A banner is posted in front of Richard Thomas’ business on Dawson Road Tuesday. The banner has received negative attention from those who say it is a threat to President Obama.
ALBANY, Ga. — Next to the pictures of two heavily armed Navy SEALS, the phrase, "The seals removed one threat to America, remove the other in November" is emblazoned on banners where drivers on Dawson Road can't miss them.
Richard Thomas, president of Corporate & Estate Analysts at 1930 Dawson Road, said the banners at his location are to encourage citizens to vote in November.
"Actually, I don't care who they vote for, just as long as they get off their butts and vote. I'm an independent, and I'd like to see him (Obama) defeated," Thomas said. "The Obama administration has set our foreign policy back by years. Navy SEALS put their lives on the line, and they deserve good leadership."
As far as interpreting the banners as threats against Obama's life, Thomas rejected the idea as outrageous. He said he does not compare Obama with Osama bin Laden by putting up the banners at his business.
Thomas said he was careful to make sure that his banners were not in the right-of-way and conformed to city ordinances.
"Code Enforcement came out and said I needed a permit," Thomas said. "They want to charge me $30 a sign."
City Attorney Nathan Davis and Code Enforcement officers could not be reached after 5 p.m. for information about the banners and permits.
A Google search turned up the same style of signs in other states, including Texas and Indiana. As far as the possibility that the signs threaten the president, the Secret Service in Washington, D.C., stated agents were aware of the banners.
Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said, "We are aware of the situation, and we will take any and all appropriate follow-up, if necessary."