Michigan councilman gets Secret Service visit after depicting Obama’s head on a spike

By David Edwards
Friday, August 10, 2012 10:33 EDT
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Sterling Heights Councilman Paul Smith puts Obama's head on a spike
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A city councilman in Sterling Heights, Michigan says he was questioned by the U.S. Secret Service after video emerged of him at a tea party rally holding signs that depicted violence against President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

The Sterling Heights City Council on Wednesday called for the resignation of Councilman Paul Smith after Mayor Pro Tem Michael Taylor discovered a YouTube video of him at a 2009 tea party rally holding signs that showed Obama’s head on a spike, Pelosi’s head riddled with bullet holes and Granholm’s head in noose. The resolution was passed 6-1, with Smith being the only “no” vote, according to The Detroit News.

In the video, Smith says the signs are to “show our governor, our president, Speaker of the House what we really think of them.”

“Basically, they’re worse than any of the enemies America has ever fought against,” he explains. “Basically, we’ve let a communist in the White House.”

By Thursday evening, the Secret Service had paid Smith a visit.

“Some joker called the Secret Service and made a complaint about me,” Smith told The Oakland Press. “They told me that their policy is they respond to every complaint and that’s exactly what they did. They asked me a lot of questions dating back to when I was a kid. I answered them honestly and I guess they believe I’m not a threat or some kook.”

Smith also said that he would not resign from the city council.

“I don’t mind open warfare,” Smith explained. “The council acted like they were being friendly and they were stabbing me under the table. … That council is like a fraternity. They don’t want outsiders on the council. I’m not welcome to the club.”

But Taylor insisted that the group had only called for his resignation after it was clear that he had violated the council’s rules and ethics.

“Mr. Smith has engaged in conduct unbefitting a public official,” Taylor said. “He has failed to repudiate his actions.”

Watch this video, uploaded to YouTube on April 17, 2009.

(h/t: Video Cafe)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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