Today we hand-delivered a demand letter to Governor Mill’s personal residence from my attorneys Robert Barnes and Bill Palmer. We have given her 2 weeks to end the unlawful stay-home order and re-open Maine’s economy to all businesses. If she doesn’t we will file a lawsuit against the State of Maine on Friday May 15th.
I can’t share the text of the demand letter from my attorneys as it contains private information and legal strategies. But the full text of the personal letter that I wrote to the governor is below:
Governor Janet Mills,
Your executive order mandating that non-essential businesses (or entire industries) close and all citizens “stay home” is unlawful according to 3 different attorneys I’ve engaged to look into the matter.
You have no right to tell Mainers how to live their lives, or pick economic winners and losers by allowing some businesses to operate and forcing others to shut down. All businesses are essential because they provide their owners and employees with the opportunity to feed, shelter, and support their families. Your unlawful micromanagement of our lives is infringing on civil liberties and causing severe damage to Maine’s fragile economy. It must stop immediately.
I understand your desire to “flatten the curve” of the virus, but for every citizen that has died after testing positive for COVID-19, thousands of Maine workers have lost their jobs. Most of my friends are corporate managers or small business owners. If the average worker heard our recent conversations it would chill their blood. More layoffs and business closures are coming, a lot of them, and soon.
In short, if Maine doesn’t reopen in weeks (not months) then we’re going to lose thousands of small businesses and tens of thousands of jobs—forever. In just a few short months, your lockdown policy has squandered state finances and imploded perhaps the best economy in Maine’s history.
When this virus has come and gone, and we realize that it was far more widespread and less lethal than has been reported, the people of Maine will still face many years of hardship from your unlawful actions that destroyed small businesses, jobs, and jeopardized the economic futures of our children. That will be your legacy, governor, unless you change course.
Since you’re a career bureaucrat, it may be helpful for me to explain how the economy works. Apparently, none of your advisors have done so as you seem to think the economy is something that can be simply “turned on” or “turned off” like a machine.
HOW THE ECONOMY WORKS
• One person’s expense is another’s income.
• When incomes go up, businesses expand, families spend more, and the economy grows.
• When incomes go down, businesses and families cut expenses, and the economy shrinks.
• When small business incomes go to zero because a bureaucrat orders them to close, fixed expenses and debt service eat the businesses alive. Collapse is inevitable.
• A recession occurs when many small businesses fail and the jobs they provide are destroyed.
• During recessions businesses and families reduce their spending, which shrinks small business incomes further. More jobs are destroyed.
• If a recession is severe and lasting, it becomes a depression.
• Depressions are bad—the last one went on for 13 years and tens of millions lost everything.
Although the average citizen may not realize it yet, Maine’s economy is absolutely and without question heading for a severe depression. There is only one way to prevent it: rescind your artificial shut-down of our economy immediately.
Because I love Maine, and its hardworking people, I’ve instructed my legal team to give you until Friday May 15th to end your unlawful “stay home” order for citizens and allow all businesses to resume operations.
After that date passes, we will be filing legal action and I will use every resource at my disposal to oppose your unlawful order and educate voters that you and a handful of technocrats in Augusta caused the economic collapse that is about to wipe out businesses and working families in our state.
Countless thousands of Mainers are already disregarding your unlawful mandate. By the time our lawsuit and this letter are made public, business owners and laid off workers may be so desperate that half the state effectively re-opens with or without your permission.
You must decide here and now whether you want to have a pandemic virus, or possibly a slightly less pandemic virus and an economic depression.
I strongly urge you to do the right thing—time is running out.
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