By Bill Shields

HAVERHILL (CBS) — A Trump supporter in Haverhill is facing stiff fines for having too many signs in his front yard. But Rick Early is standing his ground, literally.

“This is my property, and I have a constitutional right to express my opinions,” said Early. “They’re not coming down.”

The city has an ordinance prohibiting political signs that total more than 32 square feet. Early’s signs add up to over 300 square feet.

“He’s way in excess of what’s allowed, that’s all he’s been cited for is that he’s over the signage that’s allowed by city ordinance,” city building inspector Dick Osborne said.

Early put up the signs in January and he hasn’t encountered any problems, even drawing the occasional drive-by supporter.

“It’s free speech, maybe I’m offending the Hillary supporters, but that’s OK. They have their own property, I have my own property,” he says.

Still, Early says he won’t budge and he’ll go to court if he needs to, he said. He figures his property is his ground, and he’ll put as many Trump signs on it as he wants. He says a deep-blue state like Mass. should understand Constitutional rights.

“They’re not coming down. I think it’s my right to keep them up, and I’m gonna keep them up,” he said.

If you think Early is over the top, there’s a man in a town over who covered his business in anti-Clinton signs, including a three-dimensional jail cell with a life-sized Hillary doll clad in an orange inmate uniform inside it.

Bill Shields

Comments (119)
  1. John Diamond says:

    Liberals hate it when other people have opinions that don’t match theirs.All the hate is coming from their side this election.

    1. G says:

      The hate always come from their side.

    2. Susan Daniels says:

      The 32 sq. ft. is per sign, not a total of the number of signs. The desperation is showing. He needs to go to court and then sue the city. He will will.

    3. appleforaface says:

      OMFG. Are you using up oxygen that could be put to better use?

    4. The Truth Hurts says:

      You mispelled CONSERVATIVES.

  2. commie owe bommie says:

    hillary supporters don’t own property. they are useless lazy eaters.
    section 8 doesn’t have yard space.

    1. Sigmund says:

      And we have to for their damn food stamps

    2. appleforaface says:

      Now that we’ve heard from someone who didn’t attend high school, let’s hear from someone else.

  3. Doug FORBES says:

    If you can limit signage to 32 sq ft you can limit it to 3 inches.

    1. BillyG says:

      “The city has an ordinance prohibiting political signs that total more than 32 square feet.”

      If the ordnance is specifically to political signs, then this is viewpoint discrimination and unconstitutional. If it applies to all signs equally, then it might be enforceable.

      See “REED ET AL. v. TOWN OF GILBERT, ARIZONA” for more.

      1. Chris Long says:

        Good for you ! Attaboy ! Legal citation included…too kool.

  4. TroyGale says:

    I’d have to say that our Founders would probably write off New England as members of a New Nation which allowed no tyrants. Ironic don’t you think?

  5. Sam Dennis says:

    Political signage is protected First Amendment speech … unreasonable limitations on signage quantity is unsustainable.

  6. Golfnhutt says:

    A better rule is a time limit on political signs such as maximum two weeks prior to election day and one day after.

    1. DJ says:

      A better rule? You must love being ordered around by others.

      1. appleforaface says:

        The stick up your ass, has a stick up its ass.

  7. Picture of the 3d jail cell with orange Hillary or it didn’t happen.

  8. Surprised the media didn’t give his address so their rabid Liberal drones can torch his house.

  9. Thank you publicizing liberal intolerance.

  10. Constance Underfoot says:

    Sorry, but a law targeting the size of political signs, vs. all other signs, doesn’t feel very equal protection allowable.

  11. “He’s way in excess of what’s allowed” “of what’s allowed” of what’s allowed is the problem. FREEDOM ! !! !

  12. 2ndprotectsall says:

    The 1st only applies to LibMarxists/Globalists.

    1. appleforaface says:

      Go drink another 12-pack.

  13. billzing says:

    Pumpkin Hillary sat on the wall.
    Pumpkin Hillary had a great fall.
    Pumpkin Hillary could not be caught
    Pumpkin Hillary got a “feel good” shot…
    Pumpkin Hillary secret doctors are the best
    Pumpkin Hillary even though she has to rest
    Pumpkin Hillary thinks who’s fun to kick
    Pumpkin Hillary doesn’t know she’s so sick
    Pumpkin Hillary has a whole life to hide
    Pumpkin Hillary brain is already fried
    Pumpkin Hillary the only thing she knows to do is lie, is lie, is lie….

  14. Mr Merica! says:

    Where did The Boston Tea Party Happen? Oh Yeah, BOSTON!

  15. goturner says:

    Leave the guy ALONE! There’s less than 60 days to election. Doesn’t the government have more important issues to address?

  16. RB says:

    I hope he continues to fight this. If they try to take him to court he should file a civil rights suit right back at them.

  17. Bounty Hunter says:

    First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The Supreme court has ruled political speech is covered under the First Amendment. If the “government officials” want to play hard ball place a bounty on them. When they raise the fine raise the bounty. Let’s see who collects first.

    1. I agree, though I wonder how far they will push this. If the town insists on fining him, he’ll have to get an injunction at some point. It could become a federal lawsuit. I imagine he’d win on the merits, but by the time he does, he’ll be dead and broke. Fantastic government we have, hmm?

  18. Shawn French says:

    The liberals downtown are more upset no Clinton supporter had the energy or enthusiasm to put up a sign.

    1. appleforaface says:

      You. Are. Delusional. Trump is the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to this great country. Anyone who supports him, wants to be led by someone who has no experience to become POTUS. Just a bunch of freaking losers.

      1. TroyGale says:

        You see, the problem with folks like you is that you think there is some sort of perfect resume for the Job of President. There isn’t! Honesty, Integrity, and Common Sense are all that is required along with love of the Nation and it’s citizens. If a candidate has those things, they will do the Office Proud.

  19. Glenn M says:

    I hope he takes them to court and wins. Towns have too much say on what you can do with your property and something like this should not be town business.

    Dont get me wrong – I hate Trump and hope he loses (to be fair I hate Hillary too, just Trump more). This is not about politics but about property rights.

  20. Constitution, we don’t need no stinking Constitution.

  21. Gary's opinion says:

    Democrats are all about stopping free speech, as long as it’s not pro Democrat.
    There’s no way in Hell I would vote for a Democrat until they clean up their mess.

  22. Private property? No one believes in that anymore. It’s become all about whose gang gets to implement their goals by force on every other individual. Primitive, gang warfare is the inevitable result, leading to the so-called “divide” in America we are witnessing. It’s simple, gang warfare.

  23. J Shicoutan says:

    Hey Bill Shields! Why would ANYBODY believe Rick Early is “over the top”? You authoritarian morons just don’t get it.

  24. Mike Stuhr says:

    If ever there was a type of speech our founders didn’t want restricted it is “Political”!

  25. Leigh says:

    They are misinterpreting the ordinance. It gives a square footage of the sign, but it doesn’t limit the number of signs. 32 sq ft is a single sheet of 4×8 plywood. It was written to discourage residential billboards. They know it, but are twisting the ordinance to suit what they want.

    If he was a Demon-crat supporter, you would have never heard of this.

    Whitehall, NY

    1. timefortrump says:

      Excellent point Leigh – I am pretty sure he ordinance does not allow one to count up ALL signs and consider them over the 32 sq foot ordinance. I have another thought too – probably that signage rule only applies to COMMERCIAL zoning as well…. not RESIDENTIAL so there he has two points with which to fight this harrassment.

  26. Bill Williams says:

    Ignore the parasites who could only get government jobs and if they keep pushing, then sue them PERSONALLY for civil-rights violations.

    Take their houses and bank accounts. Let the parasites starve.

  27. Mike Austin says:

    Just paint your in blackface and then go burn down a city in your effort to stop police violence and you will be given all the room that you will need, with no charges filed.

  28. Mitch Rapp says:

    The guy says a dip blue state should understand Constitutional Rights. That’s the funniest thing in the whole article. The only thing liberals understand about the Constitution is how to deprive those rights from those who disagree with them.

  29. Joe E in the IE says:

    Safe bet: There’s no such thing as too many “Hillary: Fighting for us” and “Black Lives Matter” signs.

  30. Chris Long says:

    The title should read, “Resident Faces Fines For Ideological Orientation”

    They are trying to BS us with this ordinance and that ordinance, huh ?

  31. Kris says:

    so – an ordinance saying it can only be 32 sq ft. so, where IS this ordinance? they should be able to show it to him. if they can’t, I all bs it even exists.

  32. Jasonn says:

    Bet you a tuna sandwich that if those were HRC signs then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  33. Bumper stickers:

    Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s aging, doddering, infirm, lying, felonious wife’s email administrator for President!

    Run, Mrs. Stainmaker, run! (from your husband’s victims you trashed)

  34. DJG says:

    So hippies can burn the U.S. Flag, but this man can’t cover his lawn with “Make America Great Again” signs?
    Emphasis is a sometimes necessary part of speech. This man has a right to his signs.
    What will they do next– try to limit the number of guns a citizen can own? Limit the time a citizen can spend n church?

  35. Freeland_Dave says:

    Don’t you just love how governmental liberals craft the law to mean what they want it to mean? I am certain the Total 32 square feet calculation was dealing with one specific sign and was sold to the supporting public as regulating the size of one sign. Now the liberals want to lump all signs together and use that as the total calculation. Poor little liberals, they just can’t play a fair game and everything they do is filled with subterfuge and deceit. .Look who they support. Hillary! The same Hillary that tells us that Colin Powell told her to set up her own server that classified material has been found on. Who was Colin Powell then where he had the authority or even knowledge to tell her to do something illegal? He wasn’t in government at the time and had no dealings with NSA matters on how to legally set up a server. She used him as a detractor to excuse her illegal activities. I don’t buy it because I have a brain to reason it out with. Not so with liberals. They are lemmings or cattle being lead to the slaughter house for her personal benefit.

  36. John C. says:

    I’d get a lawyer. The sign ordinance isn’t clear enough to define whether only individual signs or multiple signs constitute 300 square feet. My guess is the ordinance was written to be intentionally unclear.

  37. Vincent says:

    This would not have even been an issue if there were too many Hillary signs. Double standard, as usual.

  38. Mike Arvand says:

    Ahhh liberals.

    Funny how the group that supposedly is supposedly all for tolerance and understand, and the one thing they can’t tolerate, or understand.

    is a difference of opinion.

  39. Peter Kuck says:

    Do you still believe that the Democrats favor freedom of expression for anyone other than there supporters? If you do then think again

  40. Tommy Tunez says:

    Liberals are very ‘tolerant’ of Freedom of Speech until that speech ‘freely’ disagrees with their opinions.

  41. Porky Pug says:

    Good show and good luck!

  42. redknight says:

    In my city of Columbus Ohio… any Trump supporter that puts a Trump Sign in his yard… will see it stolen the next morning…. or worse.

    Any Trump supporter putting a Trump bumper sticker on their car… will see their windows broken or the car keyed from front to back.

    The ‘Hate’ on the progressive, liberal, democratic left is so horrendous… you take your life in your hands being a Conservative, Republican and Trump Supporter. Even the democrats, moderates and independents Trump supporters are afraid of the crazy Left whizzbangs.

    I think there are a lot of us for Trump! Quietly staying in the shadows waiting for Election Day. Our voice for Trump will be enormous! A Landslide is coming!

    TRUMP 2016 – 2020

    1. timefortrump says:

      You are correct – I had damage to my car back in 2004 when I had a Bush bumper sticker so rather than risk incurring damage to my car, my house or my life – I am quietly supporting Trump without bumper stickers or yard signs. The left is stupid because they have forced many into the “shadows” who support Trump and for that they will severely underestimate his popularity.. hahahaha

  43. Contra Ventus says:

    Boston sold its soul for gold. It is now “New Boston” a cosmopolitan city home to nouveau riche globalists, happy to exploit child labor overseas and eager to return the same labor practice to the US. I mean, “why pay the cost of shipping from Asia”?

    Of course, this will require, as Hillary in her first/last? interview with the press opened with, “the need for a surge in surveillance” to protect us from ‘terrorists’. Of course the Democrat idea of ‘terrorist’ is anyone who takes any kind of stand against the idea of importing illegals who blow you up while you’re just trying to compete with your own spirit, drive your own body to the limit and run faster next year. These ‘globalists’ hate April 19th and everything it stands for.

    That ‘surge in surveillance’ by the ‘globalists’, combined with easily defensible, walled compounds crawling with CBQ armed mercs in cities like “New Boston”, will be the foundation of this “New America”.

  44. falconflight says:

    Municipal ordinances are supreme over the First Amendment? Yeah, baby, the founders were certainly correct about what is necessary to correct such oppressions, and it has nothing to do w/ the ballot box. xxoo

  45. Sounds like this man needs to visit the ministry of love for some re education.

  46. Diane Dina says:

    Gee, it is always too many Trump signs, never Hillary signs. This bias is as sick as Hillary

  47. timefortrump says:

    What he needs to do is find other people with more than 32 sq ft of signage on their property who the city did not harrass and then he has a case of unequal prosecution and bias by the city

  48. James Bailey says:

    Like most social malcontents, the man has gone to extremes. Once the election is over and Trump has been defeated, he’ll go back to his couch with his six-pack, remote control, and go back to his football games.

    1. Baily Gates says:


  49. Larry says:

    Let’s see, city ordinance versus First Amendment. I’ll put my money on the First Amendment with an court costs, legal costs and additional civil judgement against the city. These politicians should drop this.

  50. Haven’t these commies in city government ever heard of the Constitution?

  51. MidWestMike says:

    “The city has an ordinance prohibiting political signs that total more than 32 square feet. Early’s signs add up to over 300 square feet.”

    Message to the Communist running the city – F. Off. Politely of course.

  52. 32 square feet refers to the size of any ONE sign. Not the collective number of signs.

  53. Strawnman says:

    Obey he law, dude. It is a reasonable law, and you may have a few neighbors who don’t appreciate making their neighborhood look like a polling station for an entire year. The city has been more than patient. I’m sure they would do the same thing if those were Hillary signs.

  54. Jeffrey Gee says:

    Sounds like Boston may be ready for another Tea-Party!

  55. Ken Valley says:

    This is pretty much fascism at its finest! Just like the NFL Commissioner not prosecuting that Commie Kaepernick for not standing for our National Anthem, but will go after those players who wore shoes conmemorating 9/11 and those who died. This is where political correctness gets converted to fascism! Of course, we all know if those signs were for Clinton, the city wouldn’t be doing jack$ht and even encouraging more signs! But, since those are Trump signs, the DemoRAT fascists at the City want to shut the homeowners down!

  56. RightStuff1944 says:

    When I see a Hillary sign in someone’s front yard, or a Hillary bumper sticker on a car, all I do is feel sorry for the person who displays them. I’m actually pretty sad. I wonder of they ever heard of the U. S. Constitution.

  57. RTC says:

    I wonder if there would be an issue if they were Hillary signs?

  58. JoeL says:

    I like this guy. Lock up Clinton Criminal Gang.

  59. Juprong Rutsinger says:


    Youtube search for – Nigel Farage Brussels – well worth a couple minutes of your time to understand what is happening world-wide.

  60. CMD says:

    Update: This is only a problem resulting from Trump support. We tried to find someone displaying too many Hillary signs but we couldn’t find any Hillary signs.

  61. In the end, we’ll settle this great divide with high-powered rifles…& Trump’s side has just about all of them.

  62. LAK says:

    Hey If Colin Paperneck can do what he is doing claiming his 1st amendment rights, then this property owner has his 1st amendment rights as well. Liberals only like the 1st amendment when they want to destroy American values!! I say put more signs up!!!!

  63. if these were hillary signs or allahu ahkbar signs, there never would have been any visit from anyone.

  64. Jedden Sahamillah says:

    If y’all keep posting supportive comments of the subversive Trump supporter,
    this paper may be FORCED to close the comment section …
    … just like NPR.

    Dissent is patriotic … …. sometimes …

  65. appleforaface says:

    Translation: Resident facing fines for being an idiot sheeple. There, I fixed it for you.

  66. 2dawgs says:

    every Trump supporter in this town should fill there yards with as many Trump signs as possible in protest. Stand together or hang separate