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Americans rally behind businessman fined $500 a day for posting Constitution Psalms banned, but
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Posted: February 26, 2009 Bush speechwriter
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By Joe Kovacs  
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WND Money CLEARWATER, Fla. – The fish tale in this Commentary High
Gulf Coast city is beginning to broil, and Tea party returns t
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perhaps could be titled, "The Old Man and - By Joseph Farah
the Seethe." Israel and their G-d
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Government officials are now accused of Who needs energy
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figuratively spitting in the face of U.S. - By John Stossel

veterans who defend the Constitution in Haiti's avoidable de
- By Walter E. Willi
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connection with a man they've threatened to
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Joke of the Day fine $500 per day for posting the First with their pants on
SportsNetDaily Amendment on his business atop a mural of ground
- By Jill Stanek
TV Guide marine life – artwork the city claims is Dem damage contr
Movieguide illegal. Massachusetts
- By Barry Farber
WND brought the plight of Herb Quintero Herb Quintero says a mural of marine life on his store is artwork, not a
to national attention yesterday, as the owner sign, and he's now suing Clearwater, Fla. He's also being flooded with
public support. (courtesy St. Petersburg Times)
WND Resources   of a bait and tackle store has filed a federal
About WND lawsuit against Clearwater to stop officials from fining him for the sea life designs and banner
WND Scoops quoting the Bill of Rights.
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The story struck an immediate chord with Americans fed up with what they perceive to be
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After reading the WND report, a U.S. officer assigned to the Multi-National Force in Iraq wrote
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a bitter e-mail to Jeff Kronschnabl, the director of code enforcement, saying he was "insulted"
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by the city's action.
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Other News Services "You have no right to override the Constitution and the principals for which so many men and
Other Sites women have fought and died to uphold," wrote Christopher (whose last name is being withheld).
Writers Archives "You are in violation of the supreme law of the land, which supersedes some trivial contrary (and
Government Officials therefore illegal) code, and should immediately withdraw your fines and retract your flawed and
Search Engines invalid laws.
Entertainment His message continued:
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As government representatives, you have a solemn duty to protect the people you are
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entrusted to represent, not oppress them. By enacting and then selectively enforcing
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such oppressive laws that violate the Constitution, you spit in the face of every
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veteran who has ever served to uphold the Constitution! Yes, I am this worked up
Speakers and Talk Show
Guests over a painting of some fish; the rights in the Constitution are not something that
Columnists should even be lightly infringed and tolerated!

The founding fathers must be rolling in their graves over the affront to freedom you
have committed in your persecution of this man who is merely attempting to live an
American Dream by exercising his right to free speech – an attempt, it must be
noted, that would increase commerce – which in turn would bring more tax dollars to
the city should he succeed in his endeavors!

The dispute started in December 2007 when Herb and Lori Quintero invested their life savings
to purchase and renovate a dilapidated building they turned into the Complete Angler, selling
fishing accessories such as rods, reels and live and frozen bait.

To help spruce up the building's image, they hired artist Matt Evanson who began to paint a giant
mural of marine life, thus far depicting images of local game fish including snook, redfish,
tarpon, dolphin, grouper and sailfish. Evanson has not been able to complete the artwork because
the city claims it violates the sign code.

Clearwater officials say they're enforcing the strict rule prohibiting murals on businesses that
depict a product the business sells. Ironically, the Complete Angler does not sell game fish.

(Story continues below)


According to the lawsuit, city spokeswoman Joelle Castelli was quoted as saying the artwork
"depicts what he's selling and that's considered signage. If it was a mural of kids playing in a park,
that would be acceptable."

Clearwater began to fine Quintero, and he initially pleaded no contest, agreeing to pay $690.

But the businessman is refusing the city's demand to paint over the fish.

His response? Proudly hang a giant banner with text of the First Amendment promoting free
speech in front of the mural.

A giant banner promoting free speech right is posted in protest on top of Herb Quintero's marine life mural in Clearwater, Fla.

Not amused, the city of Clearwater is now threatening to hook Quintero with fines of $500 a day
for displaying America's founding document.

How can Americans take back their nation? Learn how to revive freedom, decency and
justice. Get Joseph Farah's "Taking America Back" – autographed exclusively at WND!

The American Civil Liberties Union has been reeled in and is representing Quintero in court.

A loose coalition of business owners and citizens in the Clearwater area has created a website
called KeeptheFish.com to help Quintero. It says in the wake of WND's exposure, it has been
inundated with "tons of comments from all over the country" that were sent to Kronschnabl and
other Clearwater officials.

Some of them include:

l How in the world do you get off harassing a fellow citizen with respect to his right to free
speech!?  Further more threatening to fine the man for posting part of our founding
document!? This is an outrage and should be stopped immediately. You should refund the
man and publicly apologize for running roughshod over the Constitution. Disgusted, Aaron
in Minnesota

l "We the People" no longer own anything. We simply rent from the government (and for the
government) because of people like you. Are you happy now? We are quickly approaching
the point where it is counterproductive for working Americans to continue to be
economically productive. -- Mary

l After reading the article on WND.com about the Complete Angler, I had to write you all
and express my outrage. How can you possibly fine a man for hanging the First
Amendment? This is insanity. Have you gone mad? You need to explain yourself to the
members, not only of the community in which you live, but to the country. The arrogance
you exude is nauseating. ... You are a fool. And you are only hurting your community and
its reputation. Make this wrong right before you destroy families with this insanity.
Concerned, Stephanie, Atlanta

l I am from New Mexico and saw this article in WorldNetDaily. I feel that this business
owner has a clear right to keep the paintings of the fish. He isn't selling the fish, so there is
no legal justification for the city of Clearwater to take action against him. The artist is
well-talented and the sign is lovely. ... This is Gestapo tactics and is a shame and a disgrace
to the officials who are keeping the fight going, -- Carolyn, Reserve, N.M.

l Your persecution of a small business owner who invested in a run-down area of the city to
make it better stinks. Instead of fining Quintero and trying to shut him down, the city
should be thanking him for investing in a run-down area to revitalize it.  ...  I travel to 
Florida annually. I know one city that won't get my tourist dollars. It's Clearwater. I am
proud to be an American, but saddened by the oppressive communist-like attitude taken by
Clearwater. -- Chris G., New York City

l Your actions are childish and reflect government officials who clearly have lost their way.
After working in government for thirty years, I have found that actions such your often can
be explained when citizens "follow the money." Someone is benefiting from your actions -
- and we all need to dig deep and find out what really is happening here. -- David

l Your actions, while seemingly small, are moving us one more step towards another
American Revolution. I sincerely hope that this revolution will be fought and won in the
courtrooms rather than on the battlefields. While I fear a militarized revolution and the
carnage that it creates, I fear more an oppressive government, just as my ancestor who
signed the Declaration of Independence, and all of my ancestors who fought in the
Revolutionary War. -- Dan

On the St. Petersburg Times website, news photographer Jim Damaske has posted a gallery of
similar murals found throughout Clearwater.

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Get Joseph Farah's "Taking America Back" – autographed exclusively at WND!

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$500-a-day fine for posting Constitution

Joe Kovacs is executive news editor for WorldNetDaily.com and author of the No. 1 best-
selling book that champions the absolute truth of Scripture and reveals the underreported
glorious destiny of Christians, "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've
Never Been Told."

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