Gov. Rick Perry has been going around the country trying to recruit corporations and manufacturers to Texas. His selling point has been that Texas has weak regulation rules for Businesses and Manufacturers.
When Jack Ohman, a cartoonist for The Sacramento (CA) Bee and his editor, Stuart Leavenworth, ran the above cartoon in Sunday’s paper, they must have felt like a couple of kids who’d just set off a stink bomb on their mean and ornery neighbor’s porch, and run somewhere to hide, snigger up their sleeves, and wait for the fun to begin. The cartoon shows Texas Governor Rick Perry bragging about his state’s low taxes and lax business regulations (“Business is BOOMING in Texas!”) while something – presumably the fertilizer plant that exploded in West, TX on April 18 — goes “BOOM!”
Sure enough, Perry took the bait and fumed in a letter to the editor:
It was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon. While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won’t stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans.
Leavenworth sharply retorted:
Jack Ohman’s cartoon of April 25 made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry’s disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas as a place where industries can thrive with few regulations. It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful of the victims of this tragedy. As Ohman has made clear on his blog, he has complete empathy for the victims and people living by the plant. What he finds offensive is a governor who would gamble with the lives of families by not pushing for the strongest safety regulations.Perry’s letter is an attempt to distract people from that message.
Um, HELLO? Nobody’s mocking the 15 people — mostly firefighters and other emergency responders — who died fighting flames from the atom bomb-like blasts. We’re mocking YOU, Governor Perry, for being a callous, uncaring jerk who cares more about the well-being of your state’s businesses than about the people who live there. When the West Fertilizer Plant exploded, it leveled a four block radius, and witnesses reported that the blast was “like a tornado” or “like a nuclear bomb went off.” Yet, this could have been prevented: The plant was cited for a serious violation back in 2006, after receiving complaints about “a strong ammonia smell.” The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigated, but apparently nobody followed up. Furthermore, Theodoric Meyer from Salon reports that plant failed a partial inspection in 2011, and hadn’t had a full inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985. Nor did anyone from the facility bother to tell the Department of Homeland Security — as required — about all that potentially explosive fertilizer.
Building a business is tough, but I hear that building a business in California is next to impossible. This is Texas governor Rick Perry, and I’ve got a message for California businesses. Come check out Texas. There are plenty of reasons Texas has been named the best state for doing business for eight years running. Visit TexasWideOpenForBusiness.Com, and see why our low taxes, sensible regulation, and fair legal system are just the thing to get your business moving … to Texas.
Yet this hypocrite still has no problem with getting help from the Federal Government when it suits him. After cutting the state’s fire department funding by 75% in 2011 — causing unprecedented levels of fire destruction and loss of life — Perry asked for federal funds to combat wild fires back in 2011. Yep, everything’s cheaper in Texas. Maybe that’s because 33% of people there are uninsured; two of your counties — Cameron and Hidalgo — have the highest poverty rates in the United States (41%); and your legislature cut $5.4 billion from education two years ago (your House’s new budget proposal will barely make a dent in them). Apparently, pro-business folks have forgotten about the old adage, “It takes money to make money.”
Last Thursday, April 25, the president attended a memorial for victims of the explosion, gave a moving speech, and promised that the nation would help the town recover and rebuild. Strange, how you don’t hear Perry and his cohorts howling about government spending now.
- Rick Perry Can’t Handle The Truth (skydancingblog.com)
- This West, Texas Political Cartoon Has Governor Rick Perry “Disgusted,” “Disappointed” (blogs.dallasobserver.com)
- Texas governor Rick Perry disgusted by Sacramento Bee cartoon depicting explosion (mercurynews.com)
- Rick Perry Disgusted By “Booming Business” Cartoon (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Rick Perry ‘Disgusted’ By Cartoon Linking Deregulation To Fertilizer Plant Explosion (VIDEOS) (addictinginfo.org)
- Gov. Rick Perry ‘disgusted’ by cartoon mocking lack of regulations in Texas (rawstory.com)