Gov. Rick Perry said says he’s disgusted that a California newspaper would depict him in a cartoon boasting about booming business in his state, followed by an explosion, a week after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 14 people in a Texas town.
Perry said he wants an apology from the Sacramento Bee on behalf of the town.
The cartoon in Thursday’s edition shows Perry crowing that “Business is Booming,” flanked by signs saying “Low Tax!” and “Low Regs!” It’s a play on the Republican’s often-repeated mantra that his state’s low-regulation, business-friendly climate has its economy humming.
The next panel reads “Boom!” as a blast engulfs the area behind the governor and his signs.
An April 17 explosion in the town of West, which is outside Waco, left a crater more than 90 feet wide and is estimated to have caused more than $100 million in damage. The blast occurred moments after a fire was reported at the West Fertilizer plant.
Ten of the people killed were first responders who rushed to the nighttime blaze.
In a letter to the Bee’s editor, the Texas Governor said it “was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon.”
The Bee’s editorial page editor, Stuart Leavenworth, responded Friday that the artist, Jack Ohman, “made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry’s disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas a place where industries can thrive with few regulations.”
Perry isn’t amused with the cartoon and says it sends a different message than the one intended.