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The Brief: Feb. 7, 2013

The sparring match between the governors of Texas and California is starting to take on tones of a full-blown rivalry.

Gov. Rick Perry delivering his seventh State of the State speech on Jan. 29, 2013.

The Big Conversation

The sparring match between the governors of Texas and California is starting to take on tones of a full-blown rivalry.

The sniping started Monday, when Gov. Rick Perry announced a new radio ad campaign in California intended to lure businesses to Texas. 

"Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible," Perry says in the ad, which touts the state's "zero state income tax, low overall tax burden, sensible regulations and a fair legal system."

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, responded on Tuesday with a colorful retort. "It's not a serious story, guys," he told reporters. "It's not a burp. It's barely a fart."

The ad campaign, a $24,000 weeklong buy, amounted to "the smallest entry into the media market of California," Brown added.

The Sacramento Bee piled on, writing Wednesday in a scathing editorial: "Actually, we think it's more than a fart. It's a cry for help. Perry can't create jobs, he can only steal them from other states. His campaign for the Republican presidential nomination was a joke. His beloved Dallas Cowboys haven't been in the Super Bowl since 1996. Being sympathetic souls, we can't help but wonder what California could do to help Texas and poor Gov. Perry."

The same day, Perry alluded to the spat again at a news conference promoting early work on a new interstate highway system.

"Everybody knows the formula that we have in place to attract businesses. You all have heard me mention it a time or two. Jerry Brown hears me," he said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The debate may not die down anytime soon, either. As The New York Times reports, some wealthy Californians now face a 51.9 percent federal-state income tax — the highest in the nation — raising the possibility of an exodus of millionaires to places like, yes, Texas.

Capitol Notes
Compiled from Tribune reports

•    Aycock Proposes New Testing, Graduation Requirements: "State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, the newly appointed chairman of the House Public Education Committee, filed legislation Wednesday that would restructure the state's high school graduation and student testing requirements."

•    CPRIT Leaders Testify Before House Panel: "Leaders of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas offered candid testimony before the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, explaining how the institute has changed its processes to prevent future improprieties."

•    Villalba Files School Marshal Bill: "State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, has filed a bill that would allow Texas schools to appoint "school marshals" — employees who could carry guns in an effort to protect students from violence."

•    Watson Has Tough Words for Combs, Tax Subsidy Programs: "Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, criticized Republican Comptroller Susan Combs on Wednesday, saying she had a “cavalier” approach to doling out millions of dollars in tax incentives, including the award eventually granted to the promoters of F1 auto racing."


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