Rick Scott and Rick Perry Target Missouri Businesses to Relocate

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 29, 2013 3:55 AM

Rick Scott and Rick Perry

Rick Perry photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Gov. Rick Scott is teaming up with a fellow Republican governor this week in urging businesses based in Missouri to head to states with better business climates.

With Gov. Jay Nixon vetoing $700 million in tax cuts earlier this year, Scott is calling for businesses to move from the Show Me State to the Sunshine State.

“According to a ranking of business-friendly climate by the Tax Foundation, Missouri ranks 16th in the country while Florida is one of the top five performing states,” Scott said on Wednesday. “And it’s unlikely to get better for Missouri, as we just saw Governor Nixon veto a $700 million tax cut for individuals and businesses.”

Scott’s office sent a letter to Missouri businesses earlier in the week, highlighting Florida’s business climate. So far this year, Scott has sent similar letters to businesses based in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New York. Like Missouri, all of those states have Democratic governors.

Scott is not the only Republican governor looking to lure businesses from Missouri to their state. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is running radio spots urging businesses to head out to the Lone Star State.

“Unfortunately, your governor vetoed a bill that would have lowered taxes and controlled wasteful spending,” Perry says in the radio spot. “But there is a state where businesses flourish and jobs are created -- Texas.

“Every year, more than $40 million are leaving Missouri for the Lone Star State because Missouri families and businesses know Texas is a great place to live and work,” Perry continues in the ad.

The ad has been pulled on stations around St. Louis but is still being run in other parts of the state.

Perry will be in St. Louis on Thursday when he will speak to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry as they look to get enough support in the Missouri Legislature to override Nixon’s veto.

Nixon fired back at Perry on Tuesday when he sent a letter to Missouri Chamber members.

“Governor Perry’s anti-Missouri campaign not only criticizes our state, it also stands in conflict with the Chamber’s mission to ‘protect and advance Missouri business,’” Nixon insisted. “As an organization that purports to represent the interests of Missouri businesses, the Missouri Chamber should support activities that seek to strengthen our economy -- not undermine it.”

While he did not endorse Perry’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, Scott has continually expressed his admiration for the Texas governor. When Perry announced last month that he would not seek re-election in 2014, Scott had warm words for him.

“Under the stewardship of Governor Rick Perry since 2000, the people of Texas have seen up close how conservative policies drive economic engines, lower crime and produce stronger families,” Scott said in a statement after Perry announced he would not run again in 2014. “As the longest serving governor in Texas history, Governor Perry’s record of accomplishment leaves Texas-size boots to fill for his successor. I have enjoyed sparring with him over the last two years, and I hope he tells his successor that it’s just a matter of time before Florida unseats Texas as the No. 1 state in the country for job creation. ”

Perry has opened the door to running for president again in 2016. He and Scott will both speak in Orlando this weekend at a national event hosted by Americans for Prosperity.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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