Chris Christie to Illinois Businesses: Come to Jersey

Stephen Gutowski | January 27, 2011

Now this is a bold move. Going onto the airwaves of a state that just raised their taxes and trying to lure away their businesses. Bold:

For me this tactic brings two questions to mind.

Why don't more states do this? I mean if you're the governor of a state with relatively low business taxes why wouldn't you advertise in near by states with higher business taxes? Sounds like a good idea doesn't it?

Then again will this really work? Is an ad on the radio going to convince responsible business owners to leave their current state and move to another? Probably not.

I suspect the more likely scenario is that the businesses that are going to relocate outside of a high tax state like Illinois have already made that decision. In that case perhaps the real goal of an ad like this is to direct those businesses into a state like Jersey. In other words something like this is probably going to be successful in directing the tax weary defectors to the desired safe haven rather than creating any new defectors.

UPDATE: Weekly Political Review pointed me to a NYT piece that describes how Christie even plans to go to Illinois personally and try to bring businesses back to New Jersey with him. The piece also describes how other governors are looking to pick off businesses. So Christie isn't alone in his pursuit but he is, perhaps, the boldest right now:

Trenton is about 900 miles from Springfield, Ill. Jersey City is a 13-hour drive from Chicago. None of that deterred Gov. Chris Christie, a New Jersey Republican who spent much of last fall stumping around the country, from speaking up even before Gov. Patrick J. Quinn of Illinois, a Democrat, had signed the legislation.

“I’m going to Illinois,” Mr. Christie said in an interview on Wednesday. “I mean soon. I’m going to Illinois, personally, and going to start talking to businesses in Illinois and get them to come to New Jersey.”

Of course like many liberals Illinois's governor is confident, for some unexplained reason, that businesses enjoy paying outrageously high taxes and wont leave:

Mr. Quinn was unfazed. “Well, lots of luck to them,” he said, “but that’s not going to happen.”