Perry ending California trip empty-handed _ so far
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrapped up his high-profile recruiting trip to California on Wednesday without having persuaded any businesses to relocate to his state — at least not yet.
On a conference call with reporters from Laguna Beach, the Republican said he spent his four days meeting with entrepreneurs and business leaders and held a reception for more than 200 California companies that have expressed interest in moving to Texas. His office later clarified, though, that the reception was actually with only 20 businesses.
Such relocations can take time, but Perry also offered no details on prospects, much less concrete announcements.
In a small but heavily publicized media campaign last week, a privately funded marketing firm produced radio ads in California featuring Perry and denigrating that state's taxes and regulation while touting the Texas business climate. A progressive Texas political action committee responded Tuesday with radio ads in California taunting Perry.
Perry said on the call that "this isn't about bashing California; it's about promoting Texas." But he went on to offer a few digs. When asked if Texas' light regulatory rules have contributed to a high number of worksite deaths, the governor said he thought it had more to do with high-risk oil and gas industry jobs prevalent in his state.
"Y'all in California are not very knowledgeable about the energy industry and that is a fairly dangerous workplace," Perry said.
In fact, California is one of the nation's top oil-producing states, with an industry dating to 1860. The state has ranked in the top five in production for 100 years and typically is third or fourth, said Don Drysdale, a spokesman for the California Division of Oil, Gas and Theothermal Resources.