Iowa governor warns California: We are coming to take your jobs [Updated]
Every year that California has budget trouble -- basically the last 10 -- another state licks its lips and boasts how it will reap the benefits as businesses and residents flee the Golden State. These poachers are usually more conservative southwestern states like Arizona or longtime California rival Texas.
So, um, add Iowa to the list.
That's right, Iowa, land of snow, farms, presidential caucuses and ... snow. In an interview with The Times, the state's Republican governor, Terry Branstad, boasted how he balanced the state's budget without raising taxes and is getting calls from California businesses looking to move.
“They want to get out of California as quick as they can," Branstad said. "We welcome them to Iowa. I’ve got California companies on my call list right now.”
Branstad declined to name the California firms he plans to call, but said just Monday he met a California businessman at an Iowa groundbreaking who described how terrible the business climate was in the state.
“So I’m going to be making personal calls to this company to encourage them to consider moving their business here,” he said, echoing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who discussed going on “hunting” trips to California, in search of businesses that want to move out of the state. “I make those kind of personal calls, that could make a difference.”
Gov. Jerry Brown's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[Updated at 2:55 pm: Brown spokesman Gil Duran fired back: "This is a Republican myth that is often repeated yet simply not true. Reputable studies have shown that businesses are not fleeing the state for the cold, empty and desolate hinterlands."
Duran also noted that Brandstad, ironically, is under fire for being far behind on his pledge to create 200,000 jobs in the state by the time his first term ends in 2014.]
-- Seema Mehta
Photo: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, left, holds a shirt with Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy mocking concerns over the beef product dubbed "pink slime." Credit: Tim Hynds/Associated Press