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SD Gov. Kristi Noem has a message for Minnesota bar owners being targeted by leftist AG Keith Ellison: Move here. 'We won't shut you down.'

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Go where you're allowed to survive

Photo by Chris Elise/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Minnesota's radical left-wing Democratic attorney general continues to go after his state's bar and restaurant owners who dare to violate the governor's COVID-19 edicts prohibiting indoor dining.

So now South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is encouraging these put-upon business owners to move to her state, vowing that she will not make them close their doors.

What happened?

Late last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced lawsuits against two bars that defied Democratic Gov. Tim Walz's order that bars and restaurants may not offer indoor dining services, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Walz's edict does allow eateries to serve customers outdoors — but with Minnesota's typically bitter winters, most establishments have found that to be an unrealistic option.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville knowingly disobeyed the governor's command last week. The bar flouted the ban and served people indoors, and even proclaimed its defiance on Facebook, saying: "OPEN TODAY. COME IN FOR FOOD AND DRINKS!" The attorney general filed a temporary restraining order in an attempt to force Alibi Drinkery closed, but to no avail.

Another bar in Princeton, Neighbors on the Rum, was targeted by Ellison of having 40 to 50 people indoors last week.

On Monday, Ellison announced another three bars were added to his naughty list. From WCCO-TV:

According to Ellison, the lawsuits include St. Patrick's Tavern in New Prague, Pour House in Clarks Grove and The Interchange in Albert Lea.

Ellison says St. Patrick's Tavern had 150 to 200 vehicles in its parking lot on Dec. 18 and witnesses reported the establishment was standing room only, with it “packed inside so tightly that it was difficult to move around inside."

The state also received more than a dozen complaints about Pour House, including a report that the bar was operating at max capacity and no face coverings were being worn by any employee or customer.

The Interchange announced it would be opening for in-door dining on Dec. 15 and also held an indoor concert on Dec. 17. It was served a cease-and-desist order by the Minnesota Department of Health, but the restaurant owner vowed to continue on-side dining, Ellison's office said.

Noem makes an offer

When Gov. Noem heard about the persecution of Minnesota restaurants and bars last week, she made them what was likely a pretty tempting offer: Move to a state that won't force you to close and lose your business — a state like South Dakota.

"Come to South Dakota!" she tweeted in response to the Star Tribune report. "We respect your rights. We won't shut you down."

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