The owners of the Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey broke through the plywood boards covering their gym’s door on August 1, 2020.
From there, they let dozens of clients enter and go on with their workout routines. This is part of an ongoing deadlock between business owners and government officials over New Jersey’s Wuhan virus-related lockdowns.
Owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti immediately let 40 to 50 customers work out at the gym, which Smith claimed was less than 25 percent of the facilities’ capacity. Customers waited anxiously to get back to working out as the owners busted through the doors in defiance of the New Jersey state government’s dictates.
Smith recognized it was likely that law enforcement would come back to force them to shut down again, which has happened a number of times ever since Atilis reopened its doors in May. According to a letter that was sent to Smith, Bellmawr officials are considering the revocation of the gym’s business license.
“Gov. Murphy has weaponized the police force against us over and over,” Smith declared. “I think he looks foolish, the way he’s treating us — he’s pulling out all the stops. You have to ask, How far will one man go to destroy a small business?”
Atilis has become a symbol of the disillusionment among some residents and small-business owners over the state’s draconian Wuhan virus restrictions. It closed its doors in March alongside other gyms, restaurants, and a number of businesses that were ordered to wind down their operations in order to allegedly contain the virus’ spread.
In May, the owners opened the gym and received considerable support from Fox News. Fast forward to July, they were held in contempt of court after a Superior Court judge in Camden issued a ruling that ordered Atilis to comply with an executive order by Governor Phil Murphy that restricts indoor gym use to personal training sessions.
So, it’s no surprise why the New Jersey government is infringing on citizens’ rights to peacefully run their businesses. Some states are clearly are not friendly to freedom lovers. New Jersey is one of them.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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