Friday, December 18, 2009

Welcome to Obamaville?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 5:28 PM

UPDATE: Friday, 5:11 p.m.

A local man is getting a lot of attention for his efforts to help the homeless by naming their tent camp along Fountain Creek "Obamaville." It's a play, of course, on the camps that sprang up during the Great Depression that were named for President Herbert Hoover, whom many blamed for the stock crash and subsequent 25-percent unemployment rate.

Spencer Swann of Colorado Canyon Signs made a sign saying, "Welcome to Obamaville. Colorado's Fastest Growing Community" for an unnamed customer, who hung it at the Interstate 25 and Cimarron Street ramp.

The sign was there only a few days before someone removed it, but it was long enough that the Drudge Report picked up on it and give Swann national exposure.

"I got a letter from a woman in Florida with five $1 bills in it and [grocery] coupons," Swann said. "I've gotten calls from people in New York, California, Florida, Montana, everywhere."

Among those who heard about Swann's sign was Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, who cited it during a one-minute House floor speech recently in which he blamed growing homelessness on President Obama's spending plans.

Swann says he agrees with Lamborn's take on things, and he didn't vote for Obama. He adds that he has since erected a new sign asking people to bring firewood, propane and canned food to the tent camps, and people are responding. He said several loads of firewood have been dropped off.

Swann says he has a link on his Web site that will take people to the Ecumenical Social Ministries site telling how to help the homeless.

Rep. Doug Lamborn recently delivered a speech on the House floor standing next to a replica of a sign he says is posted in at a homeless camp in his district near the highway by the river, he says. The sign says, "Welcome to Obamaville. Colorado's fastest growing community."

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