Dallas Morning News business columnist Mitchell Schnurman examines the chaotic end of the Texas Legislature's session last week, and finds an ugly contrast with Texas Gov. Rick Perry's drive to recruit business to the Lone Star State. (It's a lesson Alabama has struggled with, and continues to struggle with.)
"Businesses want a stable, sensible environment where everyone feels welcome. In commerce and in a world of social networks, a big tent is a good thing. Employers also don’t want to be drawn into any controversies, especially those that divide the population. (See: Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood).
"Yes, decisions on relocations and expansions are usually made on the economics. But don’t dismiss the significance of image and perception. In the 1970s and ’80s, Texas worked hard to separate its image from those of neighboring states because earlier battles over civil rights had scared off potential transplants.
“ 'Texas wanted to be known as part of the Southwest, not the Deep South,' said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. 'It wanted to leave all that other stuff to Alabama and Mississippi.' ”