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Texas pitches California businesses to move for better conditions

February 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Texas Governor Rick Perry launched a radio and Web campaign this week to lure California businesses and jobs away with what he calls low taxes and sensible regulations.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is trying to persuade California companies to move to Texas, and that might not be such a tough sell.

In a radio ad, Perry says: "Building a business is tough. But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas Governor Rick Perry, and I have a message for California businesses: Come check out Texas."

Texas Governor Rick Perry launched a radio and Web campaign this week to lure California businesses and jobs away with what he calls low taxes and sensible regulations.

California Governor Jerry Brown dismissed the campaign, which has spent only $25,000 so far for air time.

"It's not a burp. It's barely a fart," said Brown.

The war of words illustrates the bitter relationship between the two most populous states in the country, vying for bragging rights as to which one is better for companies.

Business leaders though have consistently ranked California as a bad place to do business. Some in the business community say Governor Brown should be paying attention.

"The current administration treats this as a joke," said Aaron McLear, former press secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. McLear tried to convince businesses to stay in California, often a tough sell.

"The taxes are high. The regulations are onerous," said McLear. "There's a lot of things keeping them from being able to innovate, and to grow their business and create jobs."

Brown acknowledges poaching does happen. But an office called GO-Biz (California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development) tries to head off any defections.

"In 1848, people wanted to come to California and take our gold," said Brown Tuesday. "Well, yeah. You go where the gold is. They're coming to California because this is where it is."

There are examples of businesses coming into the Golden State. UPS just unveiled a new "green" fleet here. Electric Vehicles International built the trucks in California after choosing to relocate from Mexico.

"We find California to be quite competitive. We came over the border this way," said Electric Vehicles International CEO Ricky Hanna. "We went north and we found it to be very competitive."

Governor Perry is scheduled to begin personally pitching California companies next week. His first visit is with Haas Automation in Oxnard.


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