Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on a planned mission to woo businesses away from Maryland, has also scheduled a last-minute meeting with the state’s Republican Party leaders.
Though fans of his, these leaders are of two minds about his Maryland actions.
Maryland Republican National Committee member Nicolee Ambrose said Mr. Perry’s “buying a half-million dollars in TV and radio ads in our state has been wonderful for us. If he wants to buy ads to teach Marylanders what free market principles are all about, we’re all for it.”
“We have had 74 tax increases since 2007,” when Democrat Martin O’Malley was elected governor, Mrs. Ambrose said.
But Maryland Republicans also think the state’s business owners and corporate leaders expect the state GOP to champion changes in state taxing and regulations that help businesses that haven’t the resources to leave the Maryland for Texas or anywhere else or that would prefer not to relocate to Texas.
“While I can understand why Gov. Perry sees Maryland as fertile ground thanks to the policies of the O’Malley administration over the past seven years, I hope our business owners will stay and vote for Republican leadership in next year’s election so that we can make our state a more business-friendly environment,” said Maryland GOP Chairman Diana Waterman.
Mr. Perry, a contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination who is expected to have another go at it 2016, has said he won’t seek a fourth term as governor. But he has been building his national image by polishing his image as a salesman for his state on the national level.
His meetings on Wednesday with business representatives in Maryland are supposed to be hush-hush, since he promised the corporate and business chiefs no publicity in a state where Democrats controls the governorship, the state Legislature and both U.S. Senate seats. That’s as about as blue as it gets, which is why so many of the few Republicans in Maryland say they are blue, in the mood sense, over their state’s economy and Mr. Perry seeming to pay them no heed.
Mrs. Waterman was committed to making the Perry’s visit more than a business recruitment exercise for Texas.
“I’ve been trying to reach the governor since last week, and it’s been hard to get through,” said Mrs. Waterman earlier on Tuesday.
“When I finally did get ahold of someone, I was told the governor’s visit is business, not political.” But by the afternoon on Tuesday she had secured a meeting with Mr. Perry for herself, Mrs. Ambrose and RNC member Louis Pope, Mrs. Waterman told The Washington Times. Before she finally got the callback from the governor’s aides, she had said, “I will not stop trying to get 30 minutes with him between now and the time he leaves Maryland.”
Mrs. Ambrose said that, because of Mr. O’Malley and the Democratic lawmakers in Annapolis, “We are driving businesses and citizens out of this state in droves.”
Mrs. Ambrose said the Perry ads “are very good. They tell how Texas is doing well because they have lower taxes, and they even mention the legal system is not corrupt. I found it very interesting the way he hit Maryland from a fairness perspective.”
“No businessman will stay in a state where he can’t get a fair shake,” Mrs. Ambrose added.
The sponsor of the Perry ads in Maryland is “TexasOne,” the public-private partnership that brings together local communities, economic development corporations, chambers of commerce and businesses to market the advantages of doing business in Texas across the country and around the world, said Perry spokesman Lucy Nashed.
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