This article has been updated from a previous version.
Uproar on social media surfaced more than a week ago about the possible identity of the author of the controversial “Deplorables” signs on a billboard southbound on Route 2/4 near Bowie Shop Road in Huntingtown.
This time the dialogue unfolded on the Calvert County Government Facebook page.
Chris Barriger wrote in a July 30 post in the comments section, incorrectly associating a sign on Route 2/4 in Lusby owned by a business with a political sign on the same highway in Huntingtown.
“Chris what are you talking about?? What is Anti-American about my sign?? Please explain,” responded Lisa Del Ricco, referring to a billboard at the corner of Route 2/4 and White Sands Drive, which promotes Vera’s White Sands Club.
Del Ricco is a co-owner of Vera’s White Sands Club, which is located on St. Leonard Creek in Lusby. According to Del Ricco, she does not own or have anything to do with the politically themed billboard in Huntingtown.
Shirley McIntyre, who owns the Huntingtown billboard, but not the message, responded “I don’t know” to a recent, and a prior, request regarding the sign's content owner.
The current message on the sign reads, “If you don’t like it here LEAVE! Make America Great Again,” referring to President Donald Trump’s July statements and tweets about four minority female lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The billboard messages surfaced last year and appear to poke at liberal ideals.
Barriger’s comment on Facebook garnered dozens of responses and about a half-dozen thumbs-up from notable Democrats in the county, including Calvert County Democratic Central Committee chairman David Salazar and former chair and county commissioner candidate Greg Brown.
“The sentiments that this billboard has conveyed contain the same disgusting language that demonizes your friends and neighbors right here at home and inspires hate and violence against innocent people nationwide,” CCDCC Communications Officer Lauren Elyard said in a statement on behalf of the local Democratic committee.
In an interview with the Recorder, Brown said, “I believe in freedom of speech, but this is outrageous and divisive. It’s the kind of thing we can expect with Donald Trump — he brings out the absolute worst in our county and the whole country. We can do so much better than that here in Calvert County.”