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Pro-Bush pizza shop given some heat to go

Draws citation for huge banner

A 24-foot-long ''Go Bush" banner hanging on a pizza shop across from the FleetCenter has drawn plenty of attention amid preparations for the Democratic National Convention this week. But yesterday, a city inspector stopped by and slapped Halftime Pizza with a citation for hanging an unlicensed banner.

The 4-foot high sign reads, ''Say DNC Thanks for Nothing! Go Bush."

Mark F. Pasquale, a North End native who owns the shop, said he suspects the message was connected to the city's action.

''I'm a Bush guy," Pasquale said. ''I guess they don't like the way the sign looks."

Pasquale received a citation for a license permit violation and an egress citation for hanging the sign on a door that is gated, said Bev Ford, a spokeswoman for Boston police. But she said that about a dozen other establishments were also cited for not having proper permits for banners.

Pasquale said he's suspicious. ''Twelve? There should have been more than 12," he said. ''They gotta make it look good, right? They can't pick on just one guy." .

The state Republican Party is sympathetic to Pasquale, who thought he would make money slinging slices during the convention, but decided to close when he found out the delegates would be fed at private parties.

''I feel bad for the guy," said Tim O'Brien, executive director of the Massachusetts GOP. ''He's been run out, forced to close down for a week,and now they're citing him."

It was not clear yesterday whether Pasquale would necessarily face fines, but he said he is leaving the banner in place regardless of the consequences.

Ford said the citations are routine. Now the city licensing board must decide whether Pasquale or others will be fined.

Heather Allen can be reached at

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