Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer verbally reinforced her stay-at-home executive orders Monday after a reporter asked her about Owosso barber Karl Manke, who has refused to close his shop.
“I’ve never seen this type of oppression by a government, ever, not even in the ’60s,” Manke told a crowd of supporters before a press conference following Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart’s decision not to sign a temporary restraining order against him, as requested by the state.
When questioned about those ignoring the stay-at-home orders Whitmer replied, “I expect people to follow the law. These executive orders are not a suggestion. They’re not optional. They’re not helpful hints.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: “These executive orders are not a suggestion. They’re not optional. They’re not helpful hints.” pic.twitter.com/ImffRfwPyb
— The Hill (@thehill) May 11, 2020
Whitmer is engaged in a political standoff not only with Manke, but with a group of armed militia members who have decided to defend Manke and his barbershop.
“Yesterday six troopers came in to enforce the governor’s order or to issue a cease or desist order so we are here to make sure he doesn’t get arrested,” said Owosso resident and militia member Daniel Brewer. “We’re willing to stand in front of that door and block the entrance so the police will have no entry there today.”
The Governor also stands entrenched in another battle against her own state legislature. She has already signaled that she will refuse to sign any bill which takes away her executive reach: “I’m not going to sign any bill that takes authority away from me or from any future governor.” (RELATED: Michigan Governor Deems Gardening Supplies — Including Fruit And Vegetable Seeds — ‘Non-Essential’)
Meanwhile, Manke has made his stance clear. “I’ll be open until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me,” Manke told Michigan News.