LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A man who prompted protests by hanging an effigy of U.S. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin by a noose from his home at Halloween has removed the display because it was causing too much trouble.
Chad Michael Morrisette had dressed a mannequin to resemble the Alaska governor, complete with beehive hairstyle and her trademark glasses, and hung it by the neck from the eaves of his home in famously liberal West Hollywood.
In the run-up to next Tuesday’s election, this triggered counter-protests and a visit by the U.S. Secret Service, although officials concluded he had violated no law.
“It was just creating such a disturbance. There were helicopters circling overhead, counter protesters,” Jake Stevens, spokesman for West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang, said in explaining why Morrisette agreed to remove the effigy.
“Mayor Prang just kind of appealed to his common sense. He had made his point and it was becoming counter-productive,” Stevens said.
Morrisette also plans to take down a mannequin of Republican candidate John McCain which had protruded from the chimney surrounded in flames, Stevens said.
“There was a huge mob scene. The whole thing became a life of its own,” Morrisette, a professional window display designer, told the Los Angeles Times.
Counter protesters had held up a large sheet to screen the display and Stevens said someone had created a similar effigy of Morrisette with a sign reading: “Chad, How Does it Feel?”
And a woman in Redondo Beach, about 15 miles away, included in her Halloween decorations a dummy of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama smeared in fake blood, apparently stabbed through the neck with a large knife.
Palin, who is seen as more conservative than running-mate McCain, has been a lightning-rod of criticism from the left.
Editing by David Storey
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