Why Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is peeved at Texas Gov.
(CNN) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has a bone to pick with Texas and its governor, Rick Perry.
The former Republican presidential candidate and Lone Star governor is scheduled to speak Thursday at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. In advance of his remarks, he’s launched a several hundred thousand dollar ad campaign on Missouri airwaves encouraging Show Me state companies and employees to relocate to Texas to reap the benefits of the state’s strong business climate and lack of state income tax.
An angry Nixon, who is a Democrat, called the ads misleading, and said while Perry’s aggressive style may work in Texas it doesn’t work in Missouri and it didn’t work in the rest of the country.
“We’re not going to build a better America by attacking other states. It’s the wrong way for a Governor to act. We need to work in concert to help America,” Nixon said.
At least one Missouri radio station, KTRS-AM, has refused to run Perry’s ads.
The Missouri governor also fought back with his own ad, running exclusively on KTRS. Narrated by Nixon, it highlights the strengths of the Show Me state — lower property taxes, lower sales taxes, an unemployment rate that’s been below the national average for the last four years and a triple-A credit rating. The Missouri governor even used social media to bring his point home, tweeting out a top 10 list of why Missouri is better than Texas.
The Nixon-Perry bout is partly fueled by a state battle over Missouri House Bill 253 — a sweeping tax cut plan that Nixon recently vetoed. State workers, including teachers, opposed the proposed tax cuts, saying the decline in state revenues would mean job cuts. But an organized effort is underway in the Missouri House to override Nixon’s veto.
That effort was the impetus to invite Rick Perry talk to members of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, said Dan Mehan, the president and CEO of the group.
Mehan said he had no knowledge of Perry’s planned on-air marketing blitz, but defended Perry’s right to do so.
“He is doing what governors do,” said Mehan. “They market their states, they are the chief sales people for those states.”
At the same time, Mehan says Perry’s trip to the state was serving a different purpose than his ads. The governor isn’t coming to market Texas, Mehan said, but instead to bolster attempts to revive the Missouri tax cut measure.
John Havens, a spokesman for Perry, said “Missouri’s success is important to our economic strength as a nation, and if Texas can push Missouri to implement more competitive economic policies, we all benefit.”
Nixon, however, said Perry shouldn’t be jumping into the middle of a state issue.
“He has tried his political stunts in different places we’re not going to tolerate him coming in here,” Nixon said, adding he found it interesting that those who want to override the veto had to go all the way to Texas for help.
Monday, the Missouri teachers organizations issued a news release saying House Bill 253 threatens the jobs of thousands of teachers. The vote to override vote is expected to take place in September.