Gubernatorial hopeful sues Brown over COVID rules on businesses

Politics

Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam to file federal lawsuit this week

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, who is considering a run for governor in 2022, will file a federal lawsuit on behalf of organizations challenging Gov. Kate Brown’s executive authority during the pandemic.

“Over the last year we’ve watched as arbitrary rules have allowed some of the largest corporations in this country, people to fill in to big box stores to support corporate America but we can’t sit down and support our local main street Mom & Pop small business owners,” Pulliam told reporters Monday.

The lawsuit, which seeks to restrain Brown’s executive order for a state of emergency, will be filed this week in federal court, Pulliam announced in a release Monday.

Pulliam made the announcement outside Spud Monkeys, a Gresham eatery cited last year by the Oregon Health Authority for illegally opening during the pandemic.

“The state of emergency was necessary when we didn’t know anything about the virus,” Pulliam said in a statement. “But we now have a vaccine, we understand how it’s transmitted and how it’s not, and we don’t see any discernible difference in outcomes between states that are open and the increasingly few that aren’t.”

For Spud Monkey’s owner Melissa Adams, life over the past year has been about as dark as it gets.

“I have lost a marriage, I have lost a business partner, and sadly … I lost my son to suicide during COVID,” she said.

Adams is still grieving the death of her son but continues to show up to Spud Monkey’s seven days a week because she knows other people are depending on her.

On Monday night, there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. That’s because she isn’t following Brown’s rule to prohibit indoor dining.

She said she resents the accusation that she cares more about profits than people.

“My people are my employees, my people are my patrons,” she said. “My employees deserve to take care of their families.”

Adams will join Pulliam in filing the federal suit against Brown this week.

As the lawsuit unfolds, the governor’s office will need to produce scientific data Pulliam said he and others have been demanding for several months.

“The Governor’s broadly applied authority continues to be shrouded in opaque rationale, undisclosed science, and arbitrary metrics. After 14 months, it’s time to put an end to this and restore our constitutionally protected rights as Americans,” Pulliam said.

Last week Oregon State health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger told the Oregon Senate Committee on Health Care that OHA has traced 3% of virus cases to restaurants.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Gov. Brown’s office for comment and have not yet heard back.

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