Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday plans to visit Connecticut this month in an effort lure jobs to his state.
Perry, according to a press release, will tour Connecticut and New York between June 16 and June 20. The former Republican presidential candidate plans on meeting with leaders from the firearm, pharmaceutical, and financial industries.
Perry’s trip will be funded by TexasOne, a public-private marketing corporation governed by a board of directors appointed by the governor. According to its website, the group’s mission is “to help promote business relocation and/or expansion to Texas.”
TexasOne also began running two 30-second ads Monday in the New York and Connecticut TV market. The ads feature Texas residents including some celebrities and business owners praising Texas’ economy, courts, and regulatory system. Both end with a shot of Perry saying “Texas is calling. Your opportunity awaits.”
The $1 million ad buy will run for a week on several cable news stations including FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, and CNBC as well as other channels like ESPN and the Discovery Channel, according to the press release.
It’s unclear how much of the money for the ad buy will go to the Connecticut market, but California Gov. Jerry Brown called Perry’s $24,000 ad buy in his state “barely a fart.”
Although Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is fond of saying that Connecticut is “open for business,” Perry plans on hosting receptions in Connecticut and New York for business owners who contact his office through a website called www.TexasWideOpenForBusiness.com.
Malloy was in Chicago Monday for the National Governors Association’s Education and Workforce Committee symposium. His spokesman Andrew Doba called Perry’s visit “a lame publicity stunt.”
In response to news of the Texas governor’s visit, state Rep. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, sent messages to Perry on Twitter Monday, pointing out statistics he did not think the Lone Star State should be proud of. He said Texas ranked near the bottom when it came to positive metrics like spending on education and high on negative statistics like production of toxic waste.
“Their economy has done well but they’re an energy producing state. We don’t have oil. But if you stack up Connecticut and Texas, I’d much rather be Connecticut,” Lesser said in a phone interview.
But Lesser said he wouldn’t discourage Perry’s visit to Connecticut.
“I’m always happy when a governor from out-of-state wants to come here and spend money to prop up our economy,” he said.
TexasOne, the organization backing Perry’s trip to the northeast, claims in its 2012 annual report to be responsible for “1,117 new job announcements and over $53 million in capital investments in 2012 alone. These numbers drive the TexasOne total to 38,218 new jobs being announced and over $12 billion in capital investments.”
According to the Tax Foundation, Texas is ranked 9th for its business climate while Connecticut is ranked 40th and New York is ranked 50th.
Already, Perry has been spotted wooing Connecticut’s gun manufacturing companies at a gun show in Houston.
Earlier this year, Connecticut’s gun manufacturers opposed the General Assembly’s decision to expand the number of weapons prohibited under the state’s assault weapons ban and tightened other gun-related regulations.