Newsom is experiencing a bad case of Red State envy.
Last year at this time, I noted that California Attorney General Rob Banta took a break from resolving the myriad problems in the state to announce the addition of five states to the list of places banned from state-funded travel because of laws allegedly discriminating against members of the LGBTQ community.
Currently, these states are on California’s “Do Not Travel” list:
Therefore, when California Governor Gavin Newsom decided to vacation in Montana recently, he drew criticism for being a hypocrite.
Gavin Newsom’s office announced July 1 that the governor had left California and temporarily handed power over to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, but did not say where he had gone.
CalMatters reporter Emily Hoeven revealed Tuesday night that Newsom had gone to Montana, where his in-laws own a ranch, and was expected back at work July 11.
…Some Republicans and conservatives were quick to accuse the governor of hypocrisy over his choice of destination. “Democrats have banned state travel to these states. You’ll note Montana is on the list. Also of note, Gavin Newsom is currently vacationing in … Montana,” state Sen. Melissa Melendez wrote.
“‘Asked if the state is paying for his security, York says the office doesn’t comment on security.’ So, yes then,” Melendez added in another post, quoting Hoeven’s reporting.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom launched a Golden State ground attack in Florida Monday, releasing an ad urging Sunshine State residents fed up with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to pack their flip-flops and head West.
“Gonna be hilarious when he vacations to Miami,” commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted, referring to Newsom’s recent ad campaign urging Florida residents to leave the Sunshine State and move west. “The price of gas in Montana is about $2.50 cheaper a gallon than in California. State of emergency [for COVID-19] in California for 2.5 years. Astounding that he would run ads in Florida & vacation in the red state of Montana while California families can’t afford to travel thanks to Dems,” California Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon posted.
Staffers were quick to explain why the travel ban did not apply to Newsom.
“AB 1887 prohibits a state agency, department, board, or commission from requiring any state employees, officers, or members to travel” to states on the list, according to the California attorney general’s office.
Asked whether that state travel ban applies in this case and whether any state funds were used to pay for the trip for Newsom or any staffers or security, a spokesperson for the governor told KCRA 3 that the policy was not applicable.
“It’s a personal trip,” Erin Mellon said. “The ban is on state-funded travel which this is not.”
She added that the state’s travel ban applies to “expending state funds” and that Newsom’s travel is not being paid for by the state.
However, if Newsom really wanted to see his in-laws, they could have come to California. And, as the Republicans have noted, surely security and some staff went with him. Unless Newsom paid for their expenses, there was a violation of AB1887.
Coming hard on the heels of Newsom’s now infamous Florida ad, it’s clear Newsom is experiencing a bad case of Red State envy.DONATE
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