ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Texas Governor Rick Perry wants Missouri businesses to re-locate to Texas. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is helping him spread that message. Does this mean Missouri businesses are helping pay for a message that urges businesses to leave the state? The Missouri Chamber of Commerce says they do not support Perry trying to take jobs away. But, like it or not, they are guilty by association.
Despite his disastrous attempt to run for president, lame duck Texas Governor remains a hero to fans of conservative economics. So, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce invited him to speak in St. Louis this coming Thursday about his low-tax policy in the Lone Star State. Then Perry bombarded Missouri airwaves with hundreds of thousands of dollars in radio and TV ads urging Missouri companies to move to Texas. The ads are still running.
KTRS radio is the only media outlet to refuse to run them. “I am shocked at the silence. You’re going to tell me KTRS is the only one who is standing up for Missouri? Where are the elected officials? Where are the businesses?” said McGraw Milhaven of KTRS Radio.
We wondered that too. So, we asked businesses headquartered here who are members of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce about the perry job poaching ads. None of them seemed bothered.
Laclede Gas’s parent company said Perry was visiting Missouri to talk about tax policy. Ameren would only say, ambiguously, that the Missouri Chamber’s statements speak for themselves. Express Scripts declined to give any comment. Enterprise simply said they wouldn’t participate in this story. No other businesses would comment at all.
“It’s not unusual for governors to go out and try to attract companies to their state from other states. I would say it’s unusual to have a state chamber be hosting the person.” Denny Coleman of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.
But the Missouri Chamber wants a business income tax cut. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon does not.
“Clearly ideology and politics is the motive behind this. The Missouri Chamber very much wants this tax cut to go through. Nixon vetoed the tax cut. They’re pulling out all the stops.” said St. Louis Post-Dispatch Business Columnist David Nicklaus.
But the Missouri Chamber says they don’t agree with Perry on stealing jobs.
“This is brazen. That is what he is known for.” said Missouri Chamber of Commerce President Dan Mehan “Certainly we do not want our companies in Missouri to move to Texas.”
Even if it might appear that way.