Dartboard with faces of 4 congresswomen sparks controversy at Fayette County Fair | TribLIVE.com

Dartboard with faces of 4 congresswomen sparks controversy at Fayette County Fair

Megan Tomasic
A dartboard at the Fayette County Fair depicts U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a group dubbed “the squad.”

Several people on social media are up in arms over a dartboard displayed at the Fayette County Fair that depicts the faces of four Democratic congresswomen and a cornhole board featuring the face of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The dartboard, which was set up at the Fayette County GOP booth, showed U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a group dubbed “the squad.”

But when South Union Township resident Trinette Cunningham, 47, saw the board Sunday afternoon, she thought it crossed the line.

“I want people to realize we can do better than this,” Cunningham said. “We’re better than resorting to these childish antics. … Let’s talk about the issues. I think everyone’s so accustomed now to posting a meme or tweeting something, and that’s just so superficial.”

She added reported fights at the fair this year sparked her desire to bring attention to the board, along with the hope that the Fayette County GOP would start conversations about other things, like how well the economy and stock market are doing: July closed with the U.S. economy having grown for 121 consecutive months — the longest stretch since records started being kept in 1854, according to The Economist. The Dow Jones industrial average in July also crossed the 27,000 mark for the first time ever.

Bill Kozlovich, chairman of the Fayette County GOP, said the board was put up as a joke and as a way to spark a conversation.

“This was just a way of people having a little fun and a conversation starter,” he said. “It was for people to have fun and laugh at. I quit taking count of how many people came up and said, ‘Where’s the board?’ ‘I don’t see the boards,’ ‘I want to play.’ ”

Kozlovich said he took down the dartboard as soon as he heard the complaint, adding it was up for about two days.

Cunningham, who posted the photo of the dartboard to the social media, said it was not her intention to be political.

“I’m not trying to stir the pot, and I’m not trying to take sides of this. … I think something like this doesn’t have party lines,” Cunningham said, adding she would have posted a photo if it was something the Democratic Party had done.

Recently, the four congresswomen were targeted by Trump, who said the women hate the United States and are free to leave the country, The New York Times reported. Comments were made particularly toward Omar, who was born in Somalia, and supporters at a Trump rally in North Carolina chanted “send her back,” the newspaper reported.

State Rep. Matthew Dowling, R-Fayette/Somerset, issued a statement Tuesday, saying: “I was shocked to learn about the recent actions taken at the Fayette County Fair and cannot stress enough how wrong it was. Disagreement over issues is the basis of our republic and part of a healthy democracy, but when that disagreement veers into anything that can be seen as promoting violence against others, it is simply unacceptable.”

The cornhole boards, which showed Pelosi, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., have been around for two years and are still up at the fair, Kozlovich said. Players toss a sock rather than a bean bag, to say “stuff a sock in it,” he said.

Kozlovich added he has never received complaints about the boards. Kozlovich said he does plan on bringing the cornhole boards back to the fair in coming years but said he will not bring back the dartboard.

“It’s not worth the aggravation I’ve had to go through in the past couple of days,” Kozlovich said. “People can’t have a little bit of a sense of humor.”

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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