Business Poaching - The Missourian: Opinion

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 6:32 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched a new ad campaign in Missouri this week hoping to lure Missouri businesses to Texas.

In the ads, the tub-thumping governor touts the Lone Star State’s business-friendly climate while taking a jab at Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s recent veto of a bill that would have lowered state income taxes. Perry touts Nixon’s veto as an example of why Missouri is losing out on $40 million a year that leaves the state for Texas.

Predictably, the ads have sparked hostility from some state leaders like Jason Kander who pointed out that simply poaching jobs from one state and bringing them to another doesn’t grow our nation’s economy.

Instead, Kander argues, Perry should look at ways to cultivate new industries and companies in Texas, rather than just trying to steal other states’ successes.

While some call Perry’s tactics brazen, they are nothing new. He has run similar campaigns in California, Illinois, New York and Connecticut which also happen to have Democratic governors. We don’t doubt Perry wants Missouri businesses to relocate, but there is also a political calculation to his Missouri ad campaign.

Perry recently announced that he would not seek another term as governor and has not ruled out the possibility of taking another run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, according to reports. He is trying to fire up the state’s Republican base who aren’t happy with Nixon’s veto of the state income tax reduction bill.

Interestingly, the ads are running at the same time Nixon is receiving praise for his administration’s efforts in economic development from a businessman who calls himself a “dyed-in the wool” Republican.

In an interview this week with the Warren County Record, CertainTeed Roofing President Tom Smith said that one of the reasons his company chose Missouri to build a $100 million manufacturing and distribution center is because of Nixon.

The new facility, which is going to be located in Jonesburg, is expected to create 100 new jobs when it is fully operational two years from now.

Smith credited Nixon with being a great salesman for the state and for the way he has taken care of the state’s finances. He said Nixon gave the company confidence that it was in good shape economically and a good place to make a sizable investment.

We have not agreed with everything Nixon’s has done in his political career but he has been a good leader in the area of economic development.

In the Show-Me-State, the proof is in the pudding not in some smug Texan’s political rhetoric. There is a reason why Perry was humbled in the last presidential election.

/opinion

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