Remember that 2008 Republican primary candidate named Tommy Thompson? You know, that guy who demonstrated all the charisma of soiled laundry? Tommy was elected Governor of Wisconsin in the late 1980s. When elected, Illinois had had a Governor Jim Thompson in office for a decade. Big Jim was a Republican as well.
I don’t remember why, exactly—perhaps it was just a pissing contest over who the real Gov. Thompson was—but economic warfare ensued between the two neighboring states.
Gov. Jim struck first when a billboard appeared just over the Wisconsin border saying, “Gov. Thompson wants you to move your business to Illinois.” Cute. Gov. Tommy responded in kind, though I don’t remember the details. I moved out of Wisconsin as the battles raged. Not even sure who (if anyone) won the war.
Cut to 2011 :
After Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a state income tax hike…New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels–all Republicans–pitched Illinois business to move to their states. Christie was the most aggressive, running newspaper and radio ads in Illinois and stopping earlier this month at the Union League Club in Chicago.
What is it with these Republicans and their desperate opportunism. You have to believe they’d sell the flesh of their own mothers if it might lure a business to their state. And they might not wait for death.
“What…you have a headache, Mom?”
“Well then perhaps you would you consider contributing some bits to my campaign to land our state a new Kibbles factory…MY PRETTY!”
Let’s examine a Democratic and Republican response to this gubernatorial scavenging. First, the Democrat (my emphasis):
At the opening session press conference on Saturday, I asked Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat and the NGA chair, what she thought of governors coming to Illinois to steal jobs.
“Going over and stealing from someplace else really isn’t the future for them,” Gregoire said. “Their future is building their own economic stability inside their state…my policy as governor is anybody who wants to come to Washington State is welcome. I am not out trying to steal a company from my colleagues.”
And now, the Republican:
NGA co-chair, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman responded that it is okay to poach “I believe in competition among the states and among the countries.” He then gave out his phone number.
See any difference?
And hear that, Boeing? Gov. Heineman wants poached Boeing. For a good time, call Gov. Dave Heineman at 402-471-2244…and re-relocate your headquarters to fricken Nebraskghanistan.