Governor Rick Perry trying to entice companies to Texas with ad campaign running in California

February 6, 2013 4:49:59 PM PST
Call them battle states. A battle for business, that is.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is trying to entice companies to the Lone Star State with an ad campaign running in California, and it's hitting a nerve with Golden State politicians.

Texas is open for business. That's the message from Governor Perry. We hear it all the time here in Houston, but they're also hearing it in California.

Ron Mittelstaedt is a native Californian.

"I love California," said Mittelstaedt, CEO of Waste Connections.

But a year ago, he moved his company to the Woodlands, leaving his home state.

"It's a very difficult place to do business. Very difficult place to run a business, to maintain a business, maintain competitive employees. It's extremely difficult," Mittelstaedt told us.

He runs Waste Connections, a publicly traded waste disposal business that does business in 31 states. Mittelstaedt could have moved anywhere and says Texas did not give him any tax incentives to come here. But the state is always trying to draw more businesses like Waste Connections.

Governor Perry stars in a new radio ad airing in California and in it he says, "Building a business is tough. but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible."

California has noticed the effects of such efforts. In April 2011 a group of California lawmakers came to Texas to see what they could learn about job creation. California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom said that since that trip, California has cleaned Texas' clock in job creation.

And while California has beaten Texas' job growth here and there since 2010, between August of that year and last July, Texas outpaced the Golden State 18 of 24 months. Though California's governor thinks the radio ad is, well, trash.

"It's not a serious story, guys. You take a little radio ad and all you guys run like lapdogs to report it. It's a nowhere," California Governor Jerry Brown said.

We contacted the Bureau of Labor Statistics and according to their numbers, both states have shown growth. But in both net new jobs and in growth percentage, Texas is clearly ahead of California.

While not directly responding to the California governor or lieutenant governor's comments, Gov. Perry's office told us, "Employers have a choice of where they can establish or expand their businesses, and Texas is going to compete for every single job we can. This is not about bashing one state over another, it's about promoting competition, Texas and the economic climate we've created to encourage job creation and prosperity."

That's a climate Waste Connections likes in more ways than one.

"We're happy. It's great. Especially when it's 70 degrees in February," said Mittelstaedt.

Late Wednesday, Gallup released its latest job creation index. It ranked Texas 6th in the nation, while California was 41st.

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