A huge and nasty faux pas took place when five months ago, Dictator Bullock, along with the Department of Public Health and Human Services located in Helena and with assistance from Raph Graybill (who ran against Austin Knudsen for Attorney General and lost), decided to sue five Flathead County businesses.
Five businesses were singled out. Sykes Diner, Pharmacy, and Store, Scotty’s Bar and Casino, Remington Bar and Casino, Ferndale Market, and Your Lucky Turn Casino and Mercantile.
The reason they claim was “to prove the defendants were not making a “reasonable effort” to force customers and employees to wear masks.”
This, however, proved to be absolutely ludicrous as in the courtroom, the businesses replied by stating they made their foremost attempts to get customers and employees to comply; however, they revealed some employees who didn’t wear masks did so for medical reasons. The real crux was why these particular businesses were singled out.
We know that at least 4 of the 5 businesses, including Ray Thomspon, who owns Sykes Restaurant, Pharmacy, and Store, is a huge supporter of the Republican party in which Greg Gianforte was running for Governor of Montana. Democrats such as Steven Bullock ( who ran for Senator against Steve Daines and lost) don’t appreciate Republicans in the limelight.
Once Mr.Thompson heard the news, he proclaimed among many Flathead Valley patriots who rallied around him and his wife at Sykes Diner for breakfast the following morning and declared in a confident tone, “Bullock will not win! I will sue him!”
The DPHHS asked that a restraining order be put in place until businesses ceased operating “in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance and is injurious to public health.”
When inspectors from the DPHHS entered the five businesses in October, they found hardly any submitted to the mask mandate.
However, when the DPHHS sent their minions out to do their dirty work (meaning issuing court subpoenas ), the actual courier not only abstained from wearing the filthy face mask but tried to lay the documents on the counter, for which he was quickly reprimanded by the employee of Your Lucky Turn Casino. (Court documents are always to be handed to the owner of an establishment) and as the owner was away, so the one serving the papers needed to leave! The DPHHS incriminated themselves at this point.
On November 12th, Judge Dan Wilson denied DPHHS the short-term injunctions (restraining order) it was attempting, ruling the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that the defendants were not attempting a “reasonable effort” to require customers and employees to wear masks.
Approximately a week later, the five establishments filed a countersuit against the state, asking for damages by calling their bluff and knew they had been targeted because of their conservative political stances.
Quickly after Governor Gianforte came into office in January 2021, he made the proclamation and dropped the counterclaim. Governor Gianforte did the right thing and was speedy to dismiss the crazy nonsense that Bullock and the DPHHS had drummed up.
Although the businesses did not recoup financial loss due to lack of customer spending and harm to their reputations (not due to themselves but faulty premises), the state must pay all legal fees on behalf of the said businesses.
So if you’re out and about this spring and summer, please patronize these brave and worthy establishments and give them your business.
In conclusion, the DPHHS, along with former tyrant Governor Bullock, tried to pull a fast one, and it boomeranged.