J. David Ake Associated Press file, 2010 Texas Gov. Rick Perry will return home today after a business recruitment trip to California that began Sunday.

Rick Perry claims victory over Golden State

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2013 - 11:40 am

And on the ninth day, Rick Perry declared victory.

The Texas governor, whose highly publicized foray into California began with a radio ad last week and will end when he leaves the state today, was on the phone Tuesday afternoon from Laguna Beach – promoting his business recruitment trip and suggesting California could go bankrupt.

"You know, thanks to some folks responding the way that they did to a $24,000 radio ad, it has been widely covered and discussed," Perry said. "So, from that standpoint, I'll declare a victory."

The Republican governor chuckled when asked if he had received any commitments from businesses to move to Texas.

"We have commitments to listen and … to have good conversation," Perry said. "The goal wasn't to leave here with any list of people who are going to relocate."

Perry's remarks followed a Democratic political action committee's announcement Tuesday that it ran a radio ad in Sacramento warning Californians to be cautious of Perry.

"Hello, California, this is Texas," says a male voice in the ad, which was paid for by the Lone Star Project. "Well, looks like Rick Perry got out again. Governor Oops is runnin' around selling snake oil, talking about big tax breaks if you move your business to Texas."

The Lone Star Project claims Perry grants tax breaks only to political donors, an accusation Perry called "drivel."

Matt Angle, director of the political action committee, said the ad has only about $5,000 behind it. That kind of ad buy – like Perry's $24,000 radio spot – is meant more to gain media attention than to reach a radio station's listening audience.

"The idea was, quite frankly, to do exactly what Rick Perry was," Angle said. "This is Rick Perry basically promoting himself and not really boosting Texas."

Perry has boasted for years about recruiting businesses from California, and he and California Gov. Jerry Brown have engaged in a back-and-forth about whose state is better for business. Brown dismissed Perry's latest effort as political gimmickry.

Perry, a former presidential candidate, said a "secondary goal" of his trip to California was to have a broader conversation with lawmakers and business leaders about taxes and regulations.

"If you don't have the business structure in the state to pay for the services that are desired by the citizens, at some particular point in time you go bankrupt," Perry said. "And, you know, I will tell you there are some warning signs in California that are very disturbing – on the size of pensions, on the amount of debt that's being created out there.

"And California going bankrupt is not good for America.

"So, you know, this is not just about Texas vs. California, this is about this country."

In his annual spending proposal this year, Brown declared the state's budget in balance. Standard & Poor's later upgraded California's general obligation bond rating from A-minus to A.

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