GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A billboard that depicts President Barack Obama as an Islamist suicide bomber is sparking intense debate in a conservative western city this week. The billboard is the work of artist Paul Snover, who routinely posts his work on Tea Party Web Sites.
In the image, Obama is also portrayed as a gay individual and a Mexican bandit. There is a cigar-chomping gangster, rats labeled as trial lawyers, IRS, EPA and the Federal Reserve bank. A slogan reads: "Vote DemocRAT."
Martelle Daniels, the head of the Mesa County Democrats says: "It's beyond distasteful, and it's disrespectful of the commander-in-chief... it's clearly racist and homophobic."
Meanwhile, the local Republicans agree: Chuck Pabst, localRepublican chairman, said: "It's reprehensible and disrespectful, and that's not what any honorable person would put forth...To ridicule somebody in this manner is juvenile."
As far as who paid for the billboard, the artist and owner of the billboard wouldn't say.
A local shop owner, who is now getting gawking crowds in her parking lot, says she supports freedom of speech but finds the image "despicable." "I don't know who commissioned that thing...but they should own up to it," Doris Downey said. "Anonymous opinion gets no respect from me."