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West Hollywood couple behind Sarah Palin effigy run afoul of EBay

January 19, 2009 |  2:16 pm

Palinefigy Yes, the noose is still included.

For those who already have the Obama hope poster, the McCain maverick button and the Joe the Plumber T-shirt, there is one more kitsch -– though more controversial -– item for the comprehensive 2008 presidential campaign collection: the Sarah Palin effigy that caused a bit of an uproar outside one West Hollywood home and prompted Keith Olbermann to name the homeowner “Worst Person in the World.”

Chad Michael Morrisette, a professional window-display designer, and his partner, Mito Aviles, put the Palin mannequin up for auction on EBay last week, complete with red coat, beehive wig, glasses -- and with a noose still hanging around its neck.

The auction was supposed to end Tuesday -– Inauguration Day. But on Sunday night, EBay took down the posting.

The site did not give any specific reason but referred the couple to its policy on offensive material, which says, "Sellers may not list items that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial or religious intolerance, or items that promote organizations with such views."

"And I think they were putting it in that category because of the history of lynching,” Morrisette said. “We think it was the noose in the picture that they deemed as glorified hatred,” Aviles wrote in an e-mail.

The item was relisted with a new picture of the mannequin sans noose, though the hanging accessory will still be included with the purchase. Morrisette worried that having to relist the auction, which will now end on Wednesday, might have lost some of the initial interest in the item.

Before it was removed Sunday, the auction page had more than 900 views, and 40 people were keeping track of it, he said.

The mannequin, which is listed for a starting price of $1,000, already has one bid. It comes with a cardboard John McCain that is about 4 feet tall. Morrisette and Aviles are trying to capitalize on the controversy that surrounded the Palin effigy for several days in October. The auction page reads: “PLEASE NOTE: YOU ARE BIDDING ON THE FAMOUS SARAH PALIN HALLOWEEN DISPLAY MANNEQUIN. AS SEEN ON THE TODAY SHOW, INSIDE EDITION, THE VIEW, FOX NEWS, KEITH OLBERMAN, EVERY MAJOR NEWS NETWORK, AND READ ABOUT IN EVERY NEWSPAPER WORLDWIDE.”

-- Raja Abdulrahim

Photo: KTLA video