Tags: Rick | Perry | Business | Campaign

Rick Perry's Aggressive Business Campaign Irks Democrats

Image: Rick Perry's Aggressive Business Campaign Irks Democrats

Saturday, 01 Jun 2013 10:02 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry's efforts to lure business to Texas and away from other states have sparked an angry political backlash against him from Democrats — and at least one Republican businessman — who says the governor is taking things too far.

Perry's campaigns not only feature promises of low taxes and fast growth in Texas, but insult business climates in other states, leaving Democrats to mock his attempts as ineffective, while warning him to stay away, reports Politico.

Others say the former presidential hopeful knows just what he's doing, even though he's breaking many rules of protocol when it comes to dealing with other states.

Perry has taken his Texas boasts to Illinois and California, both blue states. While his term as governor is over in 2014, he has not ruled out another shot at the White House.

He isn't the only governor targeting Illinois, the home state of President Barack Obama. Republicans Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Scott of Florida have all tried luring Illinois companies away to their lower-tax states.

But Perry approaches his recruitment efforts more aggressively, said Doug Whitley, the president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

“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,” he said.

Whitley, a Republican, said he doesn't generally have negative feelings toward Perry yete found his April visit "a bit over-the-top."

“It was unusual in the fact that he spent some money to buy radio air time to announce his arrival," said Whitley. "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."

Perry also took his ad campaign to California, saying "building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible."

He also took a trip to the state to meet with business leaders in the high tech, financial and film industries — moves that angered Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who dismissed Perry's efforts as "barely a fart."

New York hasn’t escaped Perry’s attention either with the Texan charging that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would love to have the success that Texas has had.

The hardball tactics with leaders like Cuomo and Brown are good politically, because they "are kind of a punch line to voters outside their home states,” said GOP strategist Rick Wilson, a proponent of Perry’s jobs recruitment strategy.

But Democratic lawmakers have been scathing of Perry's efforts.

“I hope when he comes he remembers all three of his reasons” for coming to town, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, referring to a moment in the 2012 presidential debates when Perry could not remember which agencies he wanted to eliminate.

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California also took a few pokes at her southern neighbor.

"He can come to my state anytime, he should learn a lot from my state," she said. "We’re compassionate people. We want to make sure all our people get health care — unlike him. I hope he comes again because I’ll show him around all the alternative energy we do, and how we value our children and have after-school programs."

But Perry's office said his approach is nothing personal.

“Our point has always been about competition,” said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed. “We do what we do because we want to be out there, we want to be getting jobs to move to Texas."

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