Valdosta 'Impeach Trump' billboard removed

Valdosta 'Impeach Trump' billboard removed.png
Posted at 5:00 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 17:00:00-04

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A billboard calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached garnered a lot of attention in Valdosta.

Tom Hochschild, the man who paid for the sign, said the decision to pull down the sign violated his first amendment rights.

Hochschild signed a contract with Roger Budd Company to put up a billboard on behalf of a group called 'Georgians for the Impeachment of Donald Trump," which he is a member of. 

Hochschild said the sign was taken down without his permission, which he also said violated his Freedom of Speech. 

“If you drive around South Georgia, you’re gonna see a lot of billboards with a lot of social and political messages. The problem is that some of these billboard companies only promote certain type of messages, and they seem to stifle other viewpoints,” said Hochschild. 

Hochschild said the group paid to have the billboard put up on N St. Augustine Street to express their views.

“We believe that he has committed some impeachable offenses and we want to explore that. We want to promote our group," said Hochschild said of Trump. 

Less than 24 hours after erecting the sign, the sign was taken down, according to Hochschild. 

“We put a billboard up, right across the street. It went up about 3 o’clock on Thursday," Hochschild said. "By Friday at 2 o’clock, it had been taken down. We have freedom of speech in this country. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that one political party gets to say whatever they want, or certain views get exposed and others don’t. Everybody should be brought to the table and all views should be heard." 

Hochschild said employees at Roger Budd told him the sign had to be taken down.

“They told me that they were getting calls from other businesses that advertise with Roger Budd. Those other businesses were threatening to pull that advertising if the impeach billboard stayed up,” said Hochschild.

Hochschild said he believes the decision to remove the billboard was biased.

“What we’re hoping is that this will start a broader conversation about types of billboards that are permitted to be posted,” said Hochschild.

Hochschild said he was offered a refund but told WALB he did not accept it. 

WALB reached out to Roger Budd Company about the sign removal but denied to comment.

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