Government

Updated: Trump Holiday Message Trumps ‘Impeach’ Sign

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Christmas Eve brought holiday greetings, purportedly from President Donald J. Trump and his wife Melania, to a rotating billboard on South Avenue in Boardman Township that also features the message “Impeach.”

The digital sign, owned by Genesis Outdoor Advertising, caught political attention Dec. 16 when the ‘Impeach’ message was posted. Paid for by a group calling itself Youngstown Neighbors, the billboard’s existence erupted on social media with pro and con postings.

The new billboard features a photo of the Trumps and a simple message, “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Paid for by the Youngstown Deplorables.”

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Democrat Hillary Clinton said she “put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

Then candidate Trump seized upon the remarks, which Clinton made at a private fundraiser in New York City, and said she insulted “my supporters, millions of amazing, hard-working people.”

The identity is not known of the Youngstown Deplorables who paid for the Trumps’ holiday greetings. Mark Munroe, chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, said he first found out about the billboard after it was posted. Genesis company policy prohibits disclosing the names of individuals involved in the transaction.

Peter Norris, a professor of chemistry at Youngstown State University and apparent spokesman for the Youngstown Neighbors that paid for the “Impeach” sign, said he and some of the group’s members would meet with reporters Dec. 19.

The press event was canceled one hour before it was scheduled to start.

UPDATE: A reader notified The Business Journal Dec. 28 that the pro-Trump billboard contains a grammatical mistake. Carl Wesch points out the group that paid for pro-Trump sign describes itself as the Youngstown Deplorable’s. In using an apostrophe, which this writer missed when originally reporting the story, Wesch said, “I think we should let them know they’re deplorable in English as well.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.