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Milford Billboard Calls Obama an 'Entry Drug to Socialism'

Fayez Ghaly, owner of the business next to the billboard, wants it removed. George J. Smith & Son Realtors President DeForest Smith stands by the message.

This article originally appeared on Milford Patch.

A billboard on the corner of High Street and Boston Post Road in Milford reads 'Obama = The Entry Drug to Socialism.'

This sign has created tension between Fayez Ghaly, the owner of USA Fuel, the gas station and market abutting the billboard, and DeForest Smith, the owner of the billboard and President of .

The Business Owner

"I'd like to see the sign down," said Ghaly. "I don't want to get involved with the politics."

Ghaly alleges that a representative from 'Milford Zoning' told him that the billboard was 'in violation.' Ghaly went on to claim that when he told the official he didn't own the billboard, the official left, but promised to return. Ghaly alleges that the official has never returned.

Milford City's Response

There is no evidence that a Milford zoning official ever spoke to Ghaly, though the office did not deny that such a conversation took place.

When asked about the billboard and the alleged conversation with Ghaly, Milford Permitting and Land Use Director Jocelyn Mathiasen sent an email stating: "No one in our office has issued any orders related to the bilboard."

The Billboard Owner

DeForest Smith noted that while the billboard space is usually used for business purposes, his company has put up this 'Obama' sign for their own purposes.

"We put it up," Smith said. "It's our belief." 

Smith addressed the issue of Obama's relationship with Socialism saying, "Take a look at France or Italy, they're all going bankrupt. Debt is out of control."

Smith went on to say that Obama "borrowed 5 or 6 billion dollars."

What do you think of the billboard? Does it interfere with USA Fuel owner Fayez Ghaley's hope of not getting 'involved with the politics'? Or should the sign stay up because DeForest Smith owns the billboard and should be able to put up any sign he wants?

Jason Bagley (Editor) September 07, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Some comments left on the Stratford Patch Facebook page: Joseph Scivoletti: "Very true.." Robert Chambers: "What's wrong with it?" Matt DeBernardo: "gotta love freedom of speech!" Vincent Caizzi: "Good, we need a little bit of carrying for our fellow humans instead of trying to blame all the of our woes on the less fortunate. Isn't social security and medicare socialism? Why yes they are, and they have been around for years helping our seniors who worked their whole lives for the American dream stay out of poverty." Alicia Banks: "It's on the corner of the Post Rd and High St. And it's unfortunately being linked (incorrectly) to the gas station directly adjacent to it. Besides the fact that I think the intent is to be hateful, I think the owner of the billboard may also be confused as to exactly what socialism is." Visit and "like" our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
JT September 07, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Obama is a Muslim socialist who is trying to drag us down to the level of those other socialist countries like Norway, Sweden and England, you know those countries with the highest standards of living and education in the world. We need to get away from this democracy concept, only the new right and the Tea Party are correct. Everyone should think like we think and live like we live or be isolated and demonized by ignorant lies. If you don't like it, go live in some liberal country.
Dennis Barnum September 07, 2012 at 04:23 PM
The REAL issue here is freedom of speech. Hundreds of thousands of men and women sacrificed their lives and the well being of their families to protect the very thing being discussed in this forum. Whether you believe in the message or not, the person paying for the ad purchased the signage to express his opinion. Anybody having a different view has the opportunity to voice their opinion in a similar way. The phrase attributed to Voltaire, " I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it". Is this writer's opinion.
chuck September 07, 2012 at 05:18 PM
That billboard is very hateful and it portrays the town of Milford in very distasteful light. The city of Milford ought to do something about it. It just puts the town in a collectively offensive aura, and reinforces some old stereotypes about Milford. It is very unfortunate.
Mary September 07, 2012 at 05:58 PM
He can post anything he wants but I will remember his name. For everyone who thinks helping people is socialism, you are wrong. I don't want to see you asking for any government money or assistance. This includes Medicare, fema money, school loans for your children, nursing home payments for you or your relatives, fixing the roads in front of your building etc.
Bob Cerani September 07, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Then I guess you do not believe in freedom of speech. No matter how you look at it, if that billboard is taken down we all lose. I'll bet If it pertained to a Republican,You wouldn't mind one bit.
Bob Cerani September 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
You know you can go a little bit to far with Socialism. And this president HAS. You did not mention the things that make these people feel like they are entittled to. like Food stamps "46 million people" and there is plenty of Fraud going on in this program. Welfare is another thing that comes to mind. How long has the democratic party been involved in this program to help the poor. I'd say over 50 years, Ok? What has it done for these people? Are they pulling themselves up and getting a job and making themselves useful? I don't think so.This is also a Fraud and a Scam. The Government is supposed to build roads ,and have federal money set aside for FEMA etc. But they are not supposed to be in your life everyday. YOU are entittled to make something out of yourself ,the government does not do that for you. If it does then That is Socialism. I do not want a goverment that is so powerful that you do not have to do anything to live in this country, and that is where YOUR president is taking us Mary, and i'll remember your name. And try to get your facts right,please.
stick lee September 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Free speech at its best. I'm sure the property tax on that billboard (it being on rt. 1 ) is outrageous. Get your moneys worth.
Bob Cerani September 07, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Stick, you are right. But Mr. Gahley said he did not want to be political, Well then,he shoudn't have said anything. Mr. Smith has all the right in this country to say what he wants and I commend him for doing so. Last time I looked this is a free country and Mr. Gahley should have known that before he came to the USA, for which he has named his fuel company after.
Paula Tillert September 08, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I think the sign should come down. Keep politics out of the people's private business!
Paula Tillert September 08, 2012 at 02:24 AM
I totally agree with you on this one Chuck.
Britni September 08, 2012 at 04:30 AM
No matter what is on the billboard it is freedom of speech and no one should be allowed to take that away. That billboard is the canvas that allows this individual's message to be received. If you don't like it put up your own billboard and tell us about it. That's the good thing about equal rights.
DC September 08, 2012 at 08:01 AM
Apparently some feel Mr. Ghaly is not afforded the same freedom of speech as the rest of us--even if he is polite about it. Interesting...and sad.
lordshipres September 08, 2012 at 11:10 AM
This looks and feels like the Third Reich Resurrected. Freedom of Speech is a wonderful thing, however, this brazenly displays how the very wealthy in this country keep SQUASHING THE MIDDLE CLASS. They want a nation of THEM vs slave status.
Bonnie September 08, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I don't think the folks who own the billboard or some posting here understand the definition of socialism . Sadly, until people educate themselves this type of misinformation will continue to circle and take hold. The quote from the Mr. Smith is amusing regarding Italy and France. Neither are socialist countries. Both are democracies with free market economies.
Elizabeth Howard September 08, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I agree with you Dennis on supporting our freedoms. However, I am not sure any Tea Party representatives would be happy with that Freedom of Speech argument if someone put a "Rush Limbaugh wants to make out with my brother" billboard over their business. Which is as true as this sign is.
Anne K. Mulligan September 08, 2012 at 02:14 PM
JT, aside from your ignorant "Muslim" comment, Obama wants to "drag us down" to the level of Norway and Sweden? Are you aware that these countries have a significantly higher quality of life than the U.S.? http://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp
Mike September 08, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Why can't the business owner put up his own sign saying he has nothing to do with the billboard? Or he can put up a sign that says, "It's George Bush's fault."
stick lee September 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Thats right mike. Unfortunately billboards being what they are, are either above or next to adjoining properties and every do often this problem arises. So Mr. Ghaly, owner of USA fuel, put on your big boy pants, suck it up, and realize its our right of freedom off speech. If you dont like it, leave!
David Durgy September 08, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Bonnie, the owner doesn't care that he doesn't know. Calling him a socialist is more convenient and PC than what he would call him in private.
yankee September 09, 2012 at 12:18 AM
We do live in a liberal, free,and hopefully compassionate country.Leave it up to God to decide who gets in heaven.Those professing deep religious "Christian"convictions, sadly, are the least likely to live and behave as Christ did while he walked on earth.
Bob Cerani September 09, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Obviously Yankee1, Who professess to be a compassionate person does not have Christian convictions. There is only one perfect person and that is Christ. We all fall far behind him. and so do you Yankee1. and by the way, our country was built on Christian values,not Liberal.
Bob Cerani September 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
DC, Mr. Gahly expressed his freedom of speech by voicing his opposition to the sign. And as people in a free society this is what you do. It is sad that you do not realize this.
Bob Cerani September 09, 2012 at 02:43 AM
I do not agree with your assessment of keeping politics out of private business. There is a separation of church and state yes,but not to a private business, especially when the business is privately owned,like Mr. Smiths.
DC September 09, 2012 at 12:16 PM
REPLYING TO B. CERANI BELOW: "But Mr. Gahley said he did not want to be political, Well then,he shoudn't have said anything. Mr. Smith has all the right in this country to say what he wants and I commend him for doing so." I was referring to YOUR quote above. I realize he expressed his freedom of of speech. You were the one that said "he shouldn't have said anything" and in the next breath you said, "Mr. Smith has all the right in this country to say what he wants and I commend him for doing so." It's sad that you don't realize this.
Gina Gallo September 09, 2012 at 03:17 PM
so right Chuck, because Milford has such a stellar reputation to preserve with your VIP porno shops all over town? Now that's unfortunate. We live in America and freedom of speech is our right. If I have to see porno billboards and stores in your town, then you should stop belly aching about a billboard that expresses a fellow citizen's views.
God Bless America September 11, 2012 at 03:04 AM
The beliefs of modern socialism were first written about by Karl Marx in his 1848 book, The Communist Manifesto. Marx believed that the current political systems built on state capitalism were unsustainable and would ultimately be destroyed by the working class in a revolution. Capitalism and oppression are inseparable. Marx believed that the working class would ultimately rise up against the ruling class to control the means of production. Read more at Suite101: What is Socialism?: A Brief Overview of the Beliefs of Socialism | Suite101.com http://suite101.com/article/what-is-socialism Almost every state in existence today has an unequal distribution of wealth that is sustained by dividing the working class using race, sex, or xenophobia. The working class is the majority of any capitalist system while the wealth is concentrated among a relatively small amount of people. Socialism removes the class struggle by providing for everyone regardless of class. Talk about going backwards-this says it all. Also why socialism would not work in the US just a visual- Norway is a little larger than the state of montana & sweden is the same size of California-- get the picture? As they say the "numbers don't work". Kudos to the person who put up this sign- I wish I lived in milford. God Bless America!!!
Helene E. Logan October 25, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Well said, Mary. So many of these whining Tea-Party/NeoCons complain about 'Socialism' (having no idea what it means), all the while taking advantage of the things you mentioned plus items such as the G.I. Bill, Social Security, Police and Fire protection, etc. I agree with you, he's certainly entitled to his opinion, but I won't consider using his realty services, as he proves with the statement on that billboard that he's obviously an uniformed idiot. I'll take my business to someone who can think critically. And Elizabeth's statement above--LOL, so true! If I put up a sign that says 'Rush Limbaugh is a drug addict and pedophile' boy, would the conservatives have kitten-fits (despite the endless rumors and arrests that back up my statement).
Helene E. Logan October 25, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Wow, Bob, are you threatening Mary here? I would think not, but it just reads that way. 'Welfare fraud' is a canard. Just one site with plenty of links to info: http://www.junkland.net/2012/01/8-myths-about-welfare-queens-debunked.html

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