Texas police have seized a political lawn sign that showed a GOP elephant with its trunk up a girl’s dress and the message: “Your Vote Matters.”
Homeowner Marion Stanford, who made the sign, said she was stunned at the involvement of police in her town of Hamilton, 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
“Here we have a political party that is using women,” Stanford told The Dallas Morning News last week. “I thought the sign represented what is going on now, and we can’t just stand quiet. I wanted to tell people we could stop it with voting.”
Stanford made the sign after listening to Christine Blasey Ford testify that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed when they were both in high school, tried to remove her clothes, and put a hand over her mouth when she tried to scream.
The sign was sharing lawn space with several others touting various Democratic candidates. It was the only one confiscated.
Police apparently were tipped by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who’s up for re-election. He called the homemade sign “Democratic sleaze” on his Facebook page and claimed the painting of the girl was intended to represent Kavanaugh’s daughter. Despite the sexual assault allegations against him, Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday as a Supreme Court justice after he was confirmed by a 50-48 Senate majority.
Stanford said the suggestion that the girl in her sign was Kavanaugh’s daughter is preposterous. There’s “nothing in my sign that remotely suggests it’s Kavanaugh’s daughter,” she added.
Her painting was based on an image created last year — long before Kavanaugh was even nominated — by Washington Post political cartoonist Ann Telnaes. The cartoonist was commenting at the time on President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s endorsement of Roy Moore for the Senate primary in Alabama, despite accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior with three teenage girls when he was in his 30s.
Hamilton City Manager Pete Kampfer told The Dallas Morning News that the sign was taken because it “featured a political animal taking an inappropriate position with a young child.”
Legal experts told the Dallas newspaper that police likely violated Stanford’s First Amendment rights.
“I stand with those women. I stand with the women who want change, who have a voice and are making their voice heard,” Stanford told The Washington Post. “And the whole community is not going to stop me.”