The eyes of Texas are on New York businesses.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2013 business poaching tour rolled into New York City today with a meeting for potential recruits at Hill Country Barbecue in the Flatiron District.
Perry, wearing black loafers, instead of cowboy boots, assured skeptics questioning whether real barbecue could be produced in Manhattan that the restaurant has a pedigree.
“It’s very good, actually,” said Perry.
Owner Marc Glosserman’s uncle or grandfather was the mayor of Lockhart, Texas “considered to be the capital of barbecue in Texas.”
The four-term Republican was visiting the Empire State following a jaunt to Connecticut where he met with executives at gun makers Colt Defense LLC and Mossberg Corp. Perry’s also targeting hedge funds, venture capital firms, and pharmaceutical companies. He wouldn’t name them.
Perry’s presidential campaign collapsed in 2012 after he couldn’t remember the name one of the three federal agencies he vowed to shutter. This time, he didn’t flub his lines.
“There’s a place in this country where you can keep more of what you work for,” Perry said of the Lone Star State. “It’s got a great climate and I’m not talking about just the weather: tax, regulatory, legal climate along with a skilled workforce.”
In the last decade, 30 percent of the new job growth in the U.S. has been in Texas, adding $16 billion in gross state
product, Perry said. Fourteen-hundred people a day move into Texas.
He didn’t mention that Texas also ranks last among the 50 states in high school graduation rates and first in carbon
dioxide emissions and amount of hazardous waste generated, according to a 2013 report by the Texas Legislative Study Group, a caucus of Democratic lawmakers. The study cited state and federal data.
“Why would fourteen-hundred people a day move into your state if you’re not doing it right,” Perry asked, rhetorically.
“Does that mean we can find some little data point where some other state’s better? You know what? New York’s got Broadway, New York’s got the Empire State Building. This is a great state, but their tax burden, their regulatory climate, their legal system is fairly onerous to the business men and women.”
At 6.4 percent, Texas’s unemployment rate in April was 0.9 percentage point lower than the national average. New York had a 7.8 percent unemployment rate in April, Bloomberg data show.
A public-private organization controlled by the governor is spending $1 million on a television-advertising campaign to lure business to the Texas.
Perry, 63, said he hoped his very public visits would spur a “national conversation,” hopefully civil, about Red State
versus Blue State policies.
“To make America strong will require competition between the states,” he said. “Competition is sometimes uncomfortable but it will make you healthier and make you stronger at the end of the day.”
Perry said he would make a decision to run again for governor before July 1. “Later in the year, if there’s more expansive plans than that we’ll announce at the appropriate time.”