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Kander pens letter to Texas Gov. Perry about Missouri business “poaching”

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Secretary of State Jason Kander released a statement this morning about a letter he wrote to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Secretary of State Jason Kander
Secretary of State Jason Kander

The letter addresses concerns Kander has about Perry’s $106,400 advertising campaign that promotes Texas’ economic climate — a campaign that already has reached Illinois, California and New York, according to the Dallas Morning News — in hopes of attracting businesses to bring their operations to Texas.

“Simply poaching jobs from one state and bringing them to another doesn’t grow our nation’s economy, so I hope you reconsider your efforts and instead look at ways to cultivate new industries and companies in Texas, rather than just trying to steal other states’ successes,” Kander wrote after listing examples of Missouri job growth with companies like Express Scripts, Monsanto Company and Cerner, all that have announced or executed expansions during the past few months.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Texas Gov. Rick Perry

In an email to The Missouri Times, Kander said his motivation for sending the letter was that there is a “huge difference between a politician privately recruiting businesses to come to a state and publicly running ads and making speeches to damage the economy of another state.”

“When someone tries to hurt Missouri’s economy, I’m not going to just sit back and watch it happen,” Kander said. “So I hope that when [Gov.] Perry comes here next week, he gets advice from our business leaders about how to grow companies, instead of trying to take them back to Texas with him.”

Perry will be speaking at a Grow Missouri event next week in Chesterfield, Mo., about tax policy. Kander said he will not be able to attend the event as his wife is due to give birth to their firstborn at the end of the month and he is working out of Kansas City, their home town.

In addition to commentary about job climate and “poaching,” Kander also noted the $100 million in Medicaid funding that Perry has been noted for to help disabled and elderly populations in Texas.

“Our state legislature in Missouri has refused to accept additional Medicaid funding from the federal government, so it would be great if you could explain to them why they should follow your lead on this issue,” he wrote at the end of his letter.”