California Governor Gavin Newsom faced criticism this week over a trip he and his family took to Montana over the holiday weekend during a statewide ban on taxpayer-funded travel to states that have anti-LGBTQ+ laws on the books.
The Governor and his family departed California on July 1, saying only that they were traveling out of state. CalMatters was first to report that Newsom and his family had traveled to Montana to a ranch owned by Newsom’s in-laws for a visit. While critics slammed Newsom for allegedly flouting the state ban on travel to anti-LGBT states, Newsom insists the trip was not taxpayer funded and was purely personal.
“The travel ban applies to expending state funds,” said Newsom’s communications director Erin Mellon. “The governor’s travel is not being paid for by the state. Connecting the two is irresponsible and falsely implies there is something untoward.”
Pressed further on whether the governor and his family were utilizing a security detail provided by the state, Mellon responded by saying the governor’s office does not publicly comment on Newsom’s security issues.
Newsom’s critics were quick to publicly comment on the Montana trip. “Maybe he’s taking notes about how to run a state, but Newsom should really stick to dealing with the crises he and his Democrat supermajority have created,” said RNC spokesperson Hallie Balch. “Running off to Montana and not telling anyone just proves that he has no regard for his own rules.”
Further defending the governor’s trip to visit family, Mellon told the SacBee, “We are not in the business of regulating where people have family or where they spend their vacation,” said Erin Mellon, Newsom’s communications director, on Wednesday. “Nor will we persecute them for visiting their family. The press shouldn’t either.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CALMATTERS.ORG
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