Marilyn Tennissen Feb. 12, 2013, 1:36pm

Texas is open for business, and Gov. Rick Perry wants everybody in California to know it.

After first bombarding California’s airwaves with a series of radio ads, Perry has been on a four-day business recruitment trip to the Golden State to visit San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Orange County. He also hosted a reception for some of the business leaders who have contacted the governor’s office since the ads began airing.

“Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and I have a message for California businesses: Come check out Texas,” Perry said in the ads.

Perry touted not only the Lone Star State’s low taxes and “sensible regulations,” but also its “fair legal system” as “just the thing to get your business moving to Texas.”

The radio ads became a big story in California, and a Texas Tribune commentary called the controversy between Perry and California Gov. Jerry Brown a “throwdown between Governor Goodhair and Governor Moonbeam.”

When reporters in California asked Brown to respond, he angrily dismissed the ads as “barely a fart.”

But legal watchdog groups support Perry’s efforts.

“This has been fun to watch, no doubt,” said Jennifer Harris, spokesperson for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas. “But we know, as Gov. Perry knows, that Texas offers a bright future to small business owners, entrepreneurs and families who may struggle in California because of high taxes, over-regulations and, of critical importance to CALA, a legal climate that encourages abusive lawsuits.”

CALA leaders in Texas and California have noted that the differences between the two states was laid bare last year when CKE Restaurants, which owns the Carl’s Jr. franchise, declared the company was planning to move its headquarters from California to Texas.

That company halted construction of new restaurants in California, but is expanding in Texas. When asked why, the CEO specifically cited California’s laws that encourage lawsuits against private businesses, according to CALA.

“When the CEO of Carl’s Jr. specifically cited lawsuit abuse as one reason they were leaving California, it made everyone in the legal reform community take notice. Unfortunately, the leadership in California continue to make light of the situation and substitute humorous asides for a real discussion on the issues,” Harris said in a statement.

For more information visit the Texas Wide Open for Business website.

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