On February 4 a 30-second radio ad featuring none other than Governor Rick Perry started its week-long run in six California cities. The ad features the governor's voice tempting the state's businesses to relocate to Texas:
"Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible," he drawls. "This is Texas Governor Rick Perry, and I have a message for California businesses: Come check out Texas."
But the Sacramento Bee took issue with the ad and had choice words in today's editorial, "Pity Rick Perry: his big state has big needs."
Yes, come check out Texas. Check out a state that ranks dead last in the percent of its population with high school diplomas. Come check out a state that is last in mental health expenditures and workers' compensation coverage. Come check out a state that ranks first in the number of executions, first in the number of uninsured, first in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and first in the amount of toxic chemicals released into water.
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As Schutze wrote back in 2011, Perry's ideas about Texas as an Eden of job creation are pretty suspect.
"All the research on economic development I'm familiar with over the last 60 years has found that state and local incentives are a fairly minor factor in the business site selection calculus," SMU's Bernard Weinstein told Schutze. "And that's understandable, because state and local taxes for a lot of companies are fairly minor costs of doing business."
The Sacramento paper is a tad more bitter, taking a jab at Perry's woeful presidential campaign and the Cowboys' prolonged absence from the Super Bowl. Truly, nothing is sacred.
Of course, the interstate spat wouldn't be complete without a reference to flatulence, which in this case is provided by California Governor Jerry Brown. Asked to comment, he said Perry's ads register as "barely a fart" and aren't a "serious story."