention, may have found the ultimate way to keep lawbreaking bureaucrats in check.
Fauquier County, Virginia shut down Martha's quaint farm store for selling her produce and items such as goats milk soap without a special permit, even though she had a business license. The county also charged her with holding events without a permit, and as evidence used a picture from her Facebook page of a private birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls.
Martha filed suit against the county and its zoning administrator Kim Johnson alleging that the county violated Virginia's Right to Farm Act, among other counts.
What is of even more widespread interest and greater impact, however, is that Virginia State Delegate Scott Lingamfelter announced yesterday that he has filed the Boneta Bill amending the Right to Farm Act. He will hold a press conference next Tuesday at the State Capitol in Richmond, which will include farmer and best-selling author Joel Salatin. Lingamfelter is an unabashed, freedom-loving conservative, and is running for Lieutenant Governor. Says Lingamfelter:
"House Bill 1430 will ensure that no government official, elected or appointed, will restrict the right to property that our Founding Fathers, many of whom were Virginia farmers, held as inherent and sacred. The Boneta Bill adds teeth to the Virginia Right to Farm Act to protect property rights and individual liberties."
Teeth to protect liberty? The Boneta Bill is no token whiff at the problem, explains FauquierFreeCitizen.com: "H.B. 1430 adds teeth to the [Virginia Right to Farm Act] and tempers overzealous counties and county officials by making them subject to the same fines and penalties that they might seek to unlawfully impose on farmer-citizens."
The Boneta Bill is clearly onto something big: making government officials who act unlawfully in the conduct of their duties subject to the same types of penalties that we little people face if we were violate the law. Anyone except lawbreaking government bureaucrats has to love that.
You can read H.B. 1430, the Boneta Bill, here.