Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Rival States Duke It Out

At least one California legislator has retaliated with a popgun attack against Nevada's million dollar ad campaign to lure Golden State businesses to the Silver State.

What started as a tongue-in-cheek snarky campaign by Nevada which has inundated the major California markets via cable television advertising the past two weeks is now being greeted by Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) who told The Los Angeles Times:

"It's one thing to compare states in a factual way, but when you're doing nasty ads veiled in humor which dehumanize Californians, that's over the top."

The Nevada spots compare California legislators to monkeys, portraying two apples in which one representing California turns rotten because of its high taxes, and a pretty blonde lady who extols the virtues of California but by the ad's ending, she turns into a pig wearing lipstick.

Taking undisclosed funds from his campaign committee treasury, Solorio launched his own multi-media blitz proclaiming "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what happens in California makes the world go 'round."

The spots will show up on newspaper websites, Google ad sites, Facebook and e-mails, as well as on cable channels in Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, Las Vegas and Reno, Solorio said.

Said A. Somer Hollingsworth, chief executive of the Nevada Development Authority: "I understand what they're going through, and I expected something like this. I'm not offended -- it's a good response."

Both states are suffering severe economic setbacks because of the recession. Gambling revenues in Nevada are down dramatically which pay for public services in a state with no personal income tax.

Touting California's massive consumer base, sunny weather and progressive entrepreneurial culture, Solorio said California's budget and tax problems and strict regulations should not be deal breakers for businesses.

Rivalry between California and its neighboring states is nothing novel. Years ago, Oregon posted signs on its highways near the California border welcoming visitors but asking them please don't move in.

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