08/20/2013 05:38 pm ET

Republican Says His 'Impeach Obama' Sign Was Painted Over By His Landlord


A man in Port Vue, Penn. says his freedom of speech has been violated by a landlord uncomfortable with him painting a strong message against President Barack Obama on her property.

Brent Kovac, the chairman of the Mon Valley Republican Committee, told NewsRadio 1020 KDKA that he painted an "Impeach Obama" message outside his office in a Pittsburgh-area shopping center last week as part of the "Overpasses for Obama's Impeachment" campaign. But when his landlord, Helen Siudyla-Totty, received a number of complaints about the anti-Obama message, Kovac says she asked him to either take down the sign or vacate the strip mall.

Click here to see photos of Kovac's sign.

Within 48 hours, Kovac claims, Siudyla-Totty had painted over his message.

“I just sat and watched it happen,” Kovac told the McKeesport Daily News. “I talked to a legal person who said, ‘You should call the ACLU.'”

According to Kovac, his attempts to reach out to civil liberties groups about the painting have gone unanswered.

“If I would’ve put an ‘I love Obama’ mural up there,” Kovac told KDKA, "I would probably have every ACLU lawyer from here to San Francisco in a circle up there holding hands in front of my sign."

It's not the first time Kovac has caused a stir in the community. On January 21 -- the day of Obama's second inauguration -- he hung an upside down flag outside of the Mon Valley Republican Party's meeting spot, using the traditional distress signal to express his disappointment in the president.

"I think some people that didn't know why the flag was flying upside down might find out, and some people that didn't agree with it might've talked to some people who agreed with it," he said.


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