Roofing company hammers Obama health care law
Roofing company claims health care law will cause "premature death."Photo: Video by fox4now.com
FORT MYERS - A Fort Myers roofing company is hammering away at Pres. Obama's health care law, claiming it will cause "delayed treatment," and "premature death."
"Somebody needed to stand up," said Lee Crowther, the owner of Crowther Roofing on Metro Parkway. "And start shouting from the top of the highest mountain."
Crowther, who is battling prostate cancer, is using the $60,000 electronic billboard in front of his store to display a controversial political message aimed at the president's health care law.
The sign reads: "Obama-Care Side Effects: Sky Rocket Taxes, Delayed Treatment, Premature Death."
"You're making pretty bold claims here," said Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant. "Do you have any evidence that supports this?"
"Not today," said Crowther. "Not until it becomes in effect."
We first told you about Crowther last October. His roofing business displays a new political message every week.
When we interviewed Crowther's son in October, the sign read: "Al Qaeda's Race to Destroy USA Hurry...Obama is Ahead!"
"Do you worry about alienating customers because of the political message?," asked Grant.
"Not a bit," said Crowther. "If I'm going to alienate anybody I really don't want to do business with them."
So is wading into the political waters hurting business? Crowther says, if anything, it's helping.
"We found that out of every 500 people that call to leave a message," he said, "two or three are complaining, the rest are backing us 100 percent raving about the messages."
Hodges University professor Dr. Joseph Kibitlewski says it's a matter of free speech.
"It's his business," said Kibitlewski. "He's putting his money out there. I guess he has a right to do that."
Kibitlewski says Crowther will likely find more supporters than not since Lee County leans Republican.
"I would think that he probably runs less of a risk here," said Kibitlewski. "But I'm sure he's given that some thought or he should have."
Still, he says anytime businesses take a public political stand they risk losing customers - and cash.
But that doesn't bother Crowther. For him, this is about speaking out anyway he can.
"I'm speaking my mind," said Crowther. "I have a right right now. I think. I don't know I'll probably lose that before you know it."
Fox 4 called the Lee County Democratic Party. A spokesperson said this is a free speech issue and had no comment on the sign.