BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD -- A anti-Obama float, featuring two people wearing masks of and First Lady Michelle Obama, rolled along a local
With the United States already in the thick of election year politics, the float was a cutting criticism of the president. But it also came as an unpleasant surprise to Kingsville parade organizers, who asserted that the content of the float had not been approved by the planning committee in advance.
See how a Utah town is facing similar controversy: Utah Town Joins Kingsville in Anti-Obama Float Controversy
One sign read, "Obamanomics Spreading the Wealth," while another included the attributed Thomas Jefferson quote: "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
Other politically motivated parade marchers, floats and vehicles were almost exclusively conservative and in support of specific Republican politicians and candidates. For the most part, they passed out candy and shook hands with parade-goers.
Some bystanders booed as the anti-Obama float passed and some cheered, while others said it was confusing. Most responded to it with silence—in stark contrast to the claps and cheers that followed most other floats.
One reader told Patch by email on Thursday that the float was "disgraceful," and should not have been allowed in the parade.
Linda Alexander, the parade chairman, said the float was "definitely not sanctioned by the committee."
She declined to disclose the names of those who entered the float, but said the float description was listed on the entry form only as an "antique vehicle," and did not mention anything about its political intent.
"We have no intention of making this a political parade. It is a family event," Alexander said, adding that a group collecting signatures for a political cause was asked to stop by parade organizers.
"Sometimes these things just happen. We can't always control it," she said.
Alexander also said she hopes parade-goers focus on the more than that celebrated the Fourth of July in a more positive light.
What's your take on the float? Are critical political displays simply an expression of freedom of speech or should they be restricted from hometown parades? Tell us in the comments.