Michael Mangano and his sister Christine Wartluft say they are irritated with Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, particularly because of the state government’s lockdown orders. Pennsylvania authorities have given them fines totaling $10,000 over their refusal to obey state orders by keeping their restaurant open.
The siblings, who are co-owners of the Lebanon County restaurant Taste of Sicily, shut down initially for two months in obedience with state orders. But with the support of local Republican leadership, they decided to reopen, and Mangano says when it comes to the state fines for opening, “we ain’t praying crap.”
“It really is about civil liberties and our freedoms, the right to be able to go to work, to make a living. We know that COVID-19 is real … We did what we had to do to comply and contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Mangano tells the Daily Caller. “We flattened the curve, we unfortunately were seeing what was happening in the nursing homes, the tragedies. It didn’t stop there, we saw how this governor, Governor Wolf, was picking and choosing who was getting the business waivers to operate or not to operate their business.” (RELATED: GOP Lawmaker Joins Local Businesses In Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania Governor‘s State Shutdown)
Wolf has kept his attention on Lebanon County and the Republican leadership’s support of small businesses, like Taste of Sicily. He decided to withhold $13 million in funding from the county July 17, leaving it as the only county in the state to have been cut off from the $625 million package of coronavirus relief funds. Wolf blamed the Republican-controlled Board of Commissioners, according to WPXI.
“This governor wants to compromise with us and we’re not willing to do that, this is our livelihood,” Christine says.
“You’re going to let this governor tell you that you can’t operate, and everything your family ever worked for, you’re going to let that go down the tubes? I’ll tell you what, not at Taste of Sicily,” Mangano says. “We’re coming to work, and that’s it. And this governor isn’t going to do anything about it.”
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