Gov. Perry takes aim at Land of Lincoln

You have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

His fearlessness is a thing to behold. And I don’t mean that necessarily as a compliment.

Perry’s latest job-poaching strategy is now aimed at Illinois. He’s taken out an ad in a business journal that goes directly after employers who might want to relocate in Texas.

You’ll recall that a few months ago, Perry ventured to California to recruit business owners there to bring their operations to Texas. He openly antagonized California Gov. Jerry Brown. I’m guessing he intended to do precisely that, given that Perry is a partisan Republican and Brown is an equally partisan Democrat.

And what about the Illinois governor? He is Patrick Quinn, another dreaded Democrat who more than likely doesn’t much like the overtures that Perry is making in his state.

The last time I commented on Perry’s job-hunting venture, some of my friends said I was being unfair because, they said, the governor is merely doing his job, which is to promote Texas. I certainly understand his desire to create jobs for Texans.

But what’s still a bit unsettling to me is the brazen approach Perry is taking with these public-relations tactics. It’s one thing to promote Texas’s business climate in the relative quiet of a corporate conference room or a board meeting. It’s quite another to make a grand show of it, which he did in California and which he is doing now with the Illinois effort.

Here’s what he posted in an “open letter” published in Crain’s Chicago Business: “If you’re a business owner in Illinois, I want to express my admiration for your ability to survive in an environment that, intentionally or not, is designed for you to fail. With rising taxes and government interference on the upswing, your situation is not unlike a burning building on the verge of collapse.”

Subtle, huh?

Still, there’s something to be said for the gumption the governor is showing. I cannot help but wonder how it might play with voters who – believe it or not – might have to consider whether someone who wants to take jobs away from their state is presidential material in, say, 2016.

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