New Ipswich artist who posted political cartoon says house was egged in retaliation

  • Two figures are seen in the yard of New Ipswich artist Matt Patterson on Saturday night, when his house was egged and a political sign in support of Paul Somero was left in his yard. Courtesy photos—Copyright 2002

  • Artist Matt Patterson said his house was egged after he posted this political cartoon on social media. DRAWING BY MATT PATTERSON

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/29/2020 4:05:29 PM

A New Ipswich artist who created a political cartoon of a local state representative said his house was vandalized in response.

Matt Patterson of New Ipswich mainly creates art of wildlife, with a special interest in turtles and amphibians. But he recently tried his hand at political satire of State Rep. Paul Somero, with a caricature of Somero holding a “Truth Prevails” sign while holding a cup for President Donald Trump to pour bleach into.

Patterson had been vocal about disagreement with Somero over the decision to hold a religious revival on his property amidst concerns of creating a COVID-19 super-spreader event.

Patterson said he put up two political signs in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on his property last week, one in a tree and one on his lawn near the road. He said within 24 hours, he recorded someone on his game camera attempting to take his lawn sign, but they weren’t able to because he had attached it with rope.

On Saturday night, Patterson said his camera caught two individuals who egged his house, and left one of Somero’s “Truth prevails” signs in his yard.

Patterson said he had only recently posted his satirical cartoon on social media, and the egging was likely a response to that.

“I’ve been vocal against him as state representative,” Patterson said. “But I definitely don’t regret it. I hear people talking about their First Amendment rights and their freedom of speech, but maybe they think that’s only for them.”

Patterson said he did not report the initial attempt to take his political signs, but did report the egging of his house to New Ipswich Police.

New Hampshire RSA 664:17 states that “no person shall remove, deface, or knowingly destroy any political advertising which is placed on or affixed to public property or any private property except for removal by the owner of the property, persons authorized by the owner of the property, or a law enforcement officer removing improper advertising.” NH RSA 664:21 institutes fines of up to $1,000 for removing, defacing or destroying signs that are on private property.

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