Controversial Stuart yard signs upset neighbors

STUART, Fla. - During political season, it's a sign of the times:  A country divided, and a neighborhood divided.

Lisa Addeo, a Stuart resident, posted political signs in her front yard, with controversial statements like "Vote for the American," "It's the economy, stupid! " and "Obama plus Hitler."

"This is my property, and I feel this is my right," Addeo explained. "I've gotten good responses. I've actually gotten roses yesterday for standing up for America."

But neighbors, like Linnea Desmond, believe the signs cross a line.

"When I drove by this, I was personally affronted," said Desmond. "We see signs all the time, yard signs for Democrats, Republicans. But I don't see other people putting out Hitler signs!"

Desmond said she doesn't want children riding by in school busses to see signs like that.

"I've told my neighbors, Jewish people, Christian people, please, don't drive down this street," she said. "It's an insult to humanity!"

Howard Simon, Executive Director of Florida's American Civil Liberties Union, said this shows how polarized American society has become-- and how ugly the rhetoric is.

"In 50 years, I have never seen such vicious attacks on any politician, much less the president," said Simon. "That's not to say this resident does not have the right to make these statements. She absolutely has that constitutional right."

"Ironically, just a few days ago before the United Nations, the president launched a vigorous defense of freedom of speech," he added.

Louise Cunha, another neighbor, said she believes in freedom of speech, but she thinks the messages here are inappropriate.

"We should have much more respect for our president than are shown by these signs. This is not a good Martin County value," said Cunha.

According to Addeo, the "Obama + Hitler" sign represents history. She said when Hitler came into power, he seemed like a savior. She said, bottom line, it's not about her, or even the signs-- it's about the upcoming election.

"I just think of these things as truthful and my opinion," Addeo said. "I understand that they upset other people, but this is a really important issue."

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