Kevin Chambers is a local radio host in Bremerton, Washington, and a Democrat – albeit one with a good sense of humor. While out of town in November, a Republican friend put up a Trump/Pence 2020 field sign in his yard as a joke. The sign got defaced with graffiti, so another sign took its place – this time on 15-foot stilts.
That’s when, Chambers says, things got a little weird. Two days before Christmas, he received a letter from the city of Bremerton informing him that the new sign violated city code concerning commercial signs. And that’s when he became defiant.
Chambers appeared on my podcast to talk about the whole thing. He told me that some folks made comments in a Facebook group for the local community that they would come to his house to deface the sign, egg the sign, and damage his property. Chambers then said, with a chuckle, “At that point, I decided the sign was going to stay up. As much as I’m not a Trump fan, I’m even less of a fan of people threatening to come to my house and damage my property. I figured if I took the sign down, it would somehow allow them to think that they caused me to take it down.”
Chambers also installed a trail cam, just in case anyone else decided to vandalize his property.
The Trump sign in Chambers’ yard has gotten national attention, as he’s done interviews for outlets as far away as Miami.
The letter from the City of Bremerton gave Chambers until January 21 to take down the sign. He has reluctantly taken it down, but the story doesn’t end there. Chambers dug into the city’s commercial sign code and found a rather large loophole. The code does indeed say that a sign can only be six feet off the ground – however, if it’s a banner instead of a sign, it can be up to 25 feet off the ground.
In our interview, Chambers told me that the larger issue around the sign is whether other people can tell him what to do with his property. “We can argue whether Trump is a good president or not,” he said, “or whether he’s a quality guy. I’ll have that conversation all day long. The larger issue for me is, why do we allow neighbors to tell other neighbors what they can do in their yard? The sign is not a safety issue. It doesn’t overhang into the sidewalk. You literally cannot see the sign unless you’re looking directly at my house as you drive by. And I honestly don’t believe that if this were a Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden sign, anyone would have complained.”
The lengths to which political opponents will go to censor each other really bothers Chambers. “The thing that has been highlighted in this thing is how divided we’ve become politically,” he said. “We used to be able in this country to agree to disagree. I now must stop you from sharing your opinion because you’ve offended me. I think it’s dangerous.”
Chambers is rare among Democrats these days. He told me, “I’ve often said on my show that if Donald Trump would just stay off Twitter, he’d be regarded as one of the greatest presidents of our time. If you look at the employment numbers, if you look at the employment numbers for minorities, if you look at consumer confidence, if you look at the economy as a whole, all of these metrics are really strong. The problem is that he’s undermined himself on Twitter so much that that becomes the narrative.”
He goes on to point out that the extremes in his own party have completely ignored moderate Democrats. “The Left is taking a beating on the Right about being so far left,” he said. “I really want to remind Republicans that there is a large number of moderate voters that have been completely omitted from the process that are seeing the slant from the leftist media, that are seeing the economic numbers, that are seeing the value in protecting what you guys would call conservative values – property rights, gun ownership, free speech. I think there’s a lot of Democrats that are not that far off from Republicans on those key issues. I think that’s why Donald Trump won.”
As for the sign controversy with the city, Chambers tells me to stay tuned. The banner has been ordered, and it should be up this week – higher and more in your face than anything before. Despite not being a Trump supporter, he will continue to fight for his rights of free expression and property.
You can listen to the entire interview here.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy, available now at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @ChargerJeff.