AUSTIN – After drawing nationwide attention two months ago with his efforts to wrest businesses from California, Gov. Rick Perry is now waging a similar appeal at President Obama's home town.
The Texas governor is offering Illinois businesses an "escape route" to the Lone Star State in a week-long ad blitz in Crain's Chicago Business Journal and on chicagobusiness.com. "Get out while there's still time and come to Texas," the ad campaign urges.
The $38,450 mixed media buy is sponsored by TexasOne, a public private partnership that markets Texas nationally and internationally. Like the February radio campaign that Perry aimed at the Golden State, the advertising assault in Chicago touts the governor's portrayal of Texas a business-favorable state with low taxes, predictable regulations, fair courts and a skilled workforce.
"If you’re a business owner in Illinois, I want to express my admiration for your ability to survive in an environment that, intentionally or not, is designed for you to fail," Perry says in the ads. "With rising taxes and government interference on the upswing, your situation is not unlike a burning building on the verge of collapse."
"There is an escape route to economic freedom… a route to Texas," he adds. "If you’re ready for a fresh start in a place that appreciates job creators like you, it’s time to check out Texas.
Jerry Roper, president and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, said he hadn't seen the ads by mid-afternoon Monday but wasn't surprised by Perry's attempt to lure Chicago companies to
Texas. More than 300,000 businesses are packed into the three-state region composed of parts of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
"We understand quite frankly what all the governors in these aggressive states are doing," he said. "We have a huge marketplace here."
But he added: "Nobody I know of has moved in the middle of the night to go to Texas, even though your tax structure is very attractive."
-- Dave Montgomery