Around the country, manicurists and hair stylists have been making headlines for the strangest acts of civil disobedience…taking care of people’s hygeine regiments. Bizarre, no doubt, but it’s all over the news.
A mayor drew ire for being seen at a nail salon in Texas (the technician left out supplies for the mayor to do it herself).
More than 130 nail and hair salons got complaints in Ohio for staying open (they claim that hygeine is essential and won’t close).
A barber and hair salon owner made news in California for refusing to close (they were denied paycheck protection employment loans).
Around the country, people who provide these basic hygiene services have been the target of continual harassment, peer-to-government snitching, and public ridicule. Oddly enough, those in the personal grooming profession on average have far more training in health, sanitization, and instrument sterilization than the average fastfood worker, who are mostly still at work under ‘essential business’ clauses.
Montana isn’t immune to such hysterical silliness, as is evidenced by the complaint filed against Rep. Theresa Manzella with Montana’s Commissioner for Political Practices. What was Manzella’s alleged crime? She asked on her Facebook page if there was anybody who could do her nails.
Janet Bierer, the owner of Red’s Hair Salon and Consignment in Hamilton, filed the complaint with CoPP after Manzella asked if anyone knew an “unlicensed” nail technician who could work on her nails in what was, most believe, a light-hearted comment referring to life under mandatory social-distancing requirements that have left many people disheveled. Manzella, who characteristically takes pride in her appearance, was providing more social commentary than soliciting at-home nail support.
Nonetheless, Bierer filed her complaint with the CoPP, an office filled by the governor that in years prior has proven to routinely punish infractions (real or imagined) by conservatives while leaving Democrat candidates relatively unbothered.
Bierer’s complaint said Manzella was insulting the nail industry and that she treated nail professionals as though they were “stupid and worthless.”
Thankfully, the CoPP acknowledged that Bierer’s complaint didn’t specify any actual infraction of Montana’s Code of Ethics. They responded, “The specific statutes you have referenced in your complaint are not areas where the COPP maintains jurisdiction to uphold or otherwise is provided with enforcement abilities. Similarly, the COPP does not have any enforcement abilities regarding the recent ‘stay at home’ directives you have referenced.”
Manzella is running for Senate District 44 against leftist challenger, Nancy Ballance. Ballance, who has a fairly consistent voting record in the Montana House with Democrats is running against the more conservative Republican, Manzella.
The election will no doubt be close. If petty political complaints are any indication, it might turn out to be a nail-biter.