Report Claims Ron DeSantis Blurred The Lines, Has Spent Millions Of Tax Dollars To Fly Around State Plane Which Should Be Used Only For Public Business Instead Of Campaign Style Events

He's so shady.


678
678 points

More and more with each and every passing day, we’re reminded that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is really just the south’s own personal version of Donald Trump. And now, according to a new watchdog report, it seems DeSantis has taken yet another page directly from the former president’s playbook, as the watchdog group claims the GOP state leader is “blurring the lines” when it comes to his use of the state airplane.

Local publication, the Orlando Sentinel, reported on the watchdog claims.

According to the publication, DeSantis uses the $15 million aircraft (that carries with it a hefty $3 million-plus annual maintenance and operation bill) to skirt his way all over the state of Florida on what’s supposed to be official governor business. However, it appears that many of the events that his office promotes as news conferences actually look a whole lot more like political campaign rallies “filled with Palm Beach International Airport supporters and political chants.”

To make matters all the worse, many of these events come complete with emails from the DeSantis campaign that seems to make the intent of the event crystal clear — such as hawking merchandise with slogans such as “Don’t Tread on Florida.”

One FL watchdog group took aim at DeSantis’ clear defiance of the spirit of the law that’s in place to separate official government duties from political campaigning.

Research director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan group Integrity Florida, Ben Wilcox, said, “There doesn’t appear to be a border in this case. He’s really blurring the lines between what is considered campaign activity and his public duties of the office. I think it’s highly questionable, but I’m not sure what the remedy is.”

Frankly, Ron’s blurred lines when it comes to political campaigns vs. government duties come as no surprise, given that he’s gunning hard for reelection next Fall and has largely been considered as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2024.

Of course, spokeswoman for the FL governor, Christina Pushaw, has been quick to deny the notion that any of the events DeSantis flew on the state plane to attend had anything to do with his political campaign.

“There’s no coordination between the state office and the campaign,” Pushaw penned in an email. “That would be unlawful, and we have not violated the law.”

“The state plane is used only for the governor’s travel to and from official events, in accordance with the law,” the spokeswoman went on to state. “As you know, these events are frequent (multiple times per week) and we try to hold events all over the state, especially when it comes to statewide initiatives — like the vaccine rollout earlier this year and the launch of more than two dozen state-supported monoclonal antibody therapy sites in August and September.”

It’s pretty clear that DeSantis is, at best, skirting the rules here. But frankly, are we supposed to be surprised at this point?

You can read the full report from the Orlando Sentinel here.

Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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