Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

UPDATED: California pokes at Texas mostly hold up

In tens of thousands, Californians flowing to Texas are in blue, Texans moving to California in red (Linda Scott illustration, based on research by demographer William H. Frey).
In tens of thousands, Californians flowing to Texas are in blue, Texans moving to California in red (Linda Scott illustration, based on research by demographer William H. Frey).

Boy howdy did a California newspaper take issue with Rick Perry’s pitch for Golden State businesses to parachute into Texas.

In a Feb. 6, 2013, editorial, headlined "Pity Rick Perry; his big state has big needs," the Sacramento Bee’s editorial board plays off of the Texas governor’s pitch in a radio ad for California businesses to "come check out Texas."

"Yes, come check out Texas," the editorial states. "Check out a state that ranks dead last in the percent of its population with high school diplomas. Come check out a state that is last in mental health expenditures and workers' compensation coverage. Come check out a state that ranks first in the number of executions, first in the number of uninsured, first in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted and first in the amount of toxic chemicals released into water."

The editorial grants that Texas has a good business environment, though its theme is that California outshines.

It’s not our business to tackle anyone’s opinions.

But we were intrigued by the editorial’s factual claims about high school graduates, insurance, mental health expenditure and the other where-Texas-stands claims. So, fact-checking commenced.

And four of the statements came out True or Mostly True, though the pollution reference was Half True and the claim about Texas having the greatest number of uninsured residents was incorrect; California remains ahead.

Perry has returned from visiting California to court businesses. No word on whether he mentioned the Truth-O-Meter.

See each of the Bee-inspired fact checks to the right.