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2020 Man of the Year: Brant Walker

Brant Walker
Brant Walker / Facebook
• December 26, 2020 1:00 pm

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While big-name Democrats across the country evaded their own stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic to keep up their elitist lifestyles, one Midwestern mayor's commitment to the rule of law likely landed him a few nights on the couch after he directed police to charge his wife for violating statewide shutdown rules.

California governor Gavin Newsom, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser were among a number of Democrats who flexed their executive privileges and granted themselves a get-out-of-jail-free card for violating the very mandates—lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and bans on gatherings—they implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer's husband even attempted to leverage his clout with a dock company to get his boat launched in time for Memorial Day.

Whitmer dismissed her husband's stunt—which would have violated her ludicrous boating ban—as a "failed attempt at humor."

But Alton, Ill., mayor Brant Walker wasn't laughing when authorities found his own wife bellied up to the bar one Saturday night in April, during a statewide stay-at-home order.

Alton police received a tip around 1 a.m. Sunday morning about an illicit gathering at Hiram's Tavern—less than 48 hours after the mayor announced that he'd directed police to snuff out all public and private gatherings and fine or arrest those in attendance.

Officers were presumably aghast upon finding none other than Mrs. Walker among those partaking in a Saturday night brewski. The Alton police department informed Walker of his wife's whereabouts, and the mayor ordered the police chief to treat his wife as he would the other boozers.

Police slapped Mrs. Walker with a misdemeanor criminal complaint for reckless conduct—a charge punishable by one year in jail or a $2,500 fine.

The mayor publicly chastised his wife for her "stunning lack of judgment" in a Facebook post the next day and said he was "embarrassed" by Mrs. Walker's "ill-advised" night out.

Mrs. Walker might be the real hero here for risking jail time and a hefty fine for a night out on the town, but for upholding the rule of law, Brant Walker is a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.