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Nyaaaaah! Perry comes to town to taunt O’Malley

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Published on: Thursday, September 26, 2013

By Donna Broadway

BETHESDA - They say nobody messes with Texas, but some residents say that Texas messes with everybody else. On Sept. 12, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he would be visiting Maryland on a “Business Recruitment Reception” to bring local businesses to Texas.

"In Texas, we understand that in order for our economy to thrive, government must get out of the way and let businesses get to work," Perry said. "Our free market principles, low taxes, fair courts and smart regulations are an attractive combination for employers across the country. That's why in the past decade, three out of every 10 new jobs created in the United States have been in Texas. That’s why we are home to 52 Fortune 500 companies, and why Texas continues to be the best state in the nation to live, work, raise a family and start a business."

Perry launched a media campaign in preparation for his trip with $500,000 in radio and television ads that aired in the state.  The governor cited no low taxes, no personal taxes and recent statistics from Forbes naming seven Texas cities out of the 10 top cities for business as reasons why Maryland businesses should move to Texas. His official website said the ads and the trip were paid for by Texas One, a public-private partnership that markets Texas nationally and internationally as a prime business destination. Texas has also run similar ads in California, Illinois, Connecticut, New York and Missouri.

Gov. Martin O’Malley didn’t remain silent. In an opinion editorial, O’Malley stated that one in 10 jobs created in Texas pays minimum wage, and that Texas is 49th in high school graduation, 10th in poverty, and in the 50th percentile for citizens with health insurance. The governor also stated that Maryland has recovered 100 percent of jobs lost during the recession, citing private business for the boost, which O’Malley said is responsible for nine out of 10 new jobs in the state.

"Maryland has had the No. 1 public schools in the nation for five years in a row. Since 2007, we've done more than any other state to hold down the cost of college tuition. We're No. 1 in median income. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has named us the No. 1 state in the nation for innovation and entrepreneurship for two years in a row. Instead of engaging in PR stunts, Governor Perry should come to Maryland to see firsthand the better choices that have led to these better results,” O’Malley said.

Perry landed in Maryland on Sept. 18. During his trip, Perry toured the Beretta Factory in Accokeek, Md., and squared off against O’Malley in a debate, which aired on CNN’s “Crossfire.” Montgomery County has federal workers, who average $95,000 a year, and federal workers in the Washington area who are among the highest paid workers, according to statistics shared by commentator Newt Gingrich.

 Perry capped off his visit to Maryland with a reception at the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Bethesda. At the reception, Perry hosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Lollar and Maryland Republican Party Chairman Diana Waterman.

“We prefer that our businesses stay here and talk with their voters next election. Elect more Republicans. We can turn this around and make Maryland business friendly. We thank Gov. Perry for highlighting and showcasing just how dire things have gotten in Maryland with all those ads he ran. That’s the same message we’ve been saying for years,” Waterman said.

On Sept. 23, 2013, O’Malley announced the creation of Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN), an initiative managed by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). The initiative encourages regional workforce training collaborations among businesses, non-profits, institutions of higher education, community college, local workforce investment boards, local governments, and various types of workforce training providers.

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