UPDATE 9:30 a.m. Wednesday Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is hosting a “Business Recruitment Reception” on Wednesday in Bethesda, though his Office of Economic Development wouldn’t reveal exactly where the closed-to-the-media event will happen.
StartUp Maryland, which had a previously scheduled Wednesday event at business incubator Bethesda Green, says it has learned Perry’s event is scheduled from about noon to 2 p.m. at Morton’s The Steakhouse in the Bethesda Hyatt. The group says it will take its Maryland-flag adorned “Pitch Across Maryland Bus” to the restaurant to heckle Perry during “his Maryland-bashing tour.”
Local radio ads debuted last week that featured Perry, who urged local business leaders to consider moving their operations to Texas because of fewer taxes. If you watched any NFL football on Sunday, you likely saw the above 30-second TV spot in which Perry says the same thing.
“When you grow tired of Maryland taxes squeezing every dollar out of your business, think Texas,” says Perry, who also claims that Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) approved 40 new taxes and fees since he took office in 2006.
O’Malley launched a preemptive attack on Perry’s campaign last week at a Democratic fundraiser in Greenbelt.
“I kicked his ass, and he never came back again,” O’Malley said, referring to a 2011 Politico forum which pitted him against Perry.
O’Malley cited stats that put Maryland ahead of Texas in median income, poverty rates and upward mobility. You can take a look at how the two states compare statistically with this handy chart from The Baltimore Sun.
Many think Perry and O’Malley are potential 2016 presidential candidates. Perry, who has worked with a Texas business group called Texas One to air the ads, has targeted businesses in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri and New York.
On Tuesday, somebody with Texas One’s Twitter account tweeted at us about the event. A number on the accompanying website led to Perry’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism, where a spokesperson told us the event is somewhere in Bethesda, though he couldn’t tell us where. It’s closed to the media.
Somebody posted the event on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page, which for obvious reasons didn’t go over too well. The Chamber took it down.