Overreaching Government Revokes Maine Restaurant's Licenses Immediately After Owner Defies Lockdown


For thwarting Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ executive order during the coronavirus pandemic, a Maine restaurant owner has been penalized for reopening his establishment by having his liquor and health licenses revoked, according to a report in News Center Maine.

Rick Savage, owner of Sunday River Brewing Co., reopened his restaurant doors in Bethel on Friday –and implemented social distancing guidelines — after making his case boldly and publicly to reopen the economy last week on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

According to an employee, over 250 supporters appeared in a show of solidarity with him, opposing the mandates of their liberal governor.

Maine is currently in the first phase of opening its economy. Despite a relatively low number of coronavirus casualties, Mills has nonetheless insisted that restaurants remain closed until June 1.

For now, her orders permit health centers, golf courses, barbershops and salons to resume their activities, but with guidelines.

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“We cannot flip a switch and open up all the restaurants, all the bars, all the souvenir shops and all the motels across the state to do business as usual and risk a more aggressive resurgence of this virus that will only sicken more people, destroy lives and devastate our entire economy for years to come,” Mills said at the Maine CDC daily coronavirus briefing on May 1.

“I believe strongly that the vast majority of business owners across Maine, though they are frustrated about being closed and concerned about their future, I believe that they share an unflagging commitment to keeping Maine people healthy,” she added.

This sentiment is not shared by the more than 300 protesters who appeared last month in the streets leading to the statehouse to protest the governor’s orders, according to an April 20 report in News Center Maine.

“We don’t need a nanny, and we don’t need a mommy … we don’t need a dictator,” said protester Fred Greenwood of Hebron, echoing the frustration of similar protesters across the nation.

Did state agents overreact by revoking Savage's licenses?

From Texas to Michigan to Massachusetts, protests against the economic lockdown have erupted as Americans demand the full restoration of their constitutional rights to worship, assemble, work and operate freely.

Business owners like Savage reject the arbitrary rules established by the government, allowing some businesses to operate while keeping others closed. The criteria appear to be illogical.

“We have had enough of it. We’re encouraging all businesses in Maine to open up,” Savage said in his April 30 interview with Tucker Carlson.

Savage explained that he has fully complied with all the new cleaning and spacing guidelines required by the state: Maine residents should decide for themselves whether they want to visit his establishment.

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For exercising his first amendment right to speak, his right as a citizen to work and assemble, state agents nonetheless took his licenses, forcing him to remain closed for the weekend.

However, despite the licenses being revoked, Savage reopened his restaurant for business on Tuesday afternoon, according to WMTW. A state official said Savage could be fined $1,000 “per incident,” but there were reportedly “no signs of enforcement or punishment” witnessed at the second reopening.

The draconian retaliatory action is clearly intended to send a message to anyone who dares speak up and defy Mills.

Yet, she and other lawmakers are not grasping that the rights American citizens insist be immediately restored are not hers — or anyone else’s — to give or take away.

They belong to each of us, as bestowed by our Creator.

Such ham-fisted government action only further stokes the flames of angry citizens who are preparing more protests.

Americans are increasingly rising up to reject these whimsical, tyrannical government mandates that are rapidly making us spiritually, emotionally and financially sicker than the very pandemic we are battling.

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Grace Vuoto is a columnist and pundit. She was an editor at The Washington Times and a professor. Her former radio show, “American Heartland with Dr. Grace,” was nationally syndicated.
Grace Vuoto is a columnist and pundit. She was an editor at The Washington Times and a professor. Her former radio show, “American Heartland with Dr. Grace,” was nationally syndicated.