Gov. Jerry Brown: ‘Texas, come on over’
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Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that he was hardly alarmed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s latest effort to poach California businesses.
“Of course they’re coming here,” Brown said. “So are the British coming here, so are the French, so are the Russians, so are the Chinese — everybody with half a brain is coming to California. So Texas, come on over.”
Brown spoke Monday in Hollywood at Founders Forum 2013, a conference on innovation for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. During his brief speech, he urged business leaders to be creative and invest in online education. He cited companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook as a sign of California’s modern successes.
After his speech, Brown responded to a new survey of California business leaders, released Monday by the California Business Roundtable. The survey found that 69% of business leaders said it was harder to do business in California than in other states. Nearly the same number, 62%, rate California’s economy worse than the rest of the country.
“It’s nonsense,” Brown said. “Some things are hard to do. If you want to open some kind of tannery on Wilshire Boulevard, you’re going to get a lot of opposition. If you want to open a creative enterprise, you’re going to get open arms.”
He said that between his two terms as governor, California’s gross domestic product rose from $150 billion a year to nearly $2 trillion, a testament to the success of California businesses. Although California doesn’t allow everything, he said, the ideas and opportunity on the Pacific Rim make it an ideal place to do business.
“That’s life — life is obstacles,” Brown said. “I didn’t get to be governor 37 years later by not overcoming obstacles. Yes, there are problems. But that’s the stimulus for our current creativity.”
— Laura Nelson in Los Angeles
Follow her on Twitter: @laura_nelson