I’ve been trying for several days to process the spectacle that Gov. Rick Perry made of himself when he went recently to California to solicit business for the Lone Star State.
Finally, I think I’ve settled on this conclusion: Perry performed a gratuitous gesture of public relations grandstanding.
Perry ventured to California stating up front that, by gum, he was going to talk business execs into relocating from there to here. We’re just more business-friendly than California, he said, what with all the Golden State’s high taxes, rules and regulations, not to mention all them environmentalists telling business owners what they can do.
Perry’s telegraphing of his mission drew a pithy response from California Gov. Jerry Brown – formerly known as “Gov. Moonbeam.” Brown, who himself isn’t exactly a shrinking public-relations violet, called Perry’s visit, um, “barely a fart.”
My point here is that Texas’s pro-business climate is well-known among every Fortune 500 company on the planet. We have no state income tax; real estate here remains a huge bargain compared to California – even with the real estate crash that hit that state in late 2008; our state’s environmental agencies do not heap huge burdens on those seeking to do business here; our Legislature is filled with pro-business Republicans who vow, along with Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, to do everything they can to maintain that pro-business climate in Texas; and even the Texas Supreme Court, the state’s highest civil appellate court, rules routinely in favor of businesses caught up in civil actions brought by others.
All this is part of the public’s vast knowledge of Texas, which by itself should serve as a sufficient magnet to help attract business. And this state has no shortage of top-drawer, high-dollar companies already thriving in this environment.
So, what was Gov. Goodhair’s intent in making this grand “business recruitment” foray way out west? My only conclusion is that he wanted to call attention mainly to himself. Mission accomplished, governor.