In less than six months, Texas voters will go to the polls and choose between two starkly different visions for Texas.
The first vision is one of limited government that fosters an environment for good Texas jobs, economic growth, boundless opportunity, and greater personal freedom.
The second, favored by Gov. Perry’s opponent, is a vision of more government spending, more taxation, and expanded government control over every aspect of your life. He supports the goals Obama-care. He calls spending cuts by state agencies “Soviet-style” governance. And he supports California-style emissions regulations, which would cripple industry in Texas.
In fact, if you wonder why Bill White is an Obama-like liberal, look no further than the issue of cap and trade…more accurately known as cap and tax, because it will cap our economy and tax away our jobs.
While Texas leaders fight the Obama Administration’s job-killing regulatory policies in court, the former mayor of Houston—our nation’s largest energy producer—advocates policies that would decimate the very industry the Bayou City was built on.
The Democratic nominee for governor went so far as to send an advisory memo to Obama’s chief of staff, telling him how to sell cap and tax to the American public!
Governor Perry's 2010 campaign is sponsoring NASCAR Champion Bobby Labonte's car at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 18, 2010. Bobby Labonte, #71, will be driving the Governor Perry 2010 car at Texas Motor Speedway, which adds $300,000,000 to the region's economy every year. In anticipation of this exciting event, the Rick Perry #71 car will be touring the Great State of Texas this week, and it's coming to a stop near you!
Come on out, bring your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to get your picture taken with the #71 car! Everyone is invited.
Texans for Rick Perry has some exciting ways you can be a part of the action!
Governor Perry and Bobby Labonte are throwing a barbecue for supporters on Saturday, April 17th at Cooper’s Barbecue in Ft. Worth. You can RSVP and purchase your tickets ($15/person or $25/couple) by emailing Adam Leggett (email@example.com). We must have your RSVP by noon on Friday, April 16th.
If you’d like to attend that BBQ party for free, you have some great options as well.
Option 1: If you set up and fill up a new Perry Home Headquarters between now and 5 p.m. Thursday, April 15th, your admission to the BBQ is free. http://hq.rickperry.org/
Option 2: If you manage to raise the most money through your your personal fundraising page between now and 5:00 on Thursday, April 15th, you’ll not only get free entry to the BBQ, you’ll receive two tickets to the race on Sunday. If you haven't already registered for your personal fundraising page, you can do so by going here http://rickperry.org/fundraise.
Option 3: You can also score free entry to the BBQ and two free race tickets by signing up to become a Perry Home Headquarters and rallying the most supporters between now and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 15th. If you are not already signed up as a Perry Home Headquarters, click here to get started http://hq.rickperry.org/.
Start recruiting and fundraising today so you can be ahead of the pack and we can continue to keep Texas moving forward.
As they say at the track, ladies and gentlemen: start your engines!
No major state has weathered the recession more successfully than Texas. So it’s logical that the best place to launch a new business would be a prominent Texas metropolitan area.
The nation’s top score for small-business vitality, according to a new Portfolio.com/bizjournals study, belongs to Austin, the state's capital and the center of a thriving metro with 1.7 million residents. A six-part formula was used to analyze the nation’s 100 largest metros, looking for the places that are most conducive to the creation and development of small businesses.
McKinney schools won’t be receiving funds from the federal government’s $4.35 billion Race to the Top program, as governor Rick Perry has decided Texas will not be submitting an application for what is being billed as a national competition to advance school reform. Under the program, the state would have been eligible for up to $700 million in grants if it earned points in such areas as turning around failing schools, showing improvement in teacher effectiveness, and having quality charter schools.
Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Texas ranks No. 3 as one of the top friendliest states for small businesses and entrepreneurship in the country.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council cited the state’s low business tax rates, workers compensation benefits, and state and local government spending issues as positive factors key to Texas’ third place ranking in the council’s 2009 Small Business Survival Index study.
Factors keeping the state from one of the top two spots, however, were gas and diesel taxes, Texas’ crime rate, utility costs, property taxes, and state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, the council said in the study, released in late 2009.
“The Small Business Survival Index gets at the public policy costs and trends that affect – directly or indirectly – entrepreneurship and small businesses,” study author and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council Chief Economist Raymond J. Keating said in a statement. “These measures should matter to everyone because small businesses, of course, drive innovation, economic growth and job creation. If we want to get our economy back on a solid, robust growth track, then we need pro-entrepreneur policies at the federal, state and local levels.”
David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, said Texas’ high ranking isn’t surprising considering the opportunities available to entrepreneurs across the state and in North Texas.
“Employees from some of these larger firms, Texas Instruments, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, they get the spirit and start a business of their own after they get their training from some of these bigger companies. They come up with an idea, and pursue the American dream,” he said.
Berzina added that Texas’ universities and community colleges work together to provide opportunities for business education and development.
Brad Hancock, director of Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Center, said the center has seen an increasing number of students joining the center and showing interest in opening their own small businesses.
The growing interest could be a rebound effect from the troubles corporate America has experienced over the last several years, Hancock said, adding that while students show interest in a number of different industries, technology is becoming one of the more popular choices.
“We are seeing more students, I think because they’re more technology proficient, looking at technology-based business,” he said. “I think more students are asking ‘How can we use the iPhone? How can we use the Internet and this technology that’s emerging?’”
Alvaro Guillem, president and CEO of ZS Pharma Inc. in Fort Worth, said he could have picked any state in the U.S. to open his pharmaceutical development company, but chose Texas because of the state’s tax rates and business infrastructure.
“Over the last few years what I’ve been doing is developing pharmaceuticals and bringing products to the market,” he said. “We could have headquartered anywhere, but over the last several years, Texas as a state has developed quite an infrastructure when it comes to supporting product development, and supporting everything being contained in Texas. That makes it much more easily managed when you deal with a project where you don’t have to go all over the place to look for resources to support what you’re doing.”
Guillem added that Texas also has been a business-friendly state because of its tax rates.
“Nobody likes to get taxed, but if you have to get taxed at least be reasonable, and Texas seems to do that,” he said. “The business climate has been very conducive for settling in and doing business.”
In ranking the 50 states and District of Columbia, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council considered some of the major government-imposed or government-related costs – 36 total – affecting investment, entrepreneurship and business, according to the study.
One of Texas’ highest rankings is a result of the state’s lack of a state personal income tax, which can affect individual economic decision making in important ways, the study said. And while Texas also benefited from not having a corporate income tax, it did receive a low ranking – coming in at 39 out of 51 – for higher state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, in the study. Texas also ranked at 39 for property tax rates, at 45 for the number of health insurance mandates, and at 42 for the state’s crime rate.
“When companies look at Texas, they’re discovering that we’ve fostered an environment that encourages people to pursue their dreams, build businesses and create jobs,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement. “This index is further proof that our conservative fiscal principles, low taxes, predictable regulatory environment and educated workforce have made Texas the best state in the nation to build a business and create jobs.”
One of the most closely watched political races of the year should be the Republican primary for the governor's office in Texas, pitting incumbent Rick Perry versus Texas U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Both have spent millions already, with potentially tens of millions on tap, but the heavy betting is on Mr. Perry at this point as the March primary approaches. As one lifelong political operative in the state tells me: "Kay Bailey can't get to the right of Perry on a single issue." That's a big problem in a GOP primary in the reddest of states.
On Wednesday, Mr. Perry moved to seal the deal with conservatives by calling for a new constitutional set of protections for taxpayers. Call it a Texas-style "taxpayer bill or rights." Mr. Perry wants the state's constitution amended to require a two-thirds vote requirement of the legislature for any tax hikes. He also wants state spending capped at the rate of annual population growth plus inflation. States like Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada have already adopted such taxpayer protections and the limitations have worked well to repel new spending, according to economist and state budget expert Barry Poulson of the University of Colorado.
Mr. Perry sounded as if his audience for these reforms was just as much the White House and the U.S. Congress as citizens of his home state. As the tax, borrow and spend "mindset holds sway over Washington, D.C.," Mr. Perry said, "it is more important than ever that we take steps to protect our citizens from the excesses of unrestrained government at every level."
What's the worst state to do business in? According to readers of Chief Executive magazine, it's California. In the same poll, Texas won first place as the best state in which to put your headquarters.
As reported in The Economist, the two largest states in the nation have very different philosophies and very different success rates.
In the 1950s and '60s, California was the embodiment of the American Dream, offering great schools, roads, jobs, and communities with all the latest amenities, not to mention good weather, beaches, and quick access to the mountains and wilderness for recreation. As home to Disneyland and the movie industry, the state represented all that was glamorous and new.
Cut to the present day. California is $26 billion in the hole and has recently been paying its bills with IOUs. Its once-proud schools are suffering and the prison system is releasing criminals early because the state can't afford to keep them. Social services are being cut right and left. Infrastructure is aging and falling apart. Unemployment is nearing 12 percent. State employees are forced to take unpaid furlough days and many California cities are worse off than Detroit. Its state income tax is the second highest in the U.S., and government regulations seem perversely aligned to discourage people from doing business there.
In fact, people are fleeing the so-called Golden State at a rate of more than 100,000 a year. From the Great Depression on, California was a dream destination for Americans. Now it looks more like a nightmare, taking on new debt at a rate of $25 million a day.
Texas, on the other hand, was considered something of a backwater in the 1950s and '60s, and certainly not a glamorous destination for the upwardly mobile masses. How things change. Unemployment in that state is two percentage points below the national average. It has one of the lowest rates of repossession for housing. There is no state income tax, nor is there a tax on capital gains in Texas.
Also, the Lone Star State has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other place in the union: California has 51, New York has 56, and Texas has 64. AT&T, Dell, Texas Instruments, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines, J.C. Penny, and Halliburton are all located in Texas.
Texas also has a geographic advantage over California. California has mountains that limit growth. Texas is largely flat. California is big. Texas is bigger. If you drive from Houston to El Paso, you're halfway to Los Angeles – without leaving Texas.
Texas created 70 percent of all the new jobs in the United States in 2008, and it has a budget surplus. No wonder it's the fastest-growing state in America, with 150,000 new residents arriving each year. Houston promises to become the nation's third-largest city in the near future, edging out Chicago for that spot. And 3 of the 10 largest cities in the United States are already in Texas – Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Both the Brookings Institution and Forbes Magazine studied America’s cities and rated them for how well they create new jobs. All of America’s top five job-creating cities were in Texas. It's more than purely economics and regulation can explain, though. Texas – and Houston in particular – has a broad mix of Hispanics, whites, Asians, and blacks with virtually no racial problems. Texas welcomes new people and exemplifies genuine tolerance. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Houston took in 100,000 people. Not surprisingly, Houston has more foreign consulates than any American city other than New York and Los Angeles.
And while Texas is creating jobs and new business, the Financial Times recently observed that the failure of a state as large and important as California is serving as a drag on the entire U.S. economy. Much of what we perceive as a national housing crisis, for example, is really concentrated in a few of the hardest-hit regions – California and Florida chief among them. Meanwhile, areas such as Texas have experienced a much milder downturn. In short, the catastrophes in Florida, Nevada, and especially California make the national market look really bad.
<i>Supported Same Job Creation Model as TEF for Houston</i>
While Bill White criticizes the effective job creation efforts made possible by the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), which has created more than 50,000 jobs for Texans and generated more than $14 billion in capital investment, he fails to mention his past praise and efforts to emulate the same job creation model in Houston.
In 2004, Bill White held a press conference where he accepted several recommendations from his self-appointed Economic Development Task Force, one that included creating a city enterprise fund modeled after the TEF.
According the Houston Chronicle, “The mayor said he would follow the task force report's recommendation of developing a multimillion-dollar enterprise fund to help biotechnology firms pay for their research with the aim of creating new jobs. Lee Hogan, chairman of the task force, said Houston receives about $1 billion a year in federal grants for biotechnology research, mostly at the Texas Medical Center. But he said the city has done a poor job of translating this research into spinoff companies and new jobs. Hogan said the enterprise fund would be modeled after a $250 million state enterprise fund, developed by Gov. Rick Perry, which runs out of money in October 2005.” (SOURCE: “Reliance on tax breaks faulted – Report says city should use other methods to draw business,” Houston Chronicle, 9/30/2004)
<i>Day 65: White breaks silence regarding agency where he appointed top donor as chairman of the board, yet “accepted no responsibility” for ongoing scandals and instead offered praise</i>
Liberal trial lawyer Bill White continues to run from his record as Houston mayor. For 65 days he has refused to release his income taxes for his years in public service, and yesterday he broke his silence regarding scandals at Houston Metro, where he appointed a top campaign donor chairman of the board shortly after being elected mayor.
Yet when White finally addressed Metro-gate, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that he “accepted no responsibility for Metro's current problems — which include Wilson's apparent skirting of federal ‘Buy America’ rules on the purchase of two rail cars — and praised Metro for getting this far in the federal grant application process.” (SOURCE: “Parker continues to bash Metro, but to what end?” Houston Chronicle, 5/11/10, http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/falkenberg/6999053.html)
Day 64: Houston Mayor Annise Parker declares "It is a new day for openness and transparency at METRO” after CEO hired by White’s board of directors quits
For 64 days, liberal trial lawyer <a href="http://www.liberalbill.com/" target="_blank">Bill White</a> has hidden his income taxes from the people of Texas, displaying his disregard for openness and transparency. The same sort of shadiness has surrounded <a href="http://www.liberalbill.com/news/bill-white%E2%80%99s-metro-gate-tab-40-million-and-counting" target="_blank">Houston Metro</a> for years, where repeated scandals have occurred under the board of directors appointed by White and the CEO hired by the board when White took office.
Last Friday, when Metro CEO Frank Wilson resigned, Houston Mayor Annise Parker declared, “It is a new day for openness and transparency at METRO.” (SOURCE: “Metro’s CEO quits, lawsuits and investigations move forward,” KHOU-TV Houston, 5/7/10, http://www.khou.com/news/Metro-CEO-Frank-Wilson-resigns--93157099.html)
“It is telling that the new mayor of Houston promises openness and transparency after years of secrecy and corruption from Bill White’s hand-picked Metro leadership,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Liberal Bill White may try to run from his record, but he cannot run away from the mess he created for his successor. Bill White should stop running from the truth, come clean, and release his taxes for his years in public service.”
<em>Campaign Launches iPhone Mobile App</em>
AUSTIN – Texans for Rick Perry today launched its new iPhone mobile application. The app offers a powerful new tool supporters can use to keep up to date with Gov. Perry’s efforts to keep Texas strong and successful, and stay informed on ways to get involved with the campaign exclusively from their mobile phones. The mobile app is now available for download in Apple’s iPhone App Store.
“I’m very proud of my campaign’s efforts to break new ground by offering a mobile phone app for those looking to stay informed with my efforts to keep Texas moving forward,” said Gov. Perry. “As technology continues to change and develop, it is increasingly important that we adapt and find the best ways to communicate with Texans across the state. With our application now available over several mobile phone services, Texans have a powerful and convenient tool to stay involved with our campaign efforts and informed of campaign news.”
MISSION – Gov. Rick Perry today accepted the endorsements of 30 elected officials from the Rio Grande Valley region, including mayors, mayors pro-tempore, school board members and city commissioners, including several Democrats. They pointed to Gov. Perry’s principled leadership and success in maintaining a friendly business climate and strong economy in offering their support of his re-election campaign.
“It is an honor to stand here today with a group of leaders who have dedicated themselves to public service and worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities, and I am deeply honored to have their support,” said Gov. Perry. “Working together, we will keep our state moving forward with Texas values and proven leadership, and the support of hardworking Texans like those here with me today.”
"I’ve been supporting Gov. Perry since 1998 and I'm very proud of him,” said Mission Mayor Norberto Salinas. “Texas has never had as good a governor as Rick Perry. I am proud to endorse him and offer my full support. Texas needs him for another four years."
In his remarks, Gov. Perry discussed the importance of efforts to create jobs and uphold the fiscally conservative policies that have kept Texas comparatively strong in the midst of a challenging national economy. He noted Texas’ unemployment rate has remained a point-and-a-half below the national average and the state has created more jobs in the last six months than any other state. He also pointed to the state’s success in keeping taxes low, restraining spending and upholding a predictable regulatory climate, which has enabled entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed.
Gov. Perry also highlighted efforts to continue strengthening education, citing his proposals to double the number of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) schools and increasing the number of U-Teach programs in state universities.
“I am a Democrat and I am supporting Gov. Perry because he's been a good governor for Pharr, the housing community and economic development,” said Pharr Mayor Polo Palacios. “My family came from Mexico and growing up I was always taught to respect those that help you and treat you well. Gov. Perry’s efforts have helped our community. We have worked together and, time after time, Gov. Perry has not let us down.”
“Gov. Perry has worked so hard for South Texas and I am so proud of him,” said La Feria Mayor Steve Brewer. “His team did an unbelievable job during Hurricane Dolly – we were underwater and Gov. Perry wasted no time in dispatching the state guard.”
“Gov. Perry really cares about South Texas,” said Elsa Mayor Senovio Castillo. “The City of Elsa has been helped tremendously by Gov. Perry. He was there when we needed him. We were well prepared before Hurricane Dolly hit because of his efforts.”
The following elected officials today endorsed Gov. Perry:
Mission Mayor Norberto Salinas
Pharr Mayor Polo Palacios
Palmhurst Mayor Ramiro Rodriguez
South Padre Island Mayor Robert Pinkerton
Laguna Vista Mayor Susie Houston,
Lyford Mayor Henry De La Paz, Jr.
Elsa Mayor Senovio Castillo,
La Feria Mayor Steve Brewer
Mission Mayor Pro-Tem,Leo Olivarez
Pharr Mayor Pro-Tem Adan Farias
Mercedes Mayor Pro-Tem Leonardo Garcia
Edcouch Mayor Pro-Tem Eduardo Gonzalez
Pharr Commissioner Oscar Elizondo, Jr.
Pharr Commissioner Arturo Cortez
Pharr Commissioner Bobby Carrillo
Mission Commissioner Ruben Plata
Mission Commissioner Maria Elena Ramirez
Mission Commissioner Norie Garza
Elsa Commissioner Cain Caceres
Elsa Commissioner Oscar Garcia
Mission I.S.D. School Board Member Oscar Martinez
Mission I.S.D. School Board Member Raymond R. Longoria
Mission I.S.D. School Board Member James E. Olivarez
Edcouch-Elsa I.S.D. School Board Member Antonio Barco
Mission Chief of Police Leo Longoria
Former Donna Mayor Rick Morales
Former Harlingen Mayor Rick Rodriguez
Former Rio Grande City Mayor Kevin Hiles
Former 92nd District Judge Horacio Pena
Former 430th District Judge Tom Wingate