By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Before and after billionaire Elon Musk acquired the social media company Twitter, he’d been invited by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and others to relocate its headquarters to the Lone Star State. While Mr. Musk hasn’t committed to doing so, he said setting up “dual headquarters” was more likely, according to a report.
Tech publication The Verge reported Mr. Musk told employees at a recent meeting there were “no plans” to relocate Twitter’s headquarters to Texas but having “dual-headquarters” in California and Texas was more likely.
“If we want to move the headquarters to Texas, I think it would play into the idea that Twitter has gone from being left-wing to right-wing, which is not the case,” Mr. Musk added, according to The Verge. “This is not a right-wing takeover of Twitter. It is a moderate-wing takeover of Twitter.”
In October 2021, Mr. Musk announced he was moving Tesla’s headquarters from Palo Alto, Ca., to Austin after a public conflict with state Democratic lawmakers over lockdown policies and increasing taxes levied on businesses. Both policies contributed to historic numbers of residents and businesses exiting California over the past two years. As California saw population losses for the first time in recorded state history under Gov. Gavin Newsom, Texas continues to lead the nation in population growth.
After Mr. Musk moved to Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott welcomed him at the governor’s mansion. When news broke in April of Mr. Musk’s plan to acquire Twitter, Gov. Abbott tweeted, encouraging Musk to “bring Twitter to Texas to join Tesla, SpaceX & the Boring company.”
Texas farmer and businessman Jim Schwertner also offered Mr. Musk 100 acres of free land to relocate Twitter headquarters to Williamson County, roughly 38 miles north of Austin.
State Rep. Tan Parker told FOX Business that Texas would literally “roll out the red carpet” for Mr. Musk to move operations to Texas. He said, “Elon made a tremendous decision, the right choice, when he brought Tesla to Texas, when he brought SpaceX to Texas. 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.”
Mr. Musk’s geotechnical engineering infrastructure company, the Boring Company, is headquartered in Pflugerville, about 18 miles south of Austin. His private foundation is headquartered in Austin as of 2020, and SpaceX and his neurotechnology company, Neuralink, also have offices in Austin. SpaceX’s rocket launch operations are headquartered in Boca Chica, south of Brownsville. In April 2021, Mr. Musk began publicly advertising and asking future employees to come work for him and to move to Austin and Brownsville.
After taking ownership of Twitter, Mr. Musk fired roughly two-thirds of Twitter’s employees and began reversing a range of policies that had been implemented, which he says “suppressed free speech.”
He most recently began publicizing internal communications of fired staff who he claims were censoring user content based on political ideology and affiliation. Some staff were reportedly working with the Democratic National Committee and Biden staff to censor content, according to the “Twitter files” made public by Mr. Musk.
“Twitter acting by itself to suppress free speech is not a 1st amendment violation, but acting under orders from the government to suppress free speech, with no judicial review, is,” Mr. Musk tweeted. In response, Texas Congressman Troy Nehls said, “Release the names of government officials. Investigations are coming.”
On Friday, House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that when he becomes committee chairman in January, “every employee at Twitter who was involved in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story will have an opportunity to come before Congress and explain their actions to the American people.”
He said he and others “knew that the Democratic National Committee was communicating with Twitter. We knew the Biden campaign was communicating with Twitter,” which is why the committee, he says, “requested that Twitter preserve all documents and correspondence between Twitter executives and the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign with respect to the Hunter Biden laptop story.”Actor James Woods, whose account was previously blocked and reinstated, told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson he plans to sue the DNC. He also tweeted he would be the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit brought against the DNC.