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Texas Conservatives Resume Airing Ads Telling Businesses To Flee California

by Brandon Mercer
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Still image from a TV ad being aired in California, telling businesses to flee for Texas, created and funded by the Americans for Economic Freedom organization. (Credit: Americans for Economic Freedom)

Still image from a TV ad being aired in California, telling businesses to flee for Texas, created and funded by the Americans for Economic Freedom organization. (Credit: Americans for Economic Freedom)

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SILICON VALLEY (CBS SF) — Radio listeners and TV watchers this week likely heard advertisements from the conservative organization “Americans for Economic Freedom,” funded by Texas Governor Rick Perry’s leftover 2012 campaign funds, telling California businesses to uproot and head to Texas, and according to official  governor’s office documents, some are hearing the call.

The Republican governor wrapped up a trip to Silicon Valley this week in what seems to have become an annual end-of-winter recruiting trip to the Golden State.

It coincided by a $300,000 ad buy, urging California business owners to head to the political sanctuary of Texas. The radio and TV spots begin with ominous music, and Perry saying, “California is ranked the worst state in the country to do business because of tax-and-spend polices and liberal leadership. Jobs and opportunities are fleeing to places like Texas.”

Then as the music becomes upbeat and happy, he continues, “Texas is number one for doing business. Why? Our taxes are lower, our legal system is fair, and our energy is affordable.”

In last winter’s trip, Perry left the state with a seemingly unsuccessful attempt to lure companies. Governor Jerry Brown dismissed the radio ads and trip as little more than “a fart.”

This time, however, Perry claims he has a list of companies that went to Texas.

report posted on the governor’s official website outlines California companies that relocated or expanded in his state.   It includes Apple, building a $300 million campus in Austin, Flextronics expanding computer assembly (including Apple machines and Motorola phones) in Austin and Fort Worth, and San Francisco’s Dropbox, which opened an office in Austin, among the tech companies.  It continues with several pages of durable goods manufacturers, service companies, and chemical companies, and aerospace.

The political organization funding the ads was formed in the fall to help set the stage for another Perry presidential bid. As it is a  501(c)(4), the names of donors to the group are not tracked in the same public manner as traditional political action committees.

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