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Mayor Wants Message Removed

Photographer Joe Jaszewski of the Idaho Statesman gave HucksOnline permission to use his photo of the controversial electronic billboard in Caldwell.

The mayor of Caldwell on Tuesday morning asked the foundation board in charge of an electronic billboard at one of the entrances to town to remove a message that has sparked angry responses across the United States and beyond. The message, which compares President Barack Obama’s foreign policy to the actions of Colorado mass-murder suspect James Holmes, will be gone soon — but not because the city asked for it to be removed, said Maurice Clements, chairman of the Ralph Smeed Memorial Foundation and a promoter of the billboard. Clements said the group typically runs messages on the board for a week or so, then puts new ones up. The person who posts the messages is out of town until Wednesday afternoon, he said. “I didn’t realize this was going to be as emotional an issue as it has become,” said Clements, who estimates that he’s received about 1,000 emails and phone calls. “Apparently this one here struck a raw nerve”/Katy Moeller, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Is the Caldwell mayor out of line in asking followers of the late Ralph Smeed to remove their billboard message?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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