A Coldwater, Michigan, man who runs businesses in both Michigan and Indiana has made waves along the border of the two states by a series of billboards he has put up, satirically mocking Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as being great for business – in Indiana.
With a picture of Whitmer, one billboard sardonically refers to her as the "Indiana Chamber of Commerce 2020 Businessperson of the Year." The Indiana Chamber quickly condemned the joke and demanded its name be removed from the billboard.
Steve Swick, who owns a handful of radio stations in the Hoosier state along with an appliance store in Coldwater, said his billboards were meant to bring shame on Whitmer's destructive lockdown policies.
"She has destroyed [Michigan's retail business]," Swick said. "It is a travesty. It's just the frustration over her policies and actions. [The signs are] more satire than anything. Indiana is benefitting greatly from her implemented policies."
Besides the billboard satirically mocking Whitmer for being Indiana's best businessperson, Swick has posted a number of other messages harpooning the Michigan governor's policies:
- A billboard showing the Indiana flag captioned with the words, "The Great State of Indiana Welcomes Michiganders to a Free-to-Roam State. We thank you for the revenue!"
- A billboard right at the border crossing from Indiana into Michigan captioned with big block-lettered words that read, "Now entering Michigan. Really? You're sure about this?"
- A billboard showing an unkempt caveman representing a Michigan citizen standing next to a well-groomed citizen of Indiana holding scissors, captioned with the words, "Current look at the border. Indiana salons & barber shops are open."
- A billboard showing the late actor John Candy playing his iconic security guard at Walley World from "National Lampoon's Vacation," captioned with the words, "Sorry folks…Michigan is closed again!"
Swick is hopeful his messages will stick with lawmakers until they realize that "people want to get back to a sense of normalcy." That, Swick believes, is what has Michiganders "flooding over the borders to Indiana."