Scott on Wednesday announced he's going on a trade mission to California to try to woo businesses away from the Golden State. The Republican governor visited several states last year run by Democrats where he denounced their taxes and business climate. In his release, Scott contended companies would want to leave California because of a "crippling'' increase in the minimum wage. Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month signed into law a measure that will lift the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.
Usually, Republican governors are content to oppose minimum-wage increases in their own state, but this week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) talked up his opposition to a wage hike in a state he has nothing to do with. The NBC affiliate in Miami reported:
As it turns out, Scott is doing more than just criticizing. The Huffington Post reported that the Florida governor's economic development organization has "launched a new radio ad on the other side of the country."
"Ready to leave California?" the ad's narrator asks. "Go to Florida instead -- no state income tax, and Gov. Scott has cut regulations. Now Florida is adding one million jobs, not losing them." The spot goes on to say California's minimum wage increase "hurts the same people it was supposed to help."
I found the response from Brown's press secretary pretty compelling: "As one of the millions of tourists flocking to the Golden State this time of year, we'd like to extend a warm welcome to [Rick Scott]. We can understand why he's coming back — there's lots to do and plenty to learn. In fact, since his last 2,000 mile cross-country jaunt, California has added twice as many jobs as Florida, while paying down debt, building a robust rainy-day fund and taking bold action on issues Governor Scott continues to ignore, like climate change and poverty."
For the record, statewide polls were conducted just last month on these governor's approval ratings in their respective states. Jerry Brown (D) enjoyed 60% support, while Rick Scott's (R) approval rating dipped to 38%.
I'm confident, however, that if Scott asked Brown for a few pointers during his visit, the Californian would be gracious in sharing some tips with his unpopular compatriot.