The motel has a Gumby-like character welcoming guests to the Four Winds Motel and currently appearing on the marquee below this colorful sign is the aforementioned shout out to the recall effort of Governor Walker. This is all taking place in Baraboo, Wisconsin, population approximately 1400. And it would appear that 1399 have an opinion about the message, its meaning and the possible damage it may be doing to the children of this small community.
The married couple that own the motel have been putting up messages for decades. They claim this isn’t the first time that they’ve posted a political message and it won’t be the last. Interestingly, while most of the town believes the sign is in poor taste as it is meant to deal with a penis and a particular sex act, no one is demanding (albeit many are strongly suggesting) it be taken down although they have been vocal about their distaste for the comments. Taking it down is a non-starter with the owners.
The Baraboo News Republic broke the story and interviewed Marcie Dachick, co-owner of the Four Winds Motel:
“There have been some vocal critics (of the sign), but also, there has been overwhelming support,” said Marcie Dachik, co-owner of the Four Winds Motel.
She said it’s her First Amendment right to display the sign, which she said is intended to catch the eye and inspire discussion.
The News Republic also interviewed several Baraboo’s residents including Bill Weitzel:
Critics, such as Weitzel, say the sign’s obvious pornographic reference is lewd.
“I don’t know how anyone in a business – regardless of what they think or who they’re in opposition to – could put something like this on their sign,” Weitzel said.
But Dachik said the anti-Walker slogan hasn’t hurt business. In fact, she said, it has helped.
“By and large, people have said, ‘If I ever have a reason to, I will go out of my way to stay here’ because of the sign,” Dachik said.
Some are asking how they can possibly explain this “message” to their children, while others believe the motel owners should voluntarily take it down despite the Free Speech issues involved.
Dachik has declined to remove it stating:
“It’s not like I didn’t know it would be controversial when I put it up,” Dachik said.
Personally, given the political issues facing the children of Wisconsin and their parents, explaining “Kochsucker” might be the least of their worries. And while many in this small town have an opinion, they appear to be willing to deal with it civilly unlike many who are attacking recall petition activists throughout the state. ‘Spit’ would seem to be the weapon of choice so far with arrests taking place in River Falls and Arena, Wisconsin.
For now, the sign is up until the owners come up with something they like better.