Update: Perry's Illinois poaching mission has been postponed because of a last-minute meeting with President Obama to discuss the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Texas governor's Chicago trip is "off for now. Hopefully he will make it up there again soon," his office said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is flying to Chicago today in another effort to lure companies away from Illinois, Crain's Chicago Business reports.
Immediate reaction: Get off our lawn, Perry!!!
With that out of the way, here's the Perry itinerary: the Lone Star State leader and a group from the corporate-raiding Texas Economic Development Corp. will meet Tuesday with businesses possibly looking to relocate. They'll stay overnight in the Windy City and on Wednesday will host a lunch at Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse after which Perry will be available for media interviews, according to Crain's Greg Hinz.
Said Perry's spokesperson Lucy Nashed: "He's continuing the red state versus blue state conversation that he's been promoting around the country for the last year, and making the pitch face to face for why Texas is the best place for their companies in the future."
As part of his Texas-is-the-bestest tour, Perry is floating an op-ed (see below) that touts his record of reducing business levies and balancing the state budget without raising taxes. He also gloats about Texas' $8 billion reserve and high rate of job growth.
"Illinois, meanwhile, still has a budget that’s far from balanced, billions in unpaid bills, and it's uncertain how the courts will rule on one of the worst-funded state pension systems in the nation," Perry writes. "While the Illinois legislature was wise enough to turn away appeals to extend the 2011 tax hike, they still haven’t made the tough decisions necessary to bring spending under control."
Striking back, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn issued a statement saying "we welcome Gov. Perry's contributions to Illinois' booming tourism and hope he comes back to see us soon" but "businesses here should be skeptical of his economic pitch."
"While Texas has no income tax, it must rely heavily on sales and property taxes that hit part of its population extremely hard," says Team Quinn. "Texas' record of late includes some of the nation's worst outputs of air and water pollution. ... After all that, the average tax burden for business is fairly close in the two states."
Hinz wonders if Perry -- who initially refused to meet with President Obama to discuss border issues this week -- intends on hitting up Chicago's political donor circuit while he's in town. He is, after all, mulling a 2016 presidential do-over even after losing the GOP nomination to Mitt Romney.