Opinion

Democratic governors miffed at Perry’s job-stealing Texas swagger

Democratic governors are beginning to get more than a little miffed at their Texas Republican counterpart. Mistakes made by those other states have been a golden opportunity for Gov. Rick Perry.

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Rick Perry says, “C’mon down!” Photo credit www.motherjones.com

When other states raise taxes, Perry reminds them that Texas doesn’t have an income tax. When they enact draconian gun laws, he tells them Texas loves the Second Amendment. High unemployment figures? We have jobs a’ plenty waiting for you here in Texas he tells them, according to Politico.

And it’s working, much to the displeasure of states whose liberal social experiments have turned out to be colossal failures.

Perry has been touting the Lone Star state through radio and magazine ads, as well as personal appearances, and he custom-tailors each pitch according to that particular state’s problems: In California, for example, he said “I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,” and he refers to Illinois as “…an environment that, intentionally or not, is designed for you to fail.”

Politico notes:

Those attacks hit where it hurts and have touched off an angry political backlash against Perry outside the Texas borders, with Democrats mocking his attempts to steal jobs as clownish – and warning the Republican governor to keep his hands off. In a memorable put-down, Gov. Jerry Brown said Perry’s incursions into California were about as effective as breaking wind.

Ineffective? Perhaps not.

“At the end of the day, no matter how any of the [states] respond, people are left with two distinct messages: That guy down in Texas has got big brass balls and he’s creating a lot of jobs. It’s brilliant marketing and very smart politics,” political strategist Mark McKinnon told Politico.

“Of course it breaks all the rules of inter-state diplomacy and protocol,” he added.

Indeed, Perry’s critics often refer to his raids as outright “poaching.”

Of course, pretty much all states engage in raiding efforts to some degree, so long as they have something to offer. Florida’s governor Rick Scott not only raids other states but other countries as well. And Floridians have been inundated with the soft-sell “Pure Michigan” ads produced by Michigan.org for years. But Perry’s detractors claim he takes it a step too far.

“The biggest difference with Perry was, he was kind of like a Roman emperor coming into town with horns blowing in front of his arrival, his parade,” Doug Whitley told Politico. Whitley is the president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

“I thought it was a bit over-the-top,” Whitley added. “Other governors tend to do it with a little less fanfare but no less desire to make a positive impression in the Illinois business community.”

As for the folks back home, “I think Republicans like it,” saidTexas GOP strategist Todd Olsen. “I think they like hearing you pound your chest about the remarkable jobs climate in Texas.”

A message to those states being raided: if you thought more about your constituents and less about yourselves and your legacy, you’d have very little to worry about.

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