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Perry’s No Jobs Tour continues

TrailBlazers takes the bait.

Corndogs make bad news go down easier

Corndog manufacturing is a growth industry

Rick Perry is on the road again. But then, he’s rarely off it these days.

This weekend, he’s in Western Kentucky at Murray State University to headline a Republican Party fundraiser.

Then, it’s off to California to talk to their businesses about uprooting and moving en mass to the Lone Star State.

The three-day trip to California is being paid for by Americans for Economic Freedom, a group Perry and his supporters helped establish. It emphasizes some of Perry’s fundamental tenets about helping create job growth, including low-taxes, low-wages and lawsuit limits.

The reported $300,000 radio and TV ad buy for the trip features Perry. It brags about 50 California companies moving to Texas over the past year or so and how Texas has surpassed Silicon Valley as the top exporter of tech products.

I’ve talked before about how the most notable thing about Rick Perry’s job stealing tours is how he never actually manages to steal any jobs while on them. This ad running in California – “running” is almost certainly an overstatement; given how it takes roughly a million dollars a week to run an effective TV advertising campaign for a statewide candidate in Texas, one can guess how many Californian eyeballs will actually view this latest piece of performance art from our Governor – may brag about “50 California companies moving to Texas over the past year or so”, yet Governor Perry’s press releases in that time frame makes no mention of any such relocations. You’d think if these company moves are worth bragging about in a TV ad, they’d have been worth mentioning in a press release or two. Maybe someone should ask him for the specifics. They might also ask about how miraculous things really are here. Or maybe we should all remember that the real point of all this is Rick Perry touting the virtues of Rick Perry. By that metric, it remains a success.

Questions asked about Perry’s job-stealing trips

Good.

As Gov. Rick Perry visits Maryland in his latest effort to recruit businesses to relocate to Texas, a Washington, D.C.-based group is taking aim at what it calls the governor’s “piracy trips,” raising questions over how they are funded.

A report by Good Jobs First says that despite the governor’s office’s statements that state funds are not used for the trips, local sales tax funding is indeed used to cover travel expenses and advertising related to the trips.

“Texas taxpayers have a right to know about the public funds that partially support TexasOne,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First.

The press release is here and the full report is here. Let me quote from the press release, as it gives a fuller picture of what the study is about:

The job-piracy trips represent an enormous surge in spending for television and radio advertisements that feature Gov. Perry himself. In eight months, TexasOne has spent about $1.8 million in advertising buys to publicize Gov. Perry’s job-piracy trips. That sum exceeds TexasOne’s entire FY2012 budget by more than half a million dollars, and is about nine times what TexasOne spent on advertising and promotion in FY2012.

The study finds that scores of local Economic Development Corporations (EDCs), funded by local sales tax dollars, as well as some city and town governments, and other local government agencies in Texas, form the most numerous group of dues-paying members to TexasOne and accounted for about one fourth of its revenue in FY2012. However, the federal tax returns of the non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that sponsors TexasOne refer only to “private contributions.”

The study also points out that Gov. Perry’s press releases announcing his trips include a funding disclaimer that prompts more questions. They say state funds aren’t used to pay for the advertising air time or Gov. Perry’s travel or accommodations, but they are silent on local taxpayer dollars, and the trips involve many other expenses.

The study also finds 40 corporations funding TexasOne, including two dozen that are publicly traded companies or subsidiaries of such companies. Some serve national markets; some even have headquarters or large facilities in states that Perry is trying to lure jobs from.

These are all good points, and I’m glad to see them get an airing. One point that I’ve brought up before only gets mentioned in passing in a footnote, however:

This study does not explore the effectiveness of Texas’ job-piracy efforts. For that topic, we refer readers to a study we released in January 2013 entitled The Job-Creation Shell Game. There, we chronicle the history of interstate competition for capital, and detail several arguments why interstate job piracy is wasteful and ineffective. We refer readers to that study for those arguments. One key point we demonstrated is that Texas, like every other state, gains or loses microscopic shares of firms and jobs due to interstate in-migration (net of out-migration). All or very nearly all of the job-creation action is attributable to the expansion of existing firms (net of contractions) and to start-ups (net of firm deaths). Therefore, state resources are most effectively spent helping firms start up and grow (and helping them avoid layoffs and shutdowns). At http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/sites/default/files/docs/pdf/shellgame.pdf (regarding Texas specifically, see pages 4-5 and 16-20)

So the bottom line remains that Perry’s gallivanting around is a failure on every level except for one – the promotion of Rick Perry.

So where are the jobs he’s been trying to poach?

There’s an obvious question to ask about this story, but I don’t see it being asked.

Where do they make corndogs, anyway?

Where do they make corndogs, anyway?

After a couple of high profile job-poaching trips to California and Illinois, Gov. Rick Perry is planning a new raid — this time on the Big Apple.

And he’s putting big money behind the state’s big mouth: $1 million for a TV advertising campaign promoting the Lone Star State’s pro-business approach and strong economy, officials say.

Perry is scheduled to travel to New York on Sunday, June 16, and also plans a stop in Connecticut during the four-day trip, the governor’s office is announcing Monday. The message will be identical to the one he has taken to other states: Texas wants you — namely your jobs and investment capital.

“The governor’s job recruitment trips are doing exactly what we intended — getting the word out about the low taxes, smart regulations, fair legal system and skilled workforce that have made Texas a beacon for employers,” said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed. “We have a formula in Texas that has made us the best state in the nation to live, work, raise a family and run a business — and it’s a formula other states and our federal government would do well to replicate.”

The 30-second ads will feature Texans from a variety of professions — from filmmakers to doctors — extolling the virtues of the state’s economy. They will run on CNBC, FOX News, CNN, ESPN and the Discovery Channel, according to the governor’s office. The spots are scheduled to run for a week, and begin airing Monday, aides said.

The New York ad buy, which dwarfs the ones purchased earlier this year in California and Illinois, appears to be the most aggressive campaign yet by the state’s economic development marketing team.

[…]

While marketing a state’s economic climate to businesses in other states and countries isn’t a new concept, Perry has taken it to a new, confrontational level. When he went to California in February, Perry met with business leaders, talked up Texas to reporters and was featured in a radio ad criticizing the Golden State.

“Building a business is tough. But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible,” Perry said in the ad. “See why our low taxes, sensible regulations and fair legal system are just the thing to get your business moving to Texas.”

The swaggering Texas governor ratcheted up the rhetoric in an ad directly appealing to Illinois’ business leaders, telling them their state’s business climate was “designed for you to fail.”

“With rising taxes and government interference on the upswing, your situation is not unlike a burning building on the verge of collapse,” Perry says in the ad, which urges business leaders to take an “escape route” to Texas. The Illinois ad campaign, which included print and radio spots, cost about $80,000, according to published reports.

The recruiting trips have prompted some eye-rolling scorn in the states where he’s conducted them.

After Perry’s trip to California, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown called the state’s $24,000 ad buy targeting the California businesses “barely a fart” and said it would have no impact on the state’s economy. (When a maker of firearms gear, Shield Tactical, announced in May it was relocating operations from California to Texas, Perry attributed it directly to the recruiting trip and ad buy.)

And right there is the critical point that is being overlooked. Shield Tactical, which calls itself a “family business”, is the only business named that has actually paid heed to Perry’s call to come to Texas. How big a business they are I can’t say – neither their website nor Perry’s press release mentioned their size – but the point is that they’re it so far, after two high-profile ad buys and a ton of press coverage of them. If that’s the case, then by any reasonable metric, Perry’s ad campaign has been a miserable failure. Maybe the New York buy will produce better results – they are spending more money there – but if so it will be a big change from the previous ad campaigns. The Trib article says that “no tax dollars are being used in connection with the marketing trip or ad campaign”, and for the sake of simplicity I’ll take that at face value, but clearly there’s a significant part of the story being missed here. Like with most things Rick Perry does, there’s a big splash up front, then little if anything to show for it once the cameras stop rolling.

Well, okay, there is one thing to show for it:

“This kind of strategy in which you use free media has always been a hallmark of Rick Perry’s public profile,” said Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “It’s hard not to see this as an ongoing branding effort for the next stage of Rick Perry’s public career.”

I must admit that by that measure, this has been a success. Any actual businesses lured here would be a bonus. Trail Blazers, Texas Politics, Hair Balls, and BOR, all of which have videos of the ads in question (and may I just say again what an awesome “Democrat” Farouk Shami was and is), have more.