Kander: Rick Perry trying to “poach” Missouri jobs

Jason Kander (PoliticMo Photo)

Jason Kander (PoliticMo Photo)

— Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander told Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday to stop trying to “poach” jobs from other states and instead focus inward.

“Simply poaching jobs from one state and bringing them to another doesn’t grow our nation’s economy, so I hope you reconsider your efforts and instead look at ways to cultivate new industries and companies in Texas, rather than just trying to steal other states’ successes,” Kander, a Democrat, wrote to Texas’s Republican governor.

The message came ahead of Perry’s trip to Missouri next week on behalf of supporters of the GOP-backed income tax cut, House Bill 253. Perry has launched radio and television campaign ahead of the trip touting Texas’s economic policies.

“Instead of launching a wholesale public relations effort meant to depress Missouri’s business climate in hopes of luring jobs to Texas, I suggest you spend your time asking Texas business owners if there’s anything you can do to help their companies move forward,” he continued. “If a company moves to Texas as a result of your sales pitch, there’s a good chance it will leave for a better deal in some other state in the future. But if a company starts in Texas, it’s more likely to stay there.”

According to a news release from Perry’s office on Tuesday, Perry plans to visit St. Louis next week “to tout the low taxes that allow hardworking families and employers to keep more of what they earn, and help make Texas’ economy a national example for job creation.” A $106,400 television buy will run on stations in Springfield, St. Louis, and mid-Missouri, including KMOV, KSDK, KTVI, KOLR, KOZL, as well as cable stations such as CNBC, FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, ESPN and the Discovery Channel.

Perry’s trip and the television commercials are said to be funded by TexasOne, a program of the nonprofit Texas Department of Economic Development.

Kander’s comments are significantly more aggressive than those from Nixon’s office earlier this week, who told the Dallas Morning News he “welcomed” Perry’s visit, while touting Missouri’s own economic and regulatory environment.