Romney-bashing poster removed by Tampa code enforcement listen09/05/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
The owner of a restaurant just outside Tampaâ€™s Republican convention event zone is wondering why government workers tore artwork off of his building one day before the convention was set to begin. CafÃ© Hey owner Cheong Choi said one of the posters showcased a smiling Mitt Romney behind the words â€œI like firing peopleâ€.
â€œWeâ€™ve had posters on the front here and itâ€™s never really been an issue. Weâ€™ve had banners and we have all kinds of other things that we havenâ€™t been bothered about up until that point.â€
Tampa code enforcement workers threatened Choi with a $90 per day per poster fine if he didnâ€™t take them down. According to the Huffington Post, a spokesperson for the city said she didnâ€™t know the restaurant owner was the one who hung the posters. Choi said he asked code enforcement what was illegal about hanging the posters, but was given a vague answer at best.
â€œThey would say 20.5. 20.5 is the entire chapter of sign ordinances. Itâ€™s a forty-page document which I had gone through and kind of looked through and said, â€˜hey, I think weâ€™re ok.â€™ Iâ€™ve looked at the different things and theyâ€™re at least two or three parts of this chapter that allow for us to have these posters up on the wall. And so they said, â€˜itâ€™s 20.5.â€™ And we said, â€˜could you get more specific than that?â€™ And of course this is in the backdrop of them starting to look at it and not really wanting to talk to us and being very dodgy.â€
The artwork was part of a pre-RNC politically charged poster show the week before the convention. Choi said he held events like that to draw business from people other than delegates â€“ like protesters.