Remember when disgraced (and subsequently displaced) talk shock jock John Sylvester mocked Rebecca Kleefisch for cold calling Illinois businesses?
How amateurish is it to have Rebecca Kleefisch, who, I don’t know, she has some like little panty business in her basement or something, I don’t know. She’s hardly a, she’s hardly an entrepreneur. You know what? You know how amateurish that is? Cold-calling?
(Mocking Kleefisch in high-pitched, slurred voice)
'Would you like to move to Wisconsin? Would you like to move CouponCabin to Wisconsin? I’m Rebecca Kleefisch
His rant took a sharp turn toward misogyny from there, but what prompted the now infamous segment from his since-cancelled talk show was Kleefish's efforts to court Illinois businesses. It was part of a multi-pronged economic development effort from the Walker Administration.
And the DJ turned clown wasn't the only one who mocked the Administration's effort to market Wisconsin as an attractive alternative for Illinois companies.
Well what do you know? Those efforts are paying off.
Two years after Gov. Scott Walker encouraged Illinois businesses to "escape to Wisconsin," the Milwaukee 7 economic development group is working with the governor to recruit small to medium-sized manufacturers from the Land of Lincoln.
A letter from Walker to more than 800 businesses last year yielded interest from a variety of companies, said Jim Paetsch, vice president of corporate relocation for the M7. Two businesses have recently moved to Milwaukee from Illinois, and a third is expected.
The size of the firms isn't huge, so these aren't high-profile wins, but Paetsch said the timing is right to recruit in northern Illinois.
These are on top of other successes like FatWallet.com.
Wisconsin and Illinois are moving in opposite directions. As Illinois refuses to control spending and instead looks for more and more 'revenue,' Wisconsin has turned their deficit into a surplus without massive tax hikes and is proving that we are...wait for it... Open for Business.