Anti-Trump Welcome Sign For Ivanka Banned, Progress Iowa Says

Progress Iowa, a progressive issue advocacy group, had hoped to welcome Ivanka Trump to Des Moines on Monday with a billboard near the Des Moines airport. However, Lamar Advertising, the company that owns the signs, apparently dubbed their message as too “controversial” and rejected the design just a day and a half before it was scheduled to run.

Ivanka Trump is scheduled to visit Iowa on Monday to tour the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center with Governor Kim Reynolds. The trip is designed to highlight President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan and Iowa’s workforce development efforts.

Of course, no trip to Iowa is ever solely about specific policy proposals. Several news outlets have pointed out that President Trump will be in New Hampshire tomorrow. Some have speculated that it’s an attempt to shore up Trump’s base in the early nominating states in case he gets a primary challenger for 2020.

Ivanka will also be attaching the Trump brand ever further to Reynolds, who faces a difficult election in 2018.

Progress Iowa planned to run a sign on an electronic billboard near the airport that placed images of Reynolds and Ivanka together with a message criticizing the president and Reynolds’ record on workers and schools.

According to email communications provided to Starting Line, Lamar Advertising told Progress Iowa on Saturday that the message was “potentially controversial.” The same company did, however, allow an electronic billboard with a politically-harsh message when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, visited Iowa in December. That sign attacked de Blasio of backing “phony progressivism” and was paid for by the Transportation Workers union, which has been in contract disputes with the mayor.

“I think it’s unacceptable that Lamar Advertising made this decision, and I think the only controversial part of Ivanka Trump’s visit are the Trump administrations’s policies on education under Secretary Betsy DeVos, her anti-worker agenda as a business owner, as well as the attacks on workers and schools that Governor Reynolds has pursued,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa.

The progressive group quickly tried to raise funds for the billboard on Friday after learning of Ivanka Trump’s Monday visit. They needed $303 for a one-day sign. 43 people donated $925 in all to get it done.

Meanwhile, Iowa Democrats and union leaders plan on welcoming Ivanka Trump in their own way Monday morning. They’re gathering for a rally and press conference at 8:30 A.M. at Warrior Park (1050 4th St) in Waukee.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 3/18/18

6 Comments on "Anti-Trump Welcome Sign For Ivanka Banned, Progress Iowa Says"

  • My question is if the criteria used by this company in arriving at their decision (local) fits the corporate operating guidelines? Does not seem it would be a profitable position in todays environment.

  • Lamar since sent out this response: “Since our business is affected by legislation at the state and local level with sign ordinances and other regulation we walk a fine line when it comes to accepting potentially controversial advertising.” ( It’s considerably riskier business for an Iowa billboard company to run an ad targeting Iowa’s Governor than an ad targeting the mayor of New York City. Lamar and virtually any other media company have policy similar to “we reserve the right to reject any ad for any reason” for reasons just like that. The First Amendment protects everyone, even billboard companies; meaning you can say whatever you like, but you can’t make others say if for you.

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