'Impeach' billboard in Valdosta comes down after 1 day

One day after the group Georgians for the Impeachment of Donald Trump paid to have a billboard put up along St. Augustine Road in Valdosta, the Impeach Trump sign was taken down, according to the group's Facebook page and media in the South Georgia city.

"In many ways, the dismantling of the billboard symbolizes the decline of freedom, tolerance, civility, and democratic values in the era of Trump," the group posted online.

Tom Hochschild, an associate professor at Valdosta State University and spokesman for the group, said he signed a contract with Roger Budd Co. for the billboard and paid a $400 deposit for one month rent on Aug. 7. 

The "Impeach" sign went up as scheduled on Aug.16. Hochschild said when he went in that afternoon to make the final payment, he was told the message was going to be pulled down immediately. It was gone by 2:30 p.m. the next day.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the company said its other customers threatened to cancel their billboard contracts if the sign wasn't removed. The Roger Budd company told News4Jax Tuesday it had no comment on billboard issue.


Hochschild said the billboard company offered to refund the $830 the group paid for one month’s rental. They are considering filing a lawsuit.

"As a spokesperson for the group, I refused because we believe they are currently in breach of contract," Hochschild told News4Jax.

Hochschild said Roger Budd was the fifth company the group had contacted about posting the billboard, and the first four had strung them along about their willingness to post the group's message. He doesn't understand the objection and considers it a violation of his freedom of speech.

"There are a lot of political billboards on I-75. There are anti-abortion billboards. You had succeed-from-the-union billboards. You have religious billboards and you have a whole bunch of stripper billboards," Hochschild said.

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