The Journal Gazette
Saturday, February 20, 2021 1:00 am

Furthermore ...

Slam against Michigan governor not sanctioned by Indiana Chamber

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants everyone to know it had nothing to do with the Steuben County billboard targeting Michigan's governor.

The satirical billboard, at Interstate 69 and the Indiana Toll Road near Angola, featured a photo of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, proclaiming her Indiana's business person of the year. The designation was a reference to the governor's COVID-19 restrictions. 

Swift Broadcasting Company CEO Steve Swick told the Detroit Free Press he was responsible for the digital sign, which initially included the Indiana Chamber designation.

“The Indiana Chamber of Commerce had nothing to do with this. Someone used our name to help garner attention,” Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said in a statement. “We are not in the business of attacking other states or individuals. We found this completely inappropriate and demanded it be taken down immediately.”

The state Chamber did not give permission for its name to be used as part of the stunt, according to Rebecca Patrick, the chamber's vice president of public relations and communications. 

Swift removed the Chamber's name from the billboard, but said he posted the sign to make people consider the harm done to Michigan businesses as a result of Whitmer's restrictions.

The Free Press noted the only additional restrictions in place in Michigan since Feb. 1 are on nightclubs, water parks and indoor contact sports.

Fourteen men were arrested in October for planning to kidnap the Michigan governor and overthrow the state government.

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