A political yard sign is causing quite a stir in Texas this week. Marion Stanford painted the sign, which features the GOP symbol — an elephant — with its trunk up the skirt of a female figure. The figure is depicted saying “help.” Next to that, on a black background and in bold pink letters, Stanford painted the words “Your Vote Matters.”
Police showed up at Marion Stanford’s door telling her to remove the sign or she would be arrested.
Why? A Republican politician had taken to social media to complain about the sign, falsely claiming that the female figure was supposed to represent Brett Kavanaugh’s young daughter. His Facebook post said “the Democratic sleaze knows NO bounds.”
This is in Hamilton, Texas and is supposed to be Judge Kavanaugh's young daughter. Notice my opponent's sign in the background. The Democrat sleaze knows NO bounds!Posted by Sid Miller on Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Marion argued that no, the female figure on the sign was not supposed to be Kavanaugh’s daughter, or a child at all. The figure is simply female. In fact, the art is not even her creation. The art is a reworking of a piece originally created LAST YEAR by a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Washington Post, Ann Telnaes. Police took the sign anyway, telling her that it was pornographic, and are holding it at the police station.
Here is an image of the original artwork — as you can see, all Ms. Stanford did was make the dress pink and add a face and the word “help.”
Ann Telnaes, the original cartoonist, talked about the incident on Twitter.
Good thing I'm not cartooning in Texas--->— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) October 6, 2018
Texas police confiscate political yard sign showing elephant with trunk up girl’s skirt https://t.co/eQClYqTII8
Which, of course, got others talking.
The old white man who had it removed decided it was Kavanaugh's daughter. Because just like with Black Lives Matter, old white men know exactly what people are protesting, and it's always something convenient to old white men.— Al Swearengen (@E_A_Swearengen) October 6, 2018
If it is on her property, totally improper.— Scott W Wright (@ScottWWrightPC) October 8, 2018
Why the truth is already out the (Republicans) Deviant Hypocrisy Party! No female is safe with the perverted sexual tyrants in the WH & GOP pic.twitter.com/xveNCfZbKZ— Sharisse Calderone (@SharisseC) October 10, 2018
The sign is symbolic of what we feel. It is more than just art.— Dr Robin (@Robinindfw) October 6, 2018
Yeah, come on Texas police. Can't do that. I'd support the person's right to display that sign on their own property even if it were anti-Democrat, or anti-science, or whatever. This is America.— Tyler Cash-Padgett (@TCashPadgett) October 9, 2018
Huh. Ok so porn was the reason.— JosephineJ#15 (@IsteningL) October 6, 2018
And it’s now circulating the globe in a photograph making it that much more powerful. Sweet.— Acid Cat (@AcidCat23) October 7, 2018
I do not agree with the message, BUT, I do believe the citizen has EVERY right to display such a sign!— Gemini66 (@Gemini6614) October 6, 2018
Exactly and I would dearly love to know where to buy the logo button. Amazon??— Tom L Pate (@TomLPate1) October 8, 2018
Not the 1A bar but this is certainly not obscene and defamation is hard on political issues. You could argue indecent and accessible to children but SCOTUS has protected worse on the grounds it is commentary on important political and social issues. Gut feeling, this is protected— BallisticsEnthusiast (@RowRowRow7) October 8, 2018
Kavanagh's daughters are not blond.— Mary Herne Sell (@marysell9) October 7, 2018
Most people seem to agree that even if they didn’t like the sign, it wasn’t pornographic, and taking it away was going too far. Not Sid Miller, though. The Republican politician — who initially posted his complaint about the sign along with the false idea that it was Kavanaugh’s daughter — is proud that the sign was removed.
Ms. Stanford has made no mention of speaking to Miller, but he told Facebook that she threatened to sue him and again claimed the image was Kavanaugh’s child.
I’m glad that I called out this offensive campaign sign and am pleased that hundreds of others did so as well. It’s vulgar and just plain wrong and it had no place in someone’s yard visible from the street. Not only was the sign an attack on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s daughter, it made a mockery of sexual assault which is NO laughing matter. The sign’s owner even threatened to sue me for bringing it to the public’s attention. I told her to ‘Bring It!’
The story has left us with more questions than anything. Did the sign go too far? Did Ms. Stanford change the message by painting the dress pink? Did Mr. Miller purposefully spread false information? Did local police overstep their bounds? Sound off about it all in the comments.