The Indiana Chamber denounced a satirical billboard that named Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) its state “Businessperson of the Year.”
Steve Swick, a business owner in both states, posted a message that appeared to come from the business group:
This is an actual billboard in Indiana. Whitmer is a complete and utter failure and an economic illiterate. Just take a look. It’s in a book. Reading Rainbow!
“She has destroyed them (Michigan’s retail business),” Swick told Michigan Capitol Confidential. “It is a travesty. It’s just the frustration over her policies and actions.”
He said the message, posted on billboards owned by Swick Broadcasting Company, was “more satire than anything.”
But the Indiana Chamber was not pleased.
“It’s 100% false,” Vice President of PR and Communications Rebecca Patrick told Breitbart News.
“I’m not sure if it’s a Photoshop or someone is using our name on an actual billboard — but we had nothing to do with it,” she said when contacted Sunday.
“Our 2020 Business Leader of the Year was Dave Ricks of Eli Lilly.”
The Detroit News reported the chamber sent Swick a cease-and-desist letter and he altered the message to remove “chamber.”
The paper said Swick has posted other messages critical of Whitmer’s policies:
One pictured an image of the Indiana flag and a caption that said, “The Great State of Indiana Welcomes Michiganders to a Free-to-Roam State. We thank you for the revenue!”
Another pictured a Michiganian as an unkempt, long-haired caveman alongside a well-groomed Hoosier holding a pair of scissors. The billboard said “Current look at the border. Indiana salons & barber shops are open.”
A third billboard showed actor John Candy playing a guard at Walley World in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movie, warning drivers, “Sorry folks…Michigan is closed again!”
“People want to get back to a sense of normalcy,” Swick said. “They’re all flooding over the borders to Indiana” because of Whitmer’s orders that have shutdown “nonessential” businesses and restricted restaurant operations.
“I think her overreaching restrictiveness has put Michigan businesses and industries behind the eight ball,” he told the News.