Signs at the intersection of the Lyons and Middle roads on Monday in Sidney. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

SIDNEY — A town resident said Monday she is angry Selectman Alan Tibbetts has placed a handmade sign reading “LIAR” next to campaign signs for President Donald Trump.

Resident Kelly Couture has also accused Tibbetts of moving and damaging Trump-Pence campaign signs.

Alan Tibbetts Contributed photo

Couture said Tibbetts is “trying to stir the pot” with his sign, which she called “divisive” and “borderline hate speech.”

The “LIAR” sign was placed at the intersection of Lyons and Middle roads, next to a Trump-Pence campaign sign.

There were four signs at the intersection early Monday: The “LIAR” sign, two Trump-Pence signs and a sign for U.S. House candidate Eric Brakey, a Republican.

At 6:30 p.m., a fifth sign was placed to the left of the “LIAR” sign, offering a $50 reward for any information leading to the identification of the person who is stealing signs.

An hour later, the “LIAR” sign and the sign offering the reward were gone.

Couture said Wednesday she drives by the intersection and saw Brakey’s sign and the “LIAR” sign standing at the intersection. She said she pulled over and saw the Trump signs “beyond the ditch,” with one heavily damaged. Couture said she thinks Tibbetts caused the damage.

Tibbetts denied Couture’s allegation, saying the campaign signs and his “LIAR” sign were likely moved when the Maine Department of Transportation replaced a nearby road sign.

Paul Merrill, spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation, said MDOT crews fixed the sign at the intersection but “did not touch any political signs.”

Couture said MDOT employees would not have damaged the signs.

“If they did have to touch them, they would have put them back,” she said. “I just don’t believe that.”

In a later conversation, Tibbetts said he made the assumption MDOT workers had moved the signs, but maintained he did not move them.

Couture, a former selectman in Sidney who said she supports Trump, said she wrote a letter to Tibbetts on Friday to persuade him to stop placing his “LIAR” signs in public and to stop damaging campaign signs in what she called “predominantly Republican” Sidney.

“I respect everybody’s opinion, and I’m not one who is going to go out and name-call,” Couture said, adding that she did not think a sign supporting Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for president would be damaged or taken. “I think it divides the town considerably.”

She said she did not see Tibbetts damage the signs, but one of the signs looked like it was “stomped on, crushed and thrown in the ditch.” Couture said she used the stake from Tibbetts’s “LIAR” sign to rehang the Trump sign, and then took the “LIAR” sign, with her letter, to the Town Office on Friday.

Tibbetts, a Democrat who ran for Maine House of Representative for District 77 in 2014 and 2016, losing both races, said he created the “LIAR” sign because he “felt something had to be said about Donald Trump.”

“He lies about things big and small,” Tibbetts said. “He lies about his golf score. He lies about his affair with a porn star. He lies about his paying the porn star off for covering it up.

“There are newspapers that have documented between 12,000 and 18,000 lies Trump has made since he has been inaugurated.”

Tibbetts said his “LIAR” signs, which have been placed near the Town’s Office and the transfer station, have been stolen five times and knocked down a couple of times, too.

Tibbetts also said the campaign signs violate state laws. According to the 2020 Candidate’s Guide, which is distributed by the Maine Secretary of State’s Office, state law stipulates campaign signs may be placed in certain public areas “up to 12 total weeks during any calendar year.”

Tibbetts said the Trump signs violate this rule because the presidential election is Nov. 3, which was 19 weeks and four days from Monday. He said Brakey’s signs were lawful because his primary is July 14, or three weeks and a day from Monday.

“I understand the ‘Brakey’ signs,” Tibbetts said. “He has a primary. Go ‘head and put your signs up.”

State law also stipulates individual signs with similar messages “must be placed at least 30 feet from one another,” which the Trump signs are not. Each sign must also be labeled with the owner’s name, address and the date on which the sign was erected.

Couture said she spoke with Tibbetts at about 4 p.m. Monday and told her the next sign he made would be visible from space. She said he “suffers from ‘Trump derangement syndrome,'” a term used by Trump’s supporters to describe what they perceive as undue criticism towards the president.

Tibbetts said he and Couture had an “unfriendly conversation” because Couture called him a “liar.”

“She said if I wanted to call someone a liar, I needed to back it up,” Tibbetts said. “I gave some of the more obvious cases where Donald Trump has lied to people.”


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