Iowa Manís Graphic, Anti-Democrat Snow Display Angers City Leaders | Beaufort County Now

The Iowa caucuses are less than two weeks away. Plus, it snows a lot in Iowa. daily wire, ben shapiro, iowa man, anti-democrat, snow display, city leaders, january 21, 2020
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Iowa Manís Graphic, Anti-Democrat Snow Display Angers City Leaders

Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.

The author of this post is Joseph Curl.

    The Iowa caucuses are less than two weeks away. Plus, it snows a lot in Iowa.

    Those two things have combined in a weird way in Davenport, Iowa.

    Homeowner Donald Hesseltine, who says he's an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, made a display in the snow in front of his house. A mannequin in an Army helmet and sunglasses holds a chainsaw in one hand and a rifle in the other (which also props up a can of Busch Light beer). The rifle is pointed above a figure - carved out of snow and lying on its back - that is wearing a "Bernie 2020" T-shirt. Its eyes are X's and red dye surrounds its head.

    Another snowman nearby is wearing a blue hat emblazoned with the donkey symbol of the Democratic Party. On both sides of the mannequin are American flags planted in the snow and deer head skeletons with antlers mounted on poles. A sign leaned up against a tree reads: "HESSELTINE 2020."

    Hesseltine, not a fan of Sen. Bernie Sanders, said he put up the display as a goof. "It's just to make people cry I guess," Hesseltine told the Quad-City Times. "They're crying, so I win."

    He said some of his friends "love Bernie," so "I put it up there to mess with them."

    But he said it has nothing to do with hate or violence.

  • When asked if his display is intended to incite violence, he responded, "no way."

    Mike Matson, mayor of Davenport, said he has asked the city's chief of police to investigate the display, which he called "an embarrassment to our city."

    "My personal reaction is that it's terribly wrong," Matson told the Quad-City Times. "All hate speech is wrong."

    Davenport Alderwoman Marion Meginnis also called the depiction "bad taste, unneighborly," while Elesha Gayman, chair of the Iowa based Scott County Democrats, said the display was "a hate crime and hate speech."

    "It's as bad as if someone burned a cross in someone's yard," Gayman said. "We have got to stop this. This is not the Wild West. We should be able to civilly disagree with one another, where you're not displaying acts of murder on your front lawn."

    But McGinnis said there may be nothing the city can do. "If it does not violate a city ordinance, there is no action the city can take," she said. "We are a country that allows people to have opinions."

    David Millage, chairman of the Scott County Republican Party, said he, too, finds the display "terrible" - but protected as free speech.

    "We find it to be in extremely poor taste, and there's no affiliation between what it depicts and the Republican Party," Millage said.

    Iowa voters will caucus on Feb. 3, the nation's first in the nation to weigh in on the 2020 race for the Democratic presidential nomination.


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