Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-Oops) has been traveling this great nation of ours trying to cheery-pick businesses in blue states to migrate to the Lone Star state.
And generating national media coverage in the process.
From the Weekly Standard in June:
Perry, in his 13th year as governor, has begun a . . . crusade to persuade the country that what has worked in Texas and other Republican-led states will work everywhere. “I want to engage America in this blue state / red state discussion,” he says. This may sound grandiose, but he’s not kidding.
He started by going to California in February and Illinois in April, heavily Democratic states with two of the worst economic records in the country. He urged business leaders to pack up and move to Texas, where they’d thrive because of pro-business policies in place for a decade. “We keep our taxes low, our regulations reasonable and effective. We’ve implemented lawsuit abuse reforms and cultivated a world-class workforce,” he explained in an op-ed in the Austin paper when Obama was in town.
In California, Perry touched off a four-day tour across the state with $24,000 worth of radio ads. “Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,” he said in the ads. “I have a message for California businesses: Come check out Texas.”
California Gov. Jerry Brown replied by mocking Perry, which backfired and garnered the Texan even more press. A similar scenario followed in Illinois.
Then, from the Weekly Standard in July (both pieces by Rick Perry groupie Fred Barnes):
Perry had three goals for his trip [to New York]. He succeeded, partially anyway, on two. In time, he may on the third. The first was to attract businesses to Texas. Perry insists it takes nine months from his pitch to a company’s decision to move. So we’ll have to wait on that. But Perry says he expects to hear this summer that an untold number of California companies are Texas-bound.
The second goal was to stir a national debate on “blue state versus red states policies.” Perry thinks he’s set this in motion and he may have. It should shine a favorable light on the Texas model of low taxes, light regulation, and less litigation—small government that works.
Perry didn’t acknowledge the third goal. It was a test of his skill as a potential presidential candidate after his disastrous performance in last year’s race for the Republican nomination. He says he “parachuted” into that campaign both too late and unprepared. He knows better now.
And it’s not just the Standard that’s promoting Perry. From the latest edition of Bloomberg Businessweek:
Replacing Perry’s salesmanship won’t be easy. In 2012, after speaking at a development conference in Italy, he took a side trip to look at cars and meet with Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari (F:IM). “They have a really upscale beautiful little coupe. It’s called the California,” says Perry. “I call him, I said, Luca, I’m completely biased, but the brand that has the most cachet for the future is not California, it’s Texas. You should sit down with your marketing folks.” The chairman of Ferrari, says Perry, thought that was an interesting observation.
Then again, the Businessweek piece has one Perry critic saying, “the time and money spent luring companies to the state is largely wasted. Texas has seen a net inflow of 80,000 jobs between 2001 and 2010, not much in an 11 million-job economy.”
Fair enough. But let’s see where Ferrari is in 2016.
And whether the Perry machine is still running smoothly.