Brown jabs Texas, press on business debate

6:43 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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Gov. Jerry Brown, as skillful as any public official when it comes to political symbolism, doesn't see much value in the same tactics being waged by his counterpart in the Lone Star State.

Nor does he see value in reporters covering the new campaign by Gov. Rick Perry to lure Golden State businesses eastward.

"You take a little radio ad, and all you guys run like lap dogs to report it," Brown told me after an event in West Sacramento on Tuesday.

"It's not even a burp. It's barely a fart."

And at that point, the governor turned and gave a bit of a wink.

Brown's media event found him brushing off the new Texas effort even after engaging in a bit of his own political symbolism.  He was on hand to tout the state's role in helping global delivery giant UPS purchase new all-electric vehicles for use in California.

"It's small," said Brown of the initial UPS deployment of about three dozen electric vehicles, "but it's important."

The trucks were bought with government incentive grants, about $4 million from a state program funded through vehicle registration fees.

The idea of "small" but "important" is probably also how Texas officials see their new effort to woo California business owners.  The initial radio ad purchase, only about $24,000 total for a handful of stations, has no doubt been amplified by the news coverage of the campaign.  The Texas governor is also scheduled to personally make a sales pitch next week to one Ventura County business looking to expand its operations.

Gov. Brown, meantime, used his remarks at the UPS warehouse to highlight what he sees as California's inherent economic strengths -- again, a contrast with other states routinely touted as better for business.

"We are a center, a dynamic center, of innovation," he said during his official remarks at the ceremony.  "And we're in competition.  Not just with other states, but with China, with India.  And we have to put our best foot forward."

The governor argues that best foot is on a path towards environmental friendly technology and development.  Even so, he reached back into history to explain why other a state like Texas thinks California has so many business gems.

"In 1848, people wanted to come to California and take our gold," said Brown.  "You go where the gold is. They're coming to California because this is where it is.  [Gov. Perry's] not going to Lubbock, or wherever those places are that make up that state. So I say, come on along. Come on!"


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