Who’s responsible for the Joe Biden Taliban billboard?

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — If you’ve driven along Interstate 83 in York County lately, chances are you’ve seen a giant billboard that features President Joe Biden in a military outfit along with the phrase “Making the Taliban Great Again.”

The billboard is operated by advertising company Trone Outdoor Advertising, which provides billboard advertising in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware. The company is responsible for operating and organizing advertisements, but it is not responsible for what is included in the advertisements that are displayed.

“The individual that is responsible for the billboard is (former Pennsylvania State Senator) Scott Wagner. He gave us permission to make it known that he was responsible for the billboard,” Vice President of Trone Outdoor Brian Scott said.

Scott Wagner had one term as Pennsylvania State Senator, elected in 2014. He represented the 28th district in the state, which is a large portion of York County. He resigned in June of 2018 to run for Governor as the Republican nominee, a race in which he lost to Governor Tom Wolf.

“I saw the image (of Joe Biden), I got it from a friend a few weeks ago. The picture tells the story. We pulled out of Afghanistan too quickly, and we left so much of American equipment. Joe Biden has made us look like a fool. I feel so bad, words can’t describe what I would say to someone who was wounded or someone’s family who had a soldier pass away in the country after all this happened,” Scott Wagner said when asked for a comment.

We reached out to PennDOT for their comment on the billboard. Fritzi Schreffler, PennDOT Spokesperson, said “the Department permits such outdoor advertising to private entities through an application process, bound by law and regulation. Specifically, the Outdoor Advertising Control Act of 1971 (Federal Law) and Title 67, PA Code, Chapter 445 (PA Commonwealth Regulation) do not regulate or control billboard advertising content. Generally, advertising content is protected by the First Amendment under the US Constitution. Therefore, if the advertising message is legal per State or Federal laws and regulations, recourse is not warranted. While we understand the message on the Interstate 83 billboard may be unpleasant to some, it is our understanding that the message is legal. As such, the Department has no basis to require this message be changed.”

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