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Laundromat Owners Offer Olive Branch to Obama Supporters

Owners at Rogers Linen Services on Douglas Avenue removed a controversial sign against President Barack Obama, and in its place, painted another message.

Victor and Karen Rogers don't want any hard feelings left over from their political statement in the 2012 election.

Their sentiment is painted on a storefront window at  in the same place a controversial sign suggesting President Barack "Obama Can Kiss My Ass" for his July "You Didn't Build That" campaign speech in Roanoke, VA.

To get off on better footing in 2013, Victor Rogers had another message painted in his store window a week before the president's inauguration on Jan. 21:

"The Election is over the talk is done. My Party lost, your Party Won. So let us be friends, let argument pass. I'll hug my elephant, You kiss your Ass."

It's a poem he found on Facebook, which is where he also found the "Kiss My Ass" sign hung during the election.

Victor Rogers said that although it attracted a lot of support, picture-takers and hand-shakers from customers and strangers who thanked him for expressing what many others wished they had the "balls" to say (as well as one person who called to complain and 273 comments on Dunedin Patch), it was time for it to come down.

He wants his Douglas Avenue window front to stay fresh and remain a platform for political statements.

"I'm working to make this end of Dunedin red," Victor Rogers said with a smile inside the laundromat and linen rental service he's owned with his wife for 26 years.

A loyal patron named David interrupted.

"I don't agree with them ideologically," he said. "But I keep coming here. These are friendly folks. ... And I love our president."

Inside the couple's laundromat hangs a quilted Americana wall hanging, handmade by Victor's aunt who lives in the Midwest. Toward the back of the room is more red, white and blue decor. 

And on the wall in the back hangs the sign that started it all.

Previous Coverage: 

  • Laundromat Owner Takes Stand Against Obama
  • Comment of the Week: A Call for Civility

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Karen Burton January 26, 2013 at 11:18 PM
Obama is a corporate sell out funded by Wall St. He is not for the people. He is helping turn our country into a fascist police state. This is not right wing rhetoric. He is a total fraud. He didn't get elected because the people voted for him. True democracy is a thing of the past. Your rights are gradually being eroded and you don't even know it because you fell for the illusion. Get the facts. Go to website below. http://nader.org/2013/01/25/obamas-record-belies-inaugural-words/
joanne wilson January 27, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Karen and Victor: Good for you for saying what every small business owner feels in their hearts and would have loved to say. Joanne Wilson
frank and meg January 27, 2013 at 01:21 AM
karen and victor get my support,there great people,who cares about the political stuff in the windows,your children see worse stuff on bill boards as you drive on 19
Forwardnotbackwards January 27, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Fascist police state??? I thought he was a "socialist" and Muslim. Isn't that what hate pundits, like Glenn Beck and Rush call him, who make MILLIONS from their right wing sheep? Fascism is the mantra of the right wing. The thing that cracks me up is that people of this ilk have the NERVE to identify themselves as "Christians." Yet they support Romney, a Mormon, who believes his "God" lives on the planet Kolob with his multiple wives. But they question Obama's faith, who is a TRUE Christian, in spite of the hate and bigotry from the tea party haters. Being a senior, I'm very happy that Barack is back. The middle class won't have to worry about drastic cuts to the "social safety net." And hypocrites like Ryan, Bachmann, Cantor, McConnell and Boehner, will continue to enjoy their SOCIALIZED health care that is SUBSIDIZED by the taxpayers. And, in answering Jasminetea, yes, I feel GREAT! It was a SUPER election year......☺
Forwardnotbackwards January 27, 2013 at 03:51 AM
Here are some "facts" about Obama being compared to a VERY popular president. Maybe the most popular. Read the comparisons and think, without the bigotry. Coming from "humble beginnings" and being called a "sellout" and traitor......http://www.progressivepress.net/two-presidents-curious-similarities/
Forwardnotbackwards January 27, 2013 at 04:02 AM
Unemployment rate down, stock market up, housing market recovering.....is that enough?.........☺
Deb Furlin January 27, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Jasminetea, yeah, I would say we are in recovery. It would be even better if the obstructionists in Congress would actually pass a jobs bill. Unemployment down, stock market up, housing market recovering...in spite of them.
Deb Furlin January 27, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Jasminetea, sour grapes?
Deb Furlin January 27, 2013 at 04:09 AM
Jasminetea, wahhhhh. Wahhhh!
jasminetea January 27, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Deb/Dan, the unemployment rate is not down. It is currently 8% in the state of Florida and 10.2% in Rhode Island which is the highest. And this will probably increase once they let go of the holiday help after inventory is complete at the end of January. As far as the housing market goes; when I see my house get back its value then I will believe this market is recovering. Much of what is being sold are short sales and foreclosures. Smart people are not putting their homes on the market because they will not see any return on their investment. It will be a long climb out of the hole before property values start to show some real improvement. Don't count on seeing any real, solid, long term improvement for at least 5-6 years. Yes the stock market is currently up. But as all people who dabble in the market or trade very heavily know - it's just like playing craps (gambling). The banks are killing small business with their insane interest rates. That is why many are closing up shop and less new ones are opening up. Take a drive out of your neighborhood at look carefully at commercial real estate and strip centers. Most of these are vacant. There is no lending to a small business unless you agree to pay an interest rate of 17.99% and up. These rate for business credit have continued to rise over the last 4 years. You can call me sour grapes, but I would have to call you delusional. http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/state-unemployment-rates/
Chuck Fortin January 27, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Virulent political posturing aside, and without casting aspersions on the alleged decency and generosity of the proprietors, I consider the new version of window dressing every bit as offensive, poisonous, and disrespectful as the original. The image of hugging an elephant is cute. The "ad hominem" affront to our re-elected President, indicated by the capital "A", betrays the reality that the perpetrators have elected to persist in their unrelenting alienation of significant numbers of potential customers. That is an expression of their freedom, choice, and their degree of sincerity. But please, olive branches and hemlock have different roots! As Socrates discovered, the latter is suicidal.
John Lydon January 27, 2013 at 07:33 PM
The owners of that business can kiss my ass! If he wants to remain an ignorant idiot and show his stupidity I'm all for it. I'd rather not give business to someone that's is so ignorantly stupid. Watching Paul Ryan on Meet The Press this morning and he talks about how the GOP has had things taken out of context. Welcome to the club jerk. The whole " you didn't build that" speech was taken out of context and used as a tool for fools like this Dunedin business person. Maybe I'll come in and was a bunch of pens markers and dry some plastic or tar soaked junk. I'm always looking for a laundromat I can wash my grungier oil soaked rags in. Thanks for the tip.
michael mirra January 27, 2013 at 08:35 PM
no one is talking about the right of free speech. It is an issue of everyone's right to patronize business' that they choose, or NOT. There are always popular, if not legal, reprocussions to our speech. People are free to react anyway that they wish. Business' that are vocal about politics alignate half their clients. Most Republicans mistakenly think they are what America is all about & don't seem to get that they are the ones out of touch. I will make sure that if I ever use a laundrymat, it won't be that one. I voted for Obama & I have a strong dislike for Republicanism. I am nowhere close to being alone. People like the laundrymat owner kill their own business'
jasminetea January 27, 2013 at 08:48 PM
You are a typical, nasty, ignorant person.
michael mirra January 27, 2013 at 08:48 PM
It's not OK for Obama's drones to kill people, but it's Ok for 200 sorties a day to kill innocent people in Desert Storm? I didn't realize that was OK because people dropped the bombs & drones don't risk American lives to fly the mission. Also it was Republican ordered murder of people with 20 thousand tons of tnt a day. Silly me. I didn't realize that made it acceptable. It must be ok to murder civilians in wartime. Afghanistan isn't a real war, right. It was ok though to Nuke civilian populations in Hiroshima & Nagasaki. We are the only nation that has a track record of nuking civilians, but we better worry that those loose cannons in Iran want to be able to protect themselves from us.
Forwardnotbackwards January 28, 2013 at 12:47 AM
Again, it makes me FUME when I hear the likes of Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and tea party kooks like Michele Bachmann, talk about going after "entitlements" like Medicare (turning it into a voucher program which loses value over time for those 55 and under) and Social Security. We SENIORS have EARNED our Medicare and SS. What insurance company is going to offer insurance to seniors loaded with "preexisting conditions"? And Bachmann, STILL, proposing going after "Obamacare." The SCOTUS UPHELD it and Obama won. Stop wasting our time and money with STUPID proposals, The thing that REALLY irks me is that Ryan, Cantor and Bachmann get the BEST health care that is mostly SUBSIDIZED by, guess who, the TAXPAYERS. They get "Obamacare" on steroids. OK for them but not for the middle class peons who pay their salaries. The GOP's answer to everything is CUTS to things that affect SENIORS, the poor, sick, indigent, needy, disabled and middle class......one talks if "ignorance." How about people who, for the most part, identify themselves as "Christians." Yet go after the most vulnerable in our society and, VICIOUSLY, attack our Christian President with their "socialism" and "Muslim" attacks. That is hypocrisy and ugliness. Which is why they LOST the election BIG! There are more people in Dunedin who are moderate and progressive then deep red fanatics. And more in Florida and the U.S. The voters have shown that...........☺
nancy ulrich January 28, 2013 at 02:44 PM
If my children and I came up to that window, I would immediately turn around and not do business with them.
Marcia January 28, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I believe in the right that allows them to put that sign in the window but I think it's petty politics and insulting. Why a business person would want to alienate customers like that is beyond my logic. I wouldn't do business there.
David Barmore January 28, 2013 at 07:12 PM
It's good business for a laundro-mat owner to support any party that blocks jobs bills and wants to destroy the middle class. As it shrinks and people are forced from their homes, rental occupancy, and poverty, the chief determinants of laundromat demographic use, increases. What is not smart is letting your customers know you support the economic policies that led them into the poverty of the laundormat economy..
jasminetea January 28, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Wow you really gave that some thought. Don't suppose it ever occurred to you that there are plenty of people, particularly those who rent seasonally that do not have washer/dryers in the place they rent when they are down here. So they do frequent the use of a laundromat. And there are also those that need to wash king size quilts and comforters and living room slip covers that don't fit into extra large washers, so they take them to the laundromat. Pretty interesting that you think people that use laundromats are all poor. BTW take note of how to spell laundromat and try using spell check too.
Adam Wilkes January 28, 2013 at 08:47 PM
The only thing funnier than the posting of this low-rent sign on a store front is the pathetic attempt by a few to try and justify its validity. These are not happy well adjusted people. In fact, if you make the mistake of parking in the wrong spot and go into what was Iris's Cafe, these people will have you towed before you eat your first french fry. I have sat on a window booth and watched it happen to a 84 year old lady. The laundromat was empty and the sweet old lady did not see the sign. She was towed before I could get a refill on my tea. These are mean people and their sign speaks volumes. If you support them I'd venture to say you are mean too!
Martha Dunningham January 28, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Wow, I go out of town for a few weeks and come back to this?! Free speech does not allow you to harm others with words. These people are not free speechers their birthers. They should think seriously about relocating to Arizona. They would fit in great next door to that lovely sheriff they have out there! I will not park my park anywhere near that place. I was looking forward to the new Iris but now I'll just wait.
Joey Saltzburg January 28, 2013 at 09:27 PM
I agree with you Mr. Harris! Mr. Wilkes Yeah I know lol, I've always heard you have to be careful there not to park in the wrong place! God forbid the lady just try to get along with others. My mom told me this place was all the buzz at Patrician Oaks and everyone there knew not to use them.
Forwardnotbackwards January 29, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Relocating to Arizona? How about Texas? Then they can be neighbors with Glenn Beck. I'm sure the tea party and birher kooks are strong there. Oh wait, that's right, Texas will be a BLUE state very soon. Last count showed 44% white, 38% Hispanic and 18% other, many of which are oriental. Projection is it will be a BLUE state in the next 5-10 years..........Whoops!..........☺..........Oh where or where will the bigoted hatemongers on the right be able to go?
Adam Wilkes January 29, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Yesterday, after reading all the comments and making a couple myself, I went for my usual walk on the trail between Union st and Skinner. I decided to ask people I saw if they knew of a good laundromat to use. Out 6 people asked, all strangers, all six directed me to locations other than the one in this story. 2 people said nothing of this place until asked what about the one next to Iris's. Their response was no you don't want to go there. The other 4 independently brought up the fact that I should steer clear of the one by Iris's. All total the six strangers I spoke with were very clear. One of the people had a first hand experience they shared, stating they had lost money in a machine that never cut on and was told they were lying by the attendant, so they took their blanket, which was soaked by the soap they had added and left never to return. Guess the issue is more resolved than I first thought. Poor customer service in the end will always determine the fate of any business regardless of political pronouncements.
David Barmore January 29, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Jasminetea, facts are facts. Drop by any laundromat and it becomes apparant this is the primary deimographic. Google an upscale large area like Fishhawk ranch and see if you can even find ONE laundromat there. Google laundromat demographic and you'll see the same, urban, renta, lower income. I'm sure even Donald Trump has used a laundromat at some time in his life, but you wouldn't want to open one next door to him, thinking you'd get rich off his business. It would be foolish, wouldn't it?
Nokomis January 30, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Considering the Dunedin community is so very gay friendly, I think it is in poor choice for the owners of this establishment to try and turn their end of Dunedin "red". Granted, I am aware of the fact that it is a sweeping statement to assume that all Republicans are against gay rights, but it does not bode well considering many are. I do believe in the freedom of speech, as long as you do it with tact.
Forwardnotbackwards January 30, 2013 at 05:13 AM
lol........funny thing about the right wing "family values" crowd. Look at how many them get caught doing what they, supposedly, are against. Look at right here, in Florida. Lest we remember Mark Foley and his "boy page" problem. Remember Ted Haggard, Mr. "Christian," who was the Bush White House minister, and his gay escort. How about Robert Allen, a Florida State Representative, was arrested for offering to perform fellatio to an undercover cop in the men's room of a park for $20. It’s always weird when people are so adamantly against something then they go ahead and gets caught doing the thing they were so against. How does it go...he that doth protest too much, me thinks, me thinks. There is no end to "red" hypocrisy........☺
Jackson Winters February 21, 2013 at 07:01 PM
I certainly chuckled when I saw the new message in the window. But it's not the way the "poem" was originally written. The last sentence should read: "I'll hug YOUR elephant, You kiss MY ass"
Carole March 14, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I stopped going there many years ago. Karen took my wet clothes out of a washer and threw them on her filithy floor becaause i had the neve to order breakfast from Iris's while i was using her facility. She's a nut job!!! Victor was always nice when she wasn't around, perhaps a little too nice and flirty if you know what I mean. I've lived on Douglas Ave walking distance to their laundrymat fo 20 years. This neighborhood isn't going red anytime soon. In fact it's turned bluer!

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