This week Governor Perry spoke at the Texas Association of Realtors' Government Affairs Conference held in Austin, TX. The two-day event was designed to inspire realtors to become more involved in political and public policy issues. The Governor emphasized the importance of upholding conservative fiscal discipline to maintain Texas' economic strength.
"If anyone knows the value of a strong economy, good schools and safe neighborhoods, I'd say it's realtors," Gov. Perry said. "So, let's keep working together to sustain our state's forward momentum applying our time-tested Texas work ethic, our commitment to fiscal discipline and our belief in the individual. Together, we will lead our nation out of this tough spot and keep Texas strong."
The Texas Association of Realtors, one of the largest trade associations with nearly 90,000 members, have endorsed Governor Perry's re-election.
In the past few years, many members of Congress have conveniently forgotten the meaning our nation’s definitive document. Namely, the Bill of Rights in our Constitution has been tossed aside as the federal government continues to overreach its authority and rapidly expand its unprecedented intrusion into our lives.
With your help, Governor Perry will send a copy of the Bill of Rights and a copy of the Oath of Office administered to Congress to each of the 535 members. The oath explicitly charges Congress with upholding the Constitution, and today, we need to remind them what their job is, who they work for, and what the Constitution says.
In these tough economic times for our nation, it is important to acknowledge that ideas still matter. It is not arbitrary that Texas has an unemployment rate nearly 2% below the national rate, or that California's unemployment rate is roughly 4% higher than it is in Texas. Our state didn't create more jobs in 2008 than the other 49 states combined by accident. It is no fluke that Texas is the #1 exporting state in the nation for several years running.
Governor Rick Perry has earned the endorsements of an enormous number of Texans:
Organizations and individuals who care about the future of Texas, representing industries from agriculture and energy to law enforcement and real estate, recognize that Governor Rick Perry is keeping Texas on the right path toward success. These organizations and conservative leaders include:
• Texas Association of Realtors
• Texas Chemical Council
• Texas Home School Coalition PAC
• T. Boone Pickens, Energy Entrepreneur
• Texas Apartment Association
• Texas Oil and Gas Association President Rob Looney
• Texas Civil Justice League
• RNC Committeewoman Cathie Adams
• Texas Municipal Police Association
• Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
• Texas Cattle Feeders Association
• Texas Republican County Chairman Association President Linda Rogers
• Texas Chiropractic Association
• Texas Alliance for Life
• Texas Right to Life
• Texas Society of Professional Engineers
• Conservative Republicans of Texas President Dr. Steve Hotze
• Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association PAC
• State Director of Americans for Prosperity* Peggy Venable
• Texas Poultry Federation
• Free Market Foundation President Kelly Shackelford
• Texas Optometric Association
• Texans for Life President Kyleen Wright
• Houston Realty Business Coalition
• Concerned Women for America State Director Ann Hettinger
• Texas Recreational Vehicle Association
• Heidi Group Founder Carol Everett
• Texas Pest Control Association
• Justice at the Gate Founder Alice Patterson
• Eagle Forum Founder Phyllis Shlafly
*Organization listed for identification purposes only, Americans for Prosperity itself does not endorse candidates.
On Fox Business News, Governor Perry spoke at length with host David Asman about the relative economic and fiscal strength of Texas, even in these tough times. Governor Perry reiterated his five keys to success, including:
1. Don't spend all the money.
2. Keep the taxes low.
3. Make sure the regulatory climate is fair and predictable.
4. Tort reform to prevent frivolous lawsuits.
5. Fund an accountable education system to produce a skilled workforce.
When Research in Motion, the maker of the popular Blackberry phones, wanted to build out its U.S. headquarters, it selected Irving, Texas for the site of a 100,000-square-foot facility it expects will soon employ 1,000 people. In January, communications equipment maker Setcom decided to pick up stakes and move from its longtime home in Mountainview, California to Austin, Texas. In 2007, Comerica left Detroit for Dallas. At the time, chairman and CEO Ralph Babb cited Texas’ economy, talented workforce, and central location as the reasons behind the move.
These companies are finding out what corporate giants such as Dell, Exxon Mobil, AT&T, and EDS have long known: that when it comes to business, Texas is number one.
What puts Texas first? It has a pro-business tax climate that ranks third, a low cost of living, a relatively solid economy, and a litigation environment that ranks 10th on our list. Texas also ranks first in the number of Fortune 500 companies located there.
The Lone Star state tops our first annual Boardroom Guide to the Best States for Business. The guide is an outgrowth of our annual Litigation Guide, which assesses the litigation climate in each of the 50 states (Page 28). We decided to produce a more comprehensive resource for boards by adding data on the economy, tax climate, cost of living, education, and other measures to arrive at the ranking.
What puts Texas first? It has a pro-business tax climate that ranks third, a low cost of living, a relatively solid economy, and a litigation environment that ranks 10th on our list. Texas also ranks first in the number of Fortune 500 companies located there. We used the Fortune rankings as one measure of attractiveness to large companies and an indication of strong infrastructure. Texas’ central location and time zone also make it an ideal hub, especially for companies with a national distribution or customer footprint. Recently, companies such as Toyota and Caterpillar have located portions of their business in Texas.
“Our commitment to low taxes, predictable regulations, and a fair tort system are setting an example for the nation and creating a magnetic force for the businesses and jobs that are vital to maintaining Texas’ competitive advantage in the global marketplace,” says Texas Governor Rick Perry.
“It’s not surprising that Texas does well in these types of rankings,” says Hartley Powell, national leader of the global location and expansion services practice at KPMG LLP. “They have been very successful over the years at broadening their base from energy into areas such as high tech and manufacturing.” Powell says Texas has a quality labor force and a good tax structure for business.
Texas had more clean energy jobs than every other state except California and garnered more clean energy venture capital investment than most in 2007, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts.
The study, released Wednesday, shows that 55,646 people were employed in the clean energy industry in Texas. That's a large chunk of the 770,385 clean energy jobs nationwide. Researchers attributed Texas' success to state policies that create incentives and mandates for clean energy.
"The Texas clean energy economy is poised for incredible growth," said Pew researcher Kil Huh on a conference call Wednesday.
Pew researcher Phyllis Cuttino said, "Despite the state being an oil-producing state, it has engaged in policies that are going to grow these other sectors of the economy, which we would applaud."
Gov. Rick Perry has pointed to Texas' growth in wind energy capacity as an indication of success in the clean energy sector. Texas has more wind energy capacity than any other state, according to a 2009 American Wind Energy Association report, and is building power lines to support even more.
At the same time, he has warned Washington politicians that greenhouse gas regulations would kill jobs and economic growth here because of the large fossil fuel industry.
In 2008, the oil and natural gas industry contributed 16.5 percent of Texas' gross state product and employed 367,967 people, dwarfing the clean energy industry's numbers .
Still, according to the Pew study, Texas has attracted more jobs and investment than most states.
If you want to be in the right place when the recovery starts, that place may be in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas or Washington.
The recession didn't start at the same time in every state, and it won't end at the same time either. A new forecast from Moody's Economy.com predicts that jobs growth will return first in those five states, starting in the last quarter of this year.
One displaced Kansan trying to develop property in the San Diego area recently told me that every time Texas Gov. Rick Perry flies to town he takes another half a dozen businesses with him to Texas. With a more friendly business climate, Texas is at the top of the game in growth rates for corporate headquarters. It only makes sense that California voters rejected more job-killing taxes, and in doing so, accomplished what their elected officials were unwilling to do.
One last point: States aren't simply competing with each other. As Texas Gov. Rick Perry recently told us, "Our state is competing with Germany, France, Japan and China for business. We'd better have a pro-growth tax system or those American jobs will be out-sourced." Gov. Perry and Texas have the jobs and prosperity model exactly right. Texas created more new jobs in 2008 than all other 49 states combined. And Texas is the only state other than Georgia and North Dakota that is cutting taxes this year.
The Texas economic model makes a whole lot more sense than the New Jersey model, and we hope the politicians in California, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota and New York realize this before it's too late.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local #341 for re-election in 2010.
“Fire fighters across the state have a friend in Gov. Rick Perry,” said Jeff Caynon, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341. “He has helped provide us the tools we need to make Texas safe. When Texans need help, they turn to us. When we need help, we always know we can turn to Gov. Perry. Local #341 is proud to endorse Gov. Perry for re-election.”
The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local #341 represents nearly 4,000 of Houston’s bravest men and women. The Houston Fire Department is the 3rd largest fire department in the nation.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of Houston’s firefighters and emergency responders,” said Gov. Perry. “These brave public servants put their lives on the line daily to keep Texans safe. Their dedication and courage exemplify the best of what Texas has to offer.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today announced his support of Gov. Rick Perry for re-election in 2010.
“Bobby and I have worked together many times as colleagues and friends but I will never forget our efforts to protect the men and women of our respective states after coming face to face with devastating hurricanes,” said Gov. Perry. “I am proud that he supports our efforts to continue moving our state forward as families across Texas are weathering this global economic downturn. Texans know firsthand that the state needs steady leadership in these tough times.”
“I’m proud to join Gov. Pawlenty in support of our men and women in the armed forces and proud of what we have done together to promote the importance of finding state-based solutions to the challenges our nation faces,” said Gov. Perry. “Texas is leading the way to create the best place in America to live, work and raise a family because of the fiscally conservative approach we have held to over the years and because of the policies we have enacted on the state level to address the issues most important to Texans. I will continue working to keep principles of limited government and fiscal restraint as the guiding forces behind our state’s approach to governance.”
Gov. Rick Perry today urged Texans to go to the polls and cast their primary vote in the early voting period, which ends on February 26th.
“By taking part in early voting, I joined with citizens all across our state who exercised one of their most cherished rights as Texans,” said Gov. Perry “When we vote, we make a statement about what truly matters to us. I am hopeful that Texans agree with me that the economy is not only our top concern, but also our greatest success story right now.”
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of former Texas Governor Bill Clements for re-election in 2010.
"After careful thought and a deep love for Texas, Rita and I have decided to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for governor. I have watched Gov. Perry lead our state with principled, conservative values that have made Texas a positive example for other states to follow. Gov. Perry has made tough decisions that have brought Texas to the forefront of the global economy, have helped provide Texans the jobs and opportunities they need to prosper. He has vetoed billions in spending, cut taxes for 40,000 small businesses and balanced five state budgets while cutting state spending. Under his leadership, Texas is number one in job creation and has the nation's five best housing markets. His commitment to creating jobs, keeping taxes low and fostering an environment that welcomes and rewards those willing to risk their capital is what will keep our economy moving forward well into the future. Gov. Perry has my full support and endorsement. Sen. Hutchison has been an effective senator for Texas and I hope she remains in that position."
Gov. Clements was the first Republican to serve as Texas governor since Reconstruction. He was the 42nd and 44th governor of Texas serving from 1979 to 1983 and 1987 to 1991. Clements is remembered for bringing his business acumen to state government, and insisting on sound budgeting and management policies. He also worked for tough anti-crime measures, improvements in the teaching of basics in public schools, and made strides to improve Texas relations with Mexico. Clements served as Deputy U.S. Secretary of Defense in the Nixon and Ford administrations.
Mrs. Clements has served on a variety of governmental commissions, including the University of Texas Board of Regents, and on the boards of many philanthropic and public service organizations, including the Salvation Army Dallas Metroplex Advisory Board, Center for Human Nutrition and the Communities Foundation of Texas.
“I am deeply honored to receive Gov. and Mrs. Clements' support in my reelection effort,” said Gov. Perry. "The Clements have made a remarkable and lasting impact on the state of Texas – Bill through his efforts to uphold fiscally prudent policies that strengthened our state’s economic foundation, and Rita through her dedicated, selfless service on various government and philanthropic boards. Their legacy has left us a Texas that is strong and that has the foundation to weather the challenges that the national economy has posed in recent months. I am humbled to follow in Gov. Clements' footsteps as governor of this great state, and inspired by his accomplishments to continue fighting for the principles that have kept taxes low, upheld predictable regulations and maintained a business climate that offers all Texans the freedom to succeed.”