Statewide NewsLawmaker Says Texas Will ‘Roll Out the Red Carpet’ for Possible Twitter Move

The state representative and Texas Senate nominee said Texas would “roll out the red carpet” for a potential relocation for Twitter.
May 2, 2022
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State Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), the GOP nominee for Senate District (SD) 12, told Fox News that should billionaire Elon Musk decide to relocate the headquarters of his newly purchased social media giant, Twitter, Texas would “roll out the red carpet” to welcome it to the Lone Star State.

“Elon made a tremendous decision, the right choice, when he brought Tesla to Texas, when he brought SpaceX to Texas,” said Parker. “I think it’s no different in his decision making here for Twitter, he realizes that Texas is the most business friendly state in America, that we are open for business.”

If Musk continues his trend of moving his companies to Texas, Parker said, “We’ll support it and we’ll roll out the red carpet to make certain that he does so.”

The billionaire originally headquartered many of his companies in California but has moved them to Texas over the past few years.

After strict local COVID-19 regulations in 2020 kept the operations of a Tesla factory in the Golden State from continuing, Musk said it was “the final straw” and that he would be moving the electric carmaker’s headquarters to Texas or Nevada.

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Public officials in the Lone Star State leaped for joy at the possibility and prodded him to make the move.

A few months later, Musk announced that Tesla would build a major new facility in Austin — and the company would receive $60 million in tax breaks for building in Travis County.

In 2021, Musk also decided to move Tesla’s headquarters to Austin. Around the same time, Musk’s Boring Company — which aims to build tunnels for transportation infrastructure — also made an official move from Hawthorne, California, to the Austin area.

His other prominent company, SpaceX, has major operations near Brownsville but is still currently headquartered in Hawthorne.

SpaceX has benefited from $400,000 that was dispersed through the state’s taxpayer-funded Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF). More recently, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that $5 million from the Spaceport Trust Fund was also granted to the Cameron County Spaceport Development Corporation, which will benefit the operations of Musk’s space company in South Texas.

Parker said that since Musk now lives in Texas, he knows “firsthand the difference that Texas brings to the table,” pointing to the ban on an income tax here.

The state representative did not respond to a request for comment on what policies he would advocate to “roll out the red carpet” for Musk to relocate another company here.

It is unclear if Musk will seek to move his new $44 billion purchase to Texas, but if he does, Parker will be far from the only elected official in the state to give Twitter a warm welcome.

A year ago, Republican lawmakers in Texas were decrying the censorship of social media companies as they were trying to push through legislation to curb the practice.

Officials such as Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) called major social media sites the modern-day “public square” — a place where individuals should have their freedom of speech protected.

A major lobbyist for Twitter and other tech companies said that such proposed regulations do not protect free speech but rather infringe upon the First Amendment rights of businesses to adopt their own policies.

In his purchase of Twitter, Musk has come down on the side of the lawmakers, even calling the platform a “digital town square.”

And in turn, Hughes lauded Musk’s buyout as a win for free speech, and Abbott called on Musk to move the company to Texas with his other entities.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.

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