By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) –Maryland businesses are being courted by “the Lone Star State.” Texas Governor Rick Perry is urging them to pull up stakes and head west.

Pat Warren has more on Perry’s plan.

He’s spending half a million dollars in ads in advance of a personal visit this month.

“I love this country deeply,” Perry said in his ad.

But apparently the states are fair game.

Perry is riding the range of economic discontent to lasso local businesses–maybe as much to benefit Texas as to embarrass Maryland, by which means Gov. Martin O’Malley.

“Grow tired of Maryland taxes squeezing every dime out of your business? Think Texas,” the ad says.

Number one for business, he says, limited government, low taxes, and on and on. Some of it is debatable.

But Maryland jeweler Ron George, a state delegate and Republican candidate for governor, agrees this is a cold climate for small business.

“We lost 93,000 jobs in this state, 93,000. Yet government jobs grew by 26,000,” George said. “So, we’re growing government jobs. We’re losing the private sector. How do you pay for the government jobs?”

The governor’s office responds with a statement saying Maryland is No. 1 in public schools, has held down college tuition, is No. 1. in median income, and is No. 1 in innovation and entrepreneurship.

There was no mention of jobs or taxes.

“How can you pay for programs if you’re shrinking the private sector? You can’t. All he’s done is increase taxes on the private sector, but he keeps increasing government jobs,” George said.

As for the Perry ads, George says don’t move, vote.

“We’re going to change Maryland and make it more business friendly,” he said.

O’Malley calls it a tired old public relations gimmick because Perry has made similar visits to other states over the years.

Perry arrives in Maryland on Sept. 18.

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