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Perry’s progress could be his downfall
Yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced a new advertising campaign due to hit the airwaves this week throughout the state of California. Wait, California?
Apparently Perry has plans for the people of the Golden State, but he might be unknowingly rolling the dice on his own state’s political future in the process.
The radio ads he’s cooked up are intended to encourage California business owners and other entrepreneurs to ditch their native state and relocate to Texas.
After all, California levies some of the highest taxes on both business and personal income in the country, while Texas imposes a more tempting personal income tax rate of zero.
Such a migration could shore up state revenue and hopefully solve our state’s unemployment problem, assuming these transplanted businesses take root and find success on Texas soil.
But will Perry’s snarky radio bits do the job? More importantly, do we really want California represented so heavily inside our borders?
We don’t have a problem with the state in general. We think palm trees and beach sunsets are aesthetically pleasing, California pizza is surprisingly delicious and West Coast rap is still the soundtrack to our office parties.
That being said, are we sure we want more Californian transplants at the helm of this state’s future?
Austin, with its bumper crop of high-tech startups and software development companies, has already seen the impact of a West Coaster migration, and the results aren’t always positive.
Prices are higher, traffic is worse and longtime residents often complain that the basic attitude of the city is changing from the influx of “outsiders.”
Some old-timers even compare Californians to a non-native threat on the same level as fire ants.
We’re still unsure if Californians will ever present a problem requiring pest control, but there’s something else about this plan Gov. Perry hasn’t considered: It could influence a shift in Texas voter demographics.
California is certainly a blue state, but its voter demographics are still changing, with a greater percentage of Latino and Asian-American voters than ever before.
These minority groups, along with nearly half the state’s white population, lean democratic.
By encouraging California’s tax-crushed titans of industry to relocate, Perry might be enticing a new branch of the population that doesn’t always vote his way.
Texas’ political environment already faces a change in demographics from growing populations of Hispanic voters, and the Democratic Party knows this.
In fact, they’ve already organized a group called Battleground Texas that hopes to engage and mobilize the state’s minority population with the eventual goal of turning Texas into a blue state.
And even if he doesn’t know it yet, it looks like our governor is giving them a hand.
If Perry’s plan succeeds, it might ensure economic prosperity in our great state for years to come. But this victory could also come at the price of his party’s own majority vote.
In other words, our gun-toting governor might be shooting himself in the foot.