Gov. Rick Perry's West Coast swing to woo businesses from California to Texas has come to an end.
California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is probably glad to see Perry go, especially after his crude evaluation of the Texas governor's radio ad campaign, calling it "barely a fart."
Texas One, a public-private partnership set up by the legislature as a nonprofit and run through Perry's office, arranged for the radio ads... and the trip. Texas One is funded by companies, local governments and chambers of commerce wanting companies to expand or relocate to Texas.
A spokesman for the governor says following a 2010 Texas One visit to California, led by Perry, companies recruited decided to expand in Texas. In all of his trips to California, Perry spokesman Josh Havens says the governor has brought 4,445 jobs to Texas.
However, critics in California and in Texas think Perry's latest trip was about more than just jobs.
Perry loves to extol Texas' pro-business outlook, touting its low taxes and regulation outside the state, just as he does frequently at home.
In a Wednesday conference call from Laguna Beach with reporters he said, "Gov. Brown may call it 'poaching;' I just call it giving people an option of where they can locate their business and keep more of their money."
In stops at San Francisco, the Silicon Valley and the Los Angeles area, Perry pointed to Texas' superior job creation and California's recent increase in sales and income taxes.
"This isn't about bashing California," Perry said. "It's about promoting Texas and the economic climate we've created."
But some Perry critics in California think his trip is more about trying to raise sagging Texas poll numbers, which show a majority of Republican voters want someone else to run for governor next year.
Dan Walters, a political columnist with the Sacramento Bee said in an online video: "He can think of nothing better to get Texans on his side than to tweak those crazy people out there in California, which all good Texans love to hate."
In Austin, Democratic lawmakers called the trip "political theater." Sen. Wendy Davis (D - Fort Worth) said if Perry is concerned about jobs, he could help restore some 25,000 school jobs lost in 2011 budget cuts.
"If Gov. Perry really wanted to do something to grow and continue to advance the business community in Texas, he'd be here helping us work on that," she said.
But Perry, the former Texas A&M yell leader, feels very comfortable being the top cheerleader for the state's business climate.