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Texas Governor Rick Perry is in California this week trying to lure businesses to Texas with the promise of lower taxes and more lenient regulations. Concurrently, Perry’s radio ad aired in which the Texan says “Building a business is tough. But I hear building a business in California is next to impossible. See why our low taxes, sensible regulations and fair legal system are just the thing to get your business moving to Texas."

Interestingly, when a reporter asked Perry about worker safety in Texas, the Governor was hard-pressed with a flattering response, and in his usual style, evaded the question. He acknowledged that working in the energy industry is dangerous and said that although Texas has experienced several injuries and deaths better safety regulations would not make a difference. Perry foolishly responded that this is something California wouldn’t understand. Tell that to thousands of East Bay residents who were ordered to stay in their homes after a series of explosions and fires tore through Chevron's Richmond refinery.

Everyone knows the energy industry is dangerous. Workers understand the risks when they “sign on”, but that doesn’t mean corporations should not do everything possible to minimize dangers and put safety first. As usual, Governor Perry missed the point – safety over profits.

As history has shown, Perry will say anything to avoid the truth. He allows doctors and corporate American to continuously harm people and then avoid accountability. Perry has opened the doors for negligent doctors and now he wants to open the doors to any industry that wants to put profits over safety and then avoid accountability for any negligence. The plain and simple truth is that Governor Perry, and all tort reformers are lying to you; they are selling out your rights. Tort reform is not in the best interest of the American people; not only does it limit full recovery, but the wrongdoers go unpunished. With no consequences for their actions, the wrongdoers will continue to commit negligent acts and cause irreparable harm to the citizens. And, study after study has shown that the cost of litigation to business and health care is miniscule. “Tort reform” is a solution in search of a non-existent problem.

Tort reform makes it harder for innocent victims to seek justice. One-size-fits-all does not work for your wardrobe and it does not work in our legal system. Many of us have not been touched by the sting of a catastrophic injury or death. But, consider how devastating it would be to have your family bread winner rendered disabled or deceased and then, to add insult to injury, have an unfeeling legislature, in the name of corporate profits, permit those responsible to escape with almost no consequences. It is a policy that ignores the victim and rewards the wrongdoer and it increases reliance on support from the government. Those who claim to support “smaller government” are on the wrong side of this issue. When it's time to vote for those representing your voice, cast your vote for someone who will act in your best interests, rather than falsely considering what’s “good for business. Despite the rhetoric of anti-citizen politicians, corporations are not people, too.

Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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