SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is asking for an apology and his lieutenant governor wants The Sacramento Bee cartoonist who created it fired.
Sacramento's dollar daily is getting read in Texas where flags are flying at half-staff following last week's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.
The cartoon shows Perry boasting business is booming in Texas, with flags boasting lower taxes and regulations in one panel and in the next, big red letters reading "BOOM" in front of a picture of a massive blast.
Perry responded with the following statement:
"It was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon. While I will always welcome healthy policy debate, I won't stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans."
The newspaper is standing by Jack Ohman, who declined an interview request, but wrote on the newspaper's website:
"When I have to come up with these ideas, I can assure you that I am not really trying to be tasteless. I am not. What I am trying to do is make readers think about an issue in a striking way."
Perry has promoted Texas as having a better business climate than California, with fewer regulations. The Texas plant reportedly hadn't been inspected since 2006.
Sacramento Constitutional attorney Jeff Kravitz called the cartoon good journalism.
"This is a serious and important issue," Kravitz said. "The editorial cartoonist used a method, a shocking method, to bring people's attention to it. That's what his job is."
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