Checking in on Republican CD-3 primary candidate Lauren “Yosemite Samantha” Boebert’s short-lived campaign of civil disobedience against the Garfield County Public Health Department, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Dennis Webb reports, we find the situation has changed substantially since last week when we last updated this story with the GarCo sheriff’s refusal to take action against Boebert. Boebert’s Shooters Grill in Rifle, previously made famous for its armed wait staff, has nonetheless been shuttered as a result of the GOP congressional candidate’s contempt for health regulations that govern her business:
A Rifle restaurant owner’s civil disobedience when it comes to following state and local health orders appears to have come to an end, at least for the time being, with her efforts now focused on getting Garfield County to reinstate her retail food establishment license.
“My goal right now is just to get my license back,” Lauren Boebert, the owner of Shooters Grill, said Monday… [Pols emphasis]
The county filing seeking the restraining order indicates that the county had received multiple complaints about the restaurant being open for dine-in service, as well as an inquiry from another Rifle restaurant owner asking if it could open on-premises dining “since Shooters Grill was now open to the public.”
Here’s the thing, gentle readers: none of us want to live in a state/nation/world where restaurants can just ignore the local health department. When an establishment fails a health department inspection, or as happened in the case of Boebert’s own restaurant a few years ago when dozens of diners got food poisoning, there are consequences–and that’s a good thing. The consequences for an unintentional oversight in our view should be less severe than the (we hope) much rarer case of a restaurant defiantly asserting some kind of half-baked “right” to get their patrons sick.
Boebert’s illegal reopening of her restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic and repeated defiance of orders for her to cease and desist have resulted in the shutdown of the Shooters Grill–a shutdown that could persist even beyond the date other food service establishments in GarCo are allowed to reopen. Apparently there is sentiment out there that this would amount to some kind of injustice, and that Boebert’s political protest should not be subject to additional sanctions. Because, you know, freedom.
We say Boebert’s irresponsible behavior is precisely why she deserves a more severe penalty.