Aug 30, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Patriot Ledger: Each time Eric Folsom drives by the anti-President Obama campaign sign in Hanson, he tries to shield his young children from seeing it – that’s because it shows a young girl giving the middle finger to the president.
“If (my 6-year-old daughter) saw that, she’d say ‘Why is that little girl doing that? What does that mean?’” said Folsom, 27, of Whitman. “How do I explain that?”
Just a few feet away outside Sullivans Inc., a motorcycle accessories distributor at 121 Franklin St., is another large sign showing the president. It says: “Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot. Obama One Big Ass Mistake America, Vote Mitt Romney for 2012!” Two images of the hammer and sickle, which are symbolic of communism, are shown on Obama’s shirt collar.
Are the signs over the top?
Some passers-by said the campaign signs go too far and are offensive, while others said it’s a matter of free speech. Either way, the signs have drawn a lot of attention on Franklin Street in this small town of about 10,000 and they violate town bylaws, said Hanson officials.
Robert Sullivan, the business owner, did not get a necessary permit to put up the signs, said Hanson building commissioner and zoning enforcement officer Robert P. Curran.
“It is a sign that … is in violation of general bylaws,” Curran said Wednesday. “It also doesn’t meet any of the zoning bylaw criteria for the signs to exist as they are.”
Curran informed Sullivan of the violations in a letter from the town dated Aug. 2, town records show.
When The Enterprise visited the business Wednesday, Sullivan sent down an employee who said he would not comment.
Sullivan’s attorney, Roger S. Davis of Quincy, cited free speech when asked about the signs Wednesday.
“First amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It’s called freedom of speech,” Davis said.