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JUSTICE NOT SERVED: Minnesota Small Business Woman Faces Outrageous Covid Penalties

The Blue State Conservative

It would be an understatement to observe how the ruling class response to Covid has wreaked havoc on life and liberty. These God-given rights were supposed to be preserved by the government and its handlers; indeed, this basic function is one of the limited powers we the people initially granted to our overseers. Instead, the ever-more-powerful state has seen to it that both life and liberty are subjugated to the political fancies of elitists that possess neither the moral guidance nor the intellectual acumen to carry out their mission.

Among the many frustrating aspects of government overreach since March 2020 has been the wholly unnecessary and unbelievably illegal shutdowns of selective business operations. Whereas Big Box stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, and Costco, just to name a few, were allowed to stay open, the cornerstone of American communities were forcibly closed by gubernatorial edicts. It never made scientific sense to shutter a handful of minor smaller venues. Their closures would inevitably bottleneck even larger crowds into the remaining limited spaces, enabling a convergence of more workers and shoppers. Anyways, if masks or vaccines worked, and they were mandated, shouldn’t that have been enough?

Follow the science? More like follow the money.

However, even if forced closures had made scientific sense, and even if Covid didn’t have an average survival rate of 99.997%, there are still larger concerns than mitigating just one viral exposure. Recent studies by the CDC conclude that the mental health of people, particular young people, shot through the roof. If only there had been voices warning of this for the past eighteen months…Do the social and economic tolls have to take a backseat to communal medical concerns? Many were shouting “no” long before the pandemic. With hindsight, that answer should now be proclaimed throughout the land. Not only did the virus not slow down, but the combination of medical fraud and indifference to off-patent treatments, social health, and economic wellbeing is unmeasurably awful.

That brings us to the story of restaurateur Melissa “Lisa” Hanson. Ms. Hanson is the average American small business owner. She works hard and plays by the rules. She pays her taxes and serves her family and community. The world would be better with more Lisas and less empty-headed politicians. Now, margins in the restaurant business are insanely low, and it takes grit, determination, and endless labor to succeed. Closing for even a day or two can have disastrous effects on the bottom line. So, when pretend-emperor Walz ordered establishments like Lisa Hanson’s to shut down in order to “do their part” against Covid, she refused. In protesting, she became your not-so-average freedom fighter.


The story of Lisa Hanson frustrates the soul on a host of levels. In the most fundamental sense, how dare anyone on a guaranteed public salary tell another how to earn an income. Did Walz think Hansen would simply eat what was in the freezer and write the food off as a loss? As with all leftist proclamations – business closures, police defunding, open borders, cashless bail – the ruling class is never affected personally by their decisions.

In the larger view of politics, it is something altogether frightening when our elected officials can control every action and behavior, especially upon threat of incarceration and financial penalty. When one imagines a jail cell or prison yard, what kind of person inhabits those places. Does the image of Lisa Hanson fit that mental picture? It is a farce of justice when she faces more serious punishment than, say, Darryl Brooks, who is actually a violent sociopath. During the course of the alleged pandemic, Governor Walz released thousands of inmates with the explicit purpose of reducing crowded spaces. Ironically, he has enforced draconian measures against actual decent human people with fines and jail time, as seen in this case here. Violent felons are released and innocent Lisa Hansons are jailed. One can only hope Minnesota voters have taken notice.

Justice was not served. She should never have been in the position to be shut down or fined in the first place, but when it came time to judgment, she received the most biased verdict possible. The judge in her case, Joseph Bueltel, is a corrupt lunatic who violated his oath of rendering impartiality and blind justice to those he served. Not only did the judge allow this case to proceed, he actually intervened and came back with more time than the prosecutors recommended. The jury suggested a ten-day stint in jail and a $500 fine. Judge Bueltel single-handedly gave her a ninety-day jail sentence and a fine of $1,000.

American Greatness summarized his personal animus and open hostility to the defendant in his “ruthless beratements”:

“You were a public risk because you kept your business open,” the judge claimed. Until her defiance of the lockdown orders, Hanson had never been in any kind of trouble with the law.


Nonetheless, Bueltel reportedly compared Hanson to a “career criminal and a drug or alcohol offender,” and said an appropriate sentence would keep Hanson from defying the law again, and to stop others from following suit.

“You sure played them for the fool, didn’t you?” he added. “You just wanted to make money during a global pandemic.”


“You don’t want to recognize our law,” Bueltel continued. “I want to reinforce that the law does apply to you. I want to send a message to the community that executive orders are law.”


The story of Lisa Hanson unfortunately does not end here. She faced additional counts of misdemeanor charges and subsequently an additional nine possible months in jail and several thousands dollars in fines. If she is placed before the same corrupt judge, it stands to reason he will likewise add on to the recommendations.

All readers can help support Lisa Hanson. Highlighted below are two articles that describe her situation following the end of this most recent case – one a story from the local Minnesota Sun and the other from the aforementioned article in American Greatness. Below that is a link to the GoFundMe set up by her husband.

The Minnesota Sun: “Judge Berates Albert Lea Bistro Owner…

American Greatness: “Minnesota Bistro Owner Sentenced with 90 days in jail and $1,000 Fine for Defying COVID Lockdown Order.”

Lisa Hanson’s Gofundme

Content syndicated from TheBlueStateConservative.com with permission.

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  1. Walz likes to flex his muscles – the ones that control his mouth. Unfortunately, the small muscle in his head runs the muscles of his mouth. Nothing but a loudmouth and nothing but stupidity ever comes out. He is a disaster waiting to happen. For some reason he is elected time and time again. I guess only the city suburbanites’ votes count.

  2. Judge Bueltel deserves nothing better than to be disbarred and sentenced to 5 years in jail for being totally clueless. How dare he single out an individual business owner trying to make a living while companies like Walmart, Target, Home Depot and other “woke” businesses remained open. This guy is pure evil

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