JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is raising the volume in his rhetorical battle over businesses with Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Nixon's campaign committee launched a radio ad Tuesday intended to counter one by Perry that encourages Missouri businesses to consider moving to Texas. Nixon's office also released a letter sent to scores of Missouri Chamber of Commerce members in which the Democratic governor chides the business group for its plans to host an event with Perry on Thursday.
Perry has embraced efforts by Missouri's Republican-led legislature to override Nixon's veto of an income tax cut next month. Republican leaders contend that the tax cut would boost Missouri's economy, but Nixon says it would blow a hole in the state's budget that would jeopardize funding for education and other services.
The Texas governor is to travel to Missouri on Thursday for what's billed as a marketing mission. The chamber is hosting Perry for lunch, and he is to speak later that day at an event sponsored by a coalition supporting a veto override of the tax cut. In advance of his trip, Perry has been running a TV ad promoting Texas and a radio ad that more aggressively encourages Missouri businesses and residents to consider relocating.
The ad featuring Perry is paid for by TexasOne, a public-private marketing partnership.
St. Louis radio station KTRS has refused to run Perry's ad.
Nixon praised that decision and said he will make up for the station's forgone revenues by running his own ad. In the minute-long ad, Nixon defends Missouri as a better place to do business than Texas and concludes: "As for the governor of Texas, he'll learn you don't mess with folks here in the Show-Me State."
Nixon also sent a letter to Chamber of Commerce leaders chiding the group for helping facilitate Perry's "anti-Missouri campaign."
"As an organization that purports to represent the interests of Missouri businesses, the Missouri Chamber should support activities that seek to strengthen our economy — not undermine it," Nixon wrote.
Chamber of Commerce officials have said their luncheon is intended to allow Missouri business leaders to hear Perry's message in support of lower income taxes and less government regulation and is not meant as a recruiting meal for businesses looking at moving to Texas.
Perry told The Associated Press last week that he believes it's "good for the country to be having a discussion about states competing against each other."