Texas Gov. Rick Perry has caught a lot of flak for his outspoken, out-and-about campaign to promote his state’s business-friendly tax and regulatory climate and convince companies from other (and usually bluer) states to move to Texas, particularly from California Gov. Jerry Brown (who so eloquently dismissed his efforts as “barely a fart“) — but it evidently can’t be that ridiculous of a strategy, because it looks like other governors are seeking to emulate his idea. I literally laughed out loud when I saw an ad promoting New York‘s ostensibly pro-business credentials on television this past weekend; true that Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently passed some corporate tax reform that included bringing the rate down from 7.1 to 6.5 percent, but that isn’t nearly enough to put New York into what I’d call the “attractive business destination” category. Taking the changes into account, the Tax Foundation moved New York from its spot as dead last in their overall business-tax climate ranking to merely third to last, just above California and New Jersey.
It’s no secret that Perry has been undergoing his pro-business campaign with the dual purposes of both improving Texas’s already relatively stellar job-growth performance as well as raising his national profile in case he decides to run for president again; he hit his federalism-centric speech out of the park at CPAC, so why not take this opportunity to bring the issue up again?
Now, in a new ad, he sets his sights on New York, but this time he’s also inviting the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo (D), to a debate.
“A debate between the governors of two of the largest states in the country on policy issues such as taxes, government spending, education, regulations and legal reform would be beneficial to our states and our country as a whole,” Perry said in statement Tuesday. He offered a similar invitation during a morning radio interview on Albany’s Talk 1300 AM. Perry is in New York through Thursday meeting with business leaders and touting Texas’s job creation policies. …
In the new ad airing in New York — by Americans for Economic Freedom, a free-market group championing conservative policies — Perry chastises the Empire State for its high taxes and then says: “If you’re tired of New York, there is an option: Texas.”
I might also mention that Gov. Cuomo has yet to do anything about the standing fracking ban that is preventing his state from seeing some of the economic gains Texas is currently enjoying. Ahem.
Update: Not happening, apparently (although one could reasonably wonder why Cuomo would refuse if he has so little regard for Perry’s debating skills, no?).
CNN reached out to Cuomo’s office for a response.
Danny Kanner, communications director for the Democratic Governors Association, mocked Perry’s invite by referencing the governor’s disastrous debate performance from 2011, in which he forgot the third of three federal agencies he would cut.
“A little free advice for Rick Perry: the fewer debates with anyone, the better. Oops!” he said in an email, linking to a clip of the moment when Perry struggled to remember the agency’s name.