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On board ?with Bush: Minnesota-style billboard with former president ?shows up on Sterling roadside
[March 04, 2010]

On board ?with Bush: Minnesota-style billboard with former president ?shows up on Sterling roadside

STERLING, Mar 04, 2010 (Daily Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- It's hard to miss former President George W. Bush as he hovers over your car, smiling and waving.

But still, the nation's 43rd president asks, "Miss me yet?" Bush recently appeared in the Sauk Valley on a billboard on the south side of East Lincolnway in Sterling, near the Lynn Boulevard intersection. The paid advertisement is identical to one that made national news last month when it popped up in Wyoming, Minn.

The billboard was sold by Turnroth Billboard Co. in Rock Falls. Barry Cox, who works in sales for Turnroth, wouldn't disclose the message's sponsor or sponsors, who wish to "remain anonymous," he said.

Cox said he's received positive feedback, in the form of an e-mail and phone calls, from residents expressing their support and approval.

"They love the billboard," he said.

Such a billboard costs $543 a month to rent; the poster itself cost $200, Cox said, adding the purchase was made in the past 30 days.

The original billboard along Interstate 35 near the small town of Wyoming, Minn., was bought by a group of small business owners who initially wished to remain anonymous.

It since has spawned a "Miss Me?" merchandising boomlet and a raft of chatter on TV, the Internet and anywhere else politics is discussed.

One of the Minnesota men, Mike Rivard, later said in an interview with Fox News that he and his peers wanted to bring perspective to the current political situation, and not necessarily slam President Barack Obama.

"It is not fair to blame everything on [Bush] just like it is not fair to expect Obama to have a magic solution," Rivard said in the interview. "The American people have a lot to be concerned about, and we need to stop the blame." Time will tell whether the anonymous buyer of Sterling's sign will surface.

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