Absolutely Petty: AP's Juliet Williams Goes After 'Failed' Rick Perry For Visiting Calif. to Lure Businesses to Texas

February 20th, 2013 9:57 PM

This goes back about ten days, and I originally missed it. Fortunately, though, an Investor's Business Daily editorial got around to mentioning Rick Perry's visit to California last week in an effort to lure businesses to the more commerce-friendly environs of Texas.

Associated Press report Juliet Williams and her story's headline writer were not amused by Perry's aggressiveness. Williams seemed to be bucking to have her picture placed next to the words "petty" and "vindictive" in the dictionary. Several paragraph from her February 11 coverage of Perry's visit to the formerly Golden State follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):


Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought his brash pitch for jobs to California on Monday as he sought to lure businesses to his state with the promise of lower taxes and fewer regulations.

Perry's private meetings with business leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area weren't his first effort to tempt companies to leave the Golden State, but this three-day trip has certainly drawn more attention than previous attempts, and the failed Republican presidential candidate welcomed the spotlight.

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, he criticized California's regulatory environment, and said Austin, Texas, is poised to become the "next Silicon Valley."

... The visit follows a 30-second radio ad that began airing last week in which Perry criticized California's business climate, drawing a colorful response from Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat.

"Building a business is tough," Perry says in the ad, which also was paid for by TexasOne. "But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible."

He added, "There are plenty of reasons Texas has been named the best state for doing business for eight years running."

The spot ran on six radio stations in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego media markets.

Brown last week dismissed Perry's $24,000 in radio ads as a cheap gimmick.

Williams's characterization of Perry as a "failed presidential candidate" is consistent with the wire service's treatment of Republicans who run for but don't win the presidency. In a January 2012 post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I noted that the AP didn't hesitate to hang the "failed" tag on Mitt Romney in 2008 when John McCain won the Republican presidential nomination, or on Perry shortly after he dropped out. But here's a list of pathetic Democratic presidential flops the AP has never to my knowledge tagged as failures: Joe Lieberman, Howard Dean, Carol Moseley Braun, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd.

A subsequent AP report two days later demonstrated that the wire service knows almost nothing about sales and marketing:

Gov. Perry ending CA trip empty handed, so far

Gov. Rick Perry is wrapping up his high-profile recruiting trip to California without having convinced any businesses to relocate to his state - at least not yet.

The Republican said Wednesday that he met with "entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the Golden State." He also held a reception for more than 200 California companies who have expressed interest in moving.

But Perry offered nothing concrete to show for the visit as he heads home.

Well AP, Perry, with your help (ha ha) created an awful lot of awareness on the part of harried California businesspeople which may not have been present before. I suspect he also got a number of meaningful leads in the form of enterprises which would like to leave California or at least expand somewhere besides California but need more information before they pull up stakes or make their growth decisions. Anyone who has been in sales knows that Perry did not leave empty-handed.

I believe former Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes came back "empty-handed" -- at least as the wet blankets at AP would interpret it -- after his visit to Japan in the early 1980s to court Honda when he learned that the company was considering building cars in America. Several years later, Honda built its U.S. headquarters, first assembly plant, and several other manufacturing facilities in central and Western Ohio.

As to why Juliet Williams and AP chose to be such nattering nabobs of negativism, IBD probably has as good an explanation as any:

Fact is, California is punishing businesses and individuals with higher state taxes, while Texas is getting inundated with California companies seeking to move to the Lone Star State, regardless of whether Perry visits.

...The left's hysteria in trying to debunk basic economic truths is just proof that Perry's trip was the right thing to do.

In December, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Texas was 6.1 percent, while California's was 9.8 percent. "Somehow," AP also missed reporting those economic truths.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.