Gov. Newsom Vacationing In Montana – A State He No Long Permits State Funded Travel To Because Of The Politics There
[guest post by Dana]
It seems like it was unnecessarily hard trying to pin down his whereabouts:
Gov. Gavin Newsom is on vacation in Montana visiting family, I was the first to report Tuesday evening.
It was information that the governor’s office appeared loath to disclose. Although the office said Friday the governor had left California to spend time with family, it did not until Tuesday answer questions about where he was or when specifically he would return, a noticeable difference from communication surrounding other recent out-of-state trips. (A spokesperson said Tuesday Newsom hasn’t yet booked his return trip, but that he will return to California over the weekend and be back in the office on Monday.)
The governor’s office didn’t respond to a question about why that information wasn’t initially shared.
…one possible reason could be that Montana is among the 22 states to which California has banned state-funded and state-sponsored travel, citing policies it deems discriminatory to LGBTQ+ people.
Montana is also one of the states Newsom’s office has called out for restricting abortion access. His office said in a June 24 press release that Montana will likely ban the procedure following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, though local outlets say abortion is likely to remain legal there for the foreseeable future.
While Newsom’s office said that the vacation was not being paid for by the state, they refused to say whether his security detail is being paid for by the state. I feel safe in assuming that it is.
I don’t really care where Newsom goes on vacation if it’s on his dime. But if his security detail is being paid by the state, then that’s problematic. And hypocritical. And either way, the optics aren’t great given that he is choosing to spend money in a state that he has otherwise condemned and banned state-funded travel to because of what he identifies as discrimination and limited access to abortion. That his office was reluctant to say where he was vacationing is a tip-off that Newsom knew this would be a bit of a problem for him. Especially as he may or may not be toying with a run in 2024… Optics always matter in politics. One only has to recall that during peak Covid-19 surge, Newsom tried very hard to convince Californians to stay home during the holidays and avoid multi-family gatherings, yet it was just a few days later that photos surfaced revealing the governor and his wife at a dinner party, dining with friends and colleagues at the French Laundry.