The Washington Post

Watch out Missouri, Rick Perry wants your jobs

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro) Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R). (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is going to St. Louis on Thursday, and when he returns to Texas, he wants to take a few Missouri companies with him.

Governors frequently pitch businesses on moving to their states, but Perry has raised the practice to an art form. His travels are often accompanied by paid advertising touting Texas’s low taxes and friendly business environment.

The advertisements, which have run in California, Illinois, Connecticut, New York and Missouri, sound like a negative political spot.

“I have a word of advice for employers frustrated by Illinois’s short-sighted approach to business: You need to get out while there’s still time. The escape route leads straight to Texas, where limited government, low taxes and a pro-business environment are creating more jobs than any other state,” Perry says in an ad that ran in April.

The ads, and some of Perry’s travel, are paid for by TexasOne, a public-private partnership run through the Texas Economic Development Corporation in Austin. The group doesn’t get funding from the state; the annual report shows it generated $1.3 million in revenue in fiscal year 2012, the vast majority coming from corporate donors like AT&T, CapitalOne, ExxonMobile and Verizon. Economic development councils in Houston, Brownsville, Amarillo, Frisco and Lubbock are also major contributors.

The cities of Sugar Land, Cedar Park and Haslet contributed between $5,000 and $25,000 in taxpayer money, the report shows, while another 14 cities donated $1,000 each.

TexasOne paid for what it calls “missions” to recruit businesses from New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Montreal, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Italy in 2012, according to its annual report.

The forays aren’t without political consequences. The advertisements TexasOne is running in Missouri criticize Gov. Jay Nixon (D) for vetoing legislation that would have cut Missouri’s corporate tax rate from 6.25 percent to 3.25 percent, and would have cut the personal income tax rate by half a percentage point, to 5.5 percent. Supporters of the bill, led by the state Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, are trying to round up the votes to override Nixon’s veto, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Nixon has blasted the Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting Perry at Thursday’s luncheon in St. Louis. “For the Missouri Chamber of Commerce to host a speaker at the same time that speaker is running ads saying Missouri businesses should go to another state, is in direct contravention to the purposes of that organization which is to support and enhance Missouri businesses,” Nixon said in a statement.

At least one St. Louis radio station has pulled the ads. “We feel the need to stand strong with other small locally owned businesses and defend our region,” KTRS general manager Mark Dorsey said.

TexasOne is spending more than $200,000 on television and radio ads that began running Aug. 20. The television ads ran on six cable stations in three markets, while the radio campaign played on stations in St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, Joplin and Kansas City.

Reid Wilson covers national politics and Congress for The Washington Post. He is the author of Read In, The Post’s morning tip sheet on politics.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
Quoted
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

govbeat

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.