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Texas economic development organization plans Missouri expansion

  

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — A 501(c)(4) organization promoting economic development is coming to Missouri.

Americans for Economic Freedom (AFEF) is officially announcing their expansion to Missouri from their Texas home base on Friday, and will be accompanied by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Gov. Perry speaks to the crowd gathered at the Grow Missouri rally in Chesterfield two weeks ago. (Photo by Brittany Ruess)
Gov. Perry speaks to the crowd gathered at the Grow Missouri rally in Chesterfield two weeks ago. (Photo by Brittany Ruess)

The organization does not currently have a website, and spokesperson Sara Marie Kinney says the operation is very small, currently operating solely out of Texas. However, she says trips have been made to California and Maryland, and there are plans for more — many more.

“We want to take this as far as we can,” she says. “Americans for Economic Freedom, our goal is to promote economic policies that spur economic development and spur entrepreneurial success on the state level.”

She says the group was with Perry during his recent visit to Missouri to support the veto override effort of Missouri’s House Bill 253, as well as to tout the successes he says Texas has found in their economic efforts.

Leading up to Perry’s August visit, controversy arose about the more than $100,000 worth of advertising that was used in Missouri to laud Texas’ business climate. The controversy went national, arguably, as similar visits and/or advertisements popped up in California, Illinois, Connecticut and New York.

When asked if there will be a overlap in the traveling or expansion patterns with this new organization, Kinney says AFEF is not going to bring their effort to states that are already accomplishing the goals AFEF has. Louisiana, New Mexico and Florida are a few states Kinney says accomplish similar economic development goals the organization supports.

Perry won’t be the only governor to be highlighted by the group, Kinney adds.

The organization's logo
The organization’s logo

“There are several conservative governors who have been very successful,” she says, adding the plan is to incorporate involvement from “many different governors” down the road.

Kinney says right now AFEF is not publicizing whether they are working in conjunction with any Missouri groups that have similar purposes.

AFEF CEO Jeff Miller is set to speak with Perry tomorrow during the announcement. Miller is a former Republican fundraiser in California, according to the L.A. Times.

Board of Governors member and United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman Marc Rodriguez will also speak at the event.

Kinney says AFEF is attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) after the event, which Perry is speaking at.

The official announcement is set for 2 p.m. tomorrow at the St. Charles Embassy Suites.

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