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Milford Billboard Calling Obama an 'Entry Drug to Socialism' Creates Friction

Fayez Ghaly, owner of the business next to the billboard, wants it removed. George J. Smith & Son Realtors President DeForest Smith stands by the message.

MILFORD, CT -- A billboard on the corner of High St. and Boston Post Rd. reads 'Obama = The Entry Drug to Socialism.'

This sign has created tension between Fayez Ghaly, the owner of USA Fuel, the gas station and market directly next to the billboard, and DeForest Smith, owner of the billboard and President of .

The Business Owner

"I'd like to see the sign down," said Fayez Ghaly on Wednesday. "I don't want to get involved with the politics."

Ghaly alleges that a representative from 'Milford Zoning' told him that the billboard was 'in violation.' Ghaly went on to claim that when he told the official he didn't own the billboard, the official left, but promised to return. Ghaly alleges that the official has never returned.

Milford City's Response

There is no evidence that a Milford zoning official ever spoke to Ghaly, though the office did not deny that such a conversation took place.

When asked about the billboard and the alleged conversation with Ghaly, Milford Permitting and Land Use Director Jocelyn Mathiasen sent an email stating: "No one in our office has issued any orders related to the bilboard."

The Billboard Owner

DeForest Smith noted that while the billboard space is usually used for business purposes, his company has put up this 'Obama' sign for their own purposes.

"We put it up," Smith said via phone Thursday. "It's our belief." 

Smith addressed the issue of Obama's relationship with Socialism saying, "Take a look at France or Italy, they're all going bankrupt. Debt is out of control."

Smith went on to say that Obama "borrowed 5 or 6 billion dollars."

Milford Planning & Zoning Responds

Milford Permitting and Land Use Director Jocelyn Mathiasen responded to questions about the City's role in this issue:

The billboard is existing and legal, and the City cannot and does not regulate content of signs. 

Our zoning enforcement officer has had conversations a couple of months ago with Mr. Ghaly regarding a number of issues, primarily some proposed expansions to his operations and other conditions on his site.  They did not discuss removal of the billboard or any issues regarding its legality. 

The only role that the city has with regard to billboards is approving the location of new ones to be built and making sure that they are compliant with our regulations.  Content and lease issues are not within our purview. 

What do you think of the billboard? Does it interfere with USA Fuel owner Fayez Ghaley's hope of not getting 'involved with the politics'?

Or should the sign stay up because DeForest Smith owns the billboard and should be able to put up any sign he wants?

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think in the comments section.

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Gerald M. Gaynor September 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Would you care to provide us with something more compelling than your personal opinion for that? Or, as I suspect, are you simply someone who only wishes to see political statements that you agree with? We have created generations of people who are absolutely convinced that their wishes and desires are “rights.”
Concerned Parent September 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM
@Ella, so he is an idiot for exercising hit right to criticize our President? And then go so far as to bring President Bush into the discussion. I'm siting here laughing at your comment because it is so hypocritical. George Bush got more over the top criticism than, IMO, any President since Nixon. People seem to conveniently forget the day when the Attorney General federal agents to go into a small home in MIami, with M16s in hand to grab a little boy to send him back to Cuba. Here's a pic in the event that your memory conveniently becomes cloudy. "http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0PDoKxK2k1QsHwA4z.JzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Delian%2Bgonazalez%2Bphoto%26fr%3Dyfp-t-554%26fr2%3Dpiv-web%26tab%3Dorganic%26ri%3D27&w=900&h=579&imgurl=laurajmoss.com%2Flaurablog%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F11%2FMG_4908.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Flaurajmoss.com%2Flaurablog%2F%3Ftag%3Delian-gonzalez&size=249.4+KB&name=not+sure+why+the+Elian+Gonzalez+photo+shoot+went+down%2C+but+I%E2%80%99m+...&p=elian+gonazalez+photo&oid=883e297dc395c8d07d2e5af80d5e7f6d&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t-554&rw=elian+gonzalez+photo&tt=not%2Bsure%2Bwhy%2Bthe%2BElian%2BGonzalez%2Bphoto%2Bshoot%2Bwent%2Bdown%252C%2Bbut%2BI%25E2%2580%2599m%2B...&b=0&ni=96&no=27&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11jlhfa76&sigb=13fjdttlr&sigi=11vqc4rcu&.crumb=E5/ZOSCPYQk"
Alex September 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Wake up Bryan: The US practices a lot of socialism. Those sidewalks in the center of Milford? Socialism. Police & Fire protection? Socialism. The street lights on every public road? Socialism. This isn't anything new. We pool our resources together to purchase and control property and services. Most people refer to this action as taxes.
CtLynn5 September 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Curious Orange, first three digits are assigned based on state of issue. Aren't you curious as to why the man who is the leader of the free world cannot explain why his social security number begins with the numbers 042, numbers issued to people in CT who apply?
Big Boy September 10, 2012 at 02:17 PM
If any Americans were to offer a one way ticket and American citizenship to anyone living in a foreign country, they would grab it in a minute because there is no place better to live than the USA!
dfasdfasdf September 10, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Here is the BEST thing YOU can do. Slap an OBAMA 2012! or Romney 2012! bumper sticker on your car and go fill up at this gas station.
Southbury Resident September 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I like that sign. My opinion<> I think Obama is horrible as president and some of his tactics are straight from Communist manifesto playbook. But that just my opinion based on fact that I know more about Socialism and Communists then 99% of people in America. I have first hand experience. So will be voting for Romney. I want somebody with business skill to give a try fixing this country.
Concerned Parent September 10, 2012 at 03:32 PM
@dfasdfasdg...That reminds me of something the Kremlin would do, during the Cold War... Hallo comrade..This is what you are to do, it is best for you and your family... Dasvidaniya
Concerned Parent September 10, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Maybe we should evolve to one of those 3rd world countries where their citizens are unable to express their views of their government simply because it bothers some people. If you do not say you like him, "Ein Fuhrer" will be upset.
Mark Lofthouse September 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Manny, your reply to Gerald sound like what people in Germany said about Hitler. No one in Germany believed Hilter could do what he did, but yet it happened. Why you ask......they simply thought that it "wasn't possible" and chose to ignore the little Corporal. Read a little history and also about Socialist and Communist movements here in the USA.
SuperDave September 10, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Calm down people. Republicans lie, but Domocrates have taken it to another level. But lets face it, all politicians lie, and shame on us for believeing them. In this matter, socialism does exist for the good of society. But it was never meant to be used to take my money and prop up a single mom with 10 kids, or the crack addict who refuses to work. My issue is this: taking my money and giving it to lazy, unmotivated, system abusers never created a job. Giving my money to people who may in fact create a job or two, even if they pay themselves a few million bucks a year, makes more sense. In that context, Obama is a Socialist. Fact: in the 1960's 3% of citizens were on some kind of government subsidy. Now? Its 27%!
Michael Brown September 10, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Mark Lofthouse You're right. I remember reading that Hitler provided healthcare for everyone and had his own version of a 'dream act' for the Jews (read sarcasm).
Jim Regan September 10, 2012 at 09:10 PM
This is incredibly myopic, and repeated so often that it's worth reminding folks it's not true. I'm an american living abroad and the OVERWHELMING number of people i know from dozens of countries have absolutely no desire to live in America. If you're happy there, great, but the rest of the world is a good place too.
Mark Lofthouse September 10, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Actually Mike, Bismarck first offered nationalized healthcare, not HItler. Hitler took it to the next level with the Enabling Act of 1933. As for your "dream act" remark, don't find it at all funny or even consider it sarcasm. But I do respect your right to say it. You need to do the same with regard to this billboard. Just let it goooooo!
Phil kohan September 10, 2012 at 09:26 PM
In this state it really doesn't matter who you are voting for president. Connecticut always votes Democratic in the presidential election, which means that all seven of our electoral votes will go for Obama. If you really want to make a difference, you will have to set up your primary residence in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, or any of the other swing states that are still in play. And might I add, please do.
C.S. September 10, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I think that you are all off base, I have lived in CT my entire life and have had a SS# pretty much since birth, and amazingly it starts with 048. Go figure, so much for that theory. The 042 must be a more recent thing as that is what my daughters starts with. Back to the drawing board Obama haters, and you were so sure of yourselves too.
C.S. September 10, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Haha, I'm all for that, toss the bums out let Ohio deal with the insane right.
RONALD M GOLDWYN September 10, 2012 at 09:50 PM
WOW 305 COMMENTS regarding one sign. It amazes me how far astray the comments wandered for a Republican owned billboard.
Michael Brown September 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Mark. I get it. You think Obama equals Hitler. What really gets me is that you think that stupid sign is a debate resolution. Resolved: Obama = Entry Drug to Socialism. In the affirmative: Mark Lofthouse. Opposed: Everyone else who lives in Milford - the sign is a blight.
Juniormints September 10, 2012 at 10:26 PM
MIchael Brown - your comment is wrong that everyone else in Milford thinks its a blight - I don't think it so. And for the record of the people who took the time to vote in the poll on this website - 67% agree that he has the right to put up whatever he wants.
Michael Brown September 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM
And you are candy who lives in a box at the candy counter someplace in Milford?? Any idiot can vote, and vote often, on these polls. Get a life . . . and a name.
Diana Nytko September 11, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Mike, I totally agree, I have known Mr. Smith (Frosty) for years and I am truly shocked and embarassed for him. I know he's a staunch Republican, but "Shame on you Frosty".
Yooper September 11, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Gee, I thought it was Demoncrats and Repugnicants.
Yooper September 11, 2012 at 01:51 AM
See??? Obama was born in the '60s and has been marching us to socialism ever since. Don't you just love the wild accusations? Or should I say hallucinations?
C.S. September 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Junior mints, they're very refreshing.
Phil kohan September 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM
67% sounds a little low, since it is our freedom of speech that is the topic here. I completely disagree with what that billboard's message is, but every citizen has that right to express their opinions in whichever manner they are comfortable with, or can afford. We are all doing it right here in this forum and it's a lot cheaper than putting it up on a billboard.
Watts September 11, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Smith and Sons should have shown the strength of character to put that on their roof, right above their entrance. The way that they have placed it does seem ambiguous to anybody driving by, that it could very well be associated to USA Fuel. If somebody put a polarizing sign like that anywhere near a business that I owned, where the casual passerby may misinterpret it as being me and my business making such a statement, then I would likewise be pushing tho have it taken down. It isn't a first amendment issue, as I think that Smith should be able to put it more appropriately over his own business.
Juniormints September 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Why thank you C.S.! Yes they are! And to Michael Brown - I agree any idiot can vote and apparently there are more idiots than non because Obama got in last time!
tjc360 September 21, 2012 at 12:05 AM
I am all for freedom and America, but politicians, they all suck.
Mark Grano December 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I love that billboard

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